Employee benefits a hot HR trend for 2011

Human resources directors, like other members of management, are already planning for what they may encounter in the new year. New hiring, compensation policies and changes to benefits packages will all demand new techniques, but the latter item will demand the most of HR directors in 2011.

According to Thomas R. Giddens, senior vice president and director of sales at Aflac, managing employee benefits and programs will be the priority. Giddens acknowledged healthcare policies and rates will demand further education for human resources directors.

Additionally, more education will be needed to handle the wide range of demands put on benefits by younger and older workers. Giddens says the priorities are vastly different by age group, making an HR director's ability to adapt a high priority.

"There will be a continued need to manage the new cocktail of company culture - a combination of traditionalists, baby boomers, Generation X employees and Generation Y employees," Giddens wrote for HRMreport.com. "HR professionals will need to develop strategies to keep the workplace cohesive while meeting the varying needs of each generation."

Wellness programs are also on the rise. These offerings are a proactive measure taken by companies to incentivize employee health in order to lower costs.

The Society of Human Resources Management revealed data from The Segal Company which noted that 2011 healthcare plans will trends eight times higher than the consumer price index for urban consumers.

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