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Year Long Study: Post-recession HR trends are likely to continue

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Irvine-based CanopyHR Solutions has been tracking the highs and lows of the American economy over the last year and has identified a variety of industry trends that likely will continue to impact the way companies do business in 2011.

Yearlong study shows most efficient companies turned uncertainty to their advantage during 2010.

"Challenging times inspire creative solutions, and the volatile economy has forged many changes in the human resources sector," said Jeff Fenster, founder of CanopyHR Solutions. "Businesses are trimming excesses in order to succeed, and that means human resources has become a more integral part of business planning than ever before."

Here is a list of the top 10 human resources trends of 2010:

1. Stretching the compensation dollar
Times are tough. Trying to get your employees to be more productive with fewer resources is especially challenging. In the absence of cash incentives, HR professionals promoted morale and productivity in the workplace through a series of innovations, such as gift card giveaways and lottery prizes, thus proving that employee compensation does not necessarily have to translate to cash (though that works too).

2. Embracing social media
Status update: The impact of social networking on the American workplace is undeniable. For some companies, productivity has gone down in relation to the minutes or hours that tech-savvy employees spend IM’ing their friends or updating their Facebook pages. For others, however, social networking has been a valuable tool for increasing visibility and for attracting talent through job websites such as monster.com

3. Keeping lines of communication open – especially amid health-care reform anxiety
They say that trust is the cornerstone of every good relationship. This is no less true when it comes to the bond between employer and employees. Amid concerns about the Obama administration’s health-care reforms earlier this year, smart senior managers kept communication lines open to answer questions and address concerns from employees. In so doing, they demonstrated an accessibility that can be rare.

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written by BY J.V. GATEWOOD

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Growth in women's share of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) occupations declined to 27% in 2011from a high of 34% in 1990. While women make up nearly half of the workforce, they were 26% of the STEM workforce in 2011.

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