HR trends you need to know

04 December 2020 | Columns

Ann Snook

As technology advances and best practices change, so does the face of human resources. If you want to work efficiently while recruiting strong candidates and retaining good employees, you need to keep up with the latest innovations.

This article details of the year’s biggest technological, employee-based and recruitment HR trends, according to experts.

1. More Remote Employees

With so many people working from home, HR departments face a unique set of challenges. For instance, how do you: make employees feel a sense of company community; manage employee productivity and morale; operate when employees are located in different time zones; investigate concerns and complaints when you don’t see the people in-person?

Remote work does have some upsides. HR manager Stephanie Lane says that it “allows flexibility for employee scheduling, and it also expands the pool of talent which a company can hire from.” Employees with no commute and more flexible hours are often more productive, too.

In addition, employers save money with a remote staff. Fewer in-office employees means: Fewer perks (e.g. snack closet, coffee machine, parking spots); smaller offices with less overhead; Fewer office supplies to buy.

2. Organising Virtual Team Building

With employees located in different cities, states and countries, you can’t rely on traditional team-building activities. HR professionals have to get creative, offering virtual team building ideas to managers to help teams bond.

Michael Alexis, CEO of Team Building, says that “as more teams work from home, some organisations will figure out how to make [virtual team building] a long-term plan.”

His company offers video-call-based activities where far-flung teammates can have fun together even though they’re not physically together. These include virtual versions of Office Olympics and a “campfire” complete with s’mores.

3. Automation of Tasks

“I have seen a huge uptick in the technology that people in HR use to become more efficient and effective over the last several years,” says Ralph Chapman, CEO of HR Search Pros. “I am confident we will continue to see the use of software to automate more and more HR tasks as 2020 continues.”

HR professionals have a lot to do and often not enough time or staff to complete it all. Reduce your workload by automating some tasks.

Another way to streamline your processes is using a case management system. HR case management software makes it easy to track, manage and resolve workplace incidents and misconduct quickly to improve operations, spot trends and manage risk. Learn how i-Sight can help you protect your company with effective, timely investigations and strong documentation.

4. Data-Driven Strategies

HR professionals have to make dozens of decisions every day, each one a choice that could potentially change the direction of the company. You have to accept or reject candidates, choose benefits plans and workplace perks, plan events and evaluate employees with no guidance except your instincts.

Use data-driven HR strategies to: choose candidates based on performance capability, skill set and potential to work for you long-term; Determine risk factors for leaving and eliminate them for better retention; Gather insight into how to better engage and motivate employees; Create training modules that adapt to employees’ learning style and pace; Find areas of risk in your organisation and implement training to address them.

5. Focus on Workplace Experience

Rather than focusing on employee engagement, Beaty says, HR professionals should work toward a better employee experience. This HR trend shifts “away from the paternalistic towards a more human-centred interaction, empowering employees and encouraging responsibility.”

To achieve better employee experience, Beaty suggests focusing on the following elements:

Purpose: Help employees find purpose and meaning in their work.

Autonomy: Consider giving employees more say over how, when and where they work.

Belonging: Find ways to include remote and freelance employees, as well as those of different generations, ethnicities, gender identities, etc.

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