The HR industry has experienced tremendous changes over the last couple of years. In fact, the growth of the gig economy, the rise of artificial intelligence, heightened advocacy for greater adversity, and the global pandemic have redefined how and where people work from.
Because of that, workers are wondering what the future of the HR industry is and what more is expected going forward. So then, the article will review the emerging HR trends that are expected to drive its transformation and shape the future of work.
The Latest Emerging Trends in Human Resource Management
Virtual work is a trend that the Covid-19 pandemic introduced and is here to stay. The new way to work increased its prominence in 2021 when companies shifted from an office setup to a flexible, worker-centric model.
The government-initiated lockdowns forced organizations to shift from full-time work from the office to work from home model to minimize the spread of coronavirus. As a result, the way employees work has drastically changed, and companies have come to love it.
Twitter is one example of such a company. In May 2020, the company announced that its employees would never return to the office unless they wanted to. That meant that the company made working remotely a permanent option except for the employees that must do things in the office in-person, such as maintain technology or offices.
Similarly, Microsoft announced that remote work would be a permanent part of its culture, especially because it gives its employees the flexibility to align their work choices with their lifestyles. Facebook, Slack, and Shopify have also welcomed the new reality that elevated working from home.
So then, remote work has increased acceptance by companies and their employees. The digital work environment is now a trend that will last post-Covid pandemic, and companies should embrace it.
Digital First Work
The shift from the traditional office model to the virtual work model has changed companies’ focus. The new trend has far-reaching implications because it’s expected to shape organizational values and culture.
Companies’ executives must build on their communication and collaboration tools, invest in technology and workers’ skills. Increasing investments in digital collaborative platforms will help sustain the new way to work.
Additionally, companies in countries that didn’t have strict Covid-19 restrictions developed hybrid approaches. That means workers can work from a physical office fewer days in a week or month. However, companies that embrace such a setup must facilitate collaboration and connections needed in the hybrid world. This will allow employees to meet for innovation and in-person collaboration periodically.
A digital HR must leverage cloud, analytics, mobile, and social-based technologies to make its function more efficiently. It should also consider functions such as talent practices, culture alignment, processes, and structures in order to strike a balance between efficiency and innovation opportunities.
The focus on mental health has begun getting the attention it deserves as more and more employees experience depression symptoms, work burnout, or feeling more emotionally drained from work more often.
In fact, employees in the UK and US reported more symptoms during the pandemic because of declined mental wellness. This happened as many organizations scrambled to react to a health crisis beyond their control.
As a result, some companies such as Verizon Media, Chevron, EY, and TIAA began supporting their employees’ mental health in different ways. They include giving them access to a licensed counselor, creating a recognition program and monthly challenges to promote mental health, and more.
So then, it’s expected that companies of different sizes will participate in the growth of the mental health arena by offering telemental health, providing mental health resources, and reducing the cost of mental health services so that more people can access them.
Companies prioritize customer experience because this affects their bottom line. Similarly, employees experience is crucial because it boosts productivity, leads to greater staff loyalty, improves satisfaction, and helps them invest in the company’s vision.
Employee experience has taken a new meaning and shape since the pandemic started. Companies are interested in the battles in their employees’ hearts and minds. This is vital, especially now that the in-person connections have switched to technology-based connections.
Previously, executives led and engaged with people well because they had worked and entered into meaningful dialogue with them. As a result, they knew how best they could respond to issues. Today things are different.
Companies can enhance employee experience by providing personalized information and solutions to their workforce despite automating everything. HR should focus on providing these critical HR practices in a sustainable and cost-effective way.
Additionally, companies can improve their employees’ experience by gathering feedback and acting on their input. In fact, employees want their employers to listen to their feedback and turn it into action.
As a result, employees working for companies with listening programs tend to be more engaged, are likely to stay longer, and are more resilient when they face change. So then, companies should link employee experience with investor confidence and customer experience.
Although HR is now relying on tools to gauge employees’ engagement and productivity, shifting to data can give them more direction. Data is vital because it can help HR identify new ways to enhance employee experience and practices.
Since data is critical, HR can use talent analytics to make data-rich decisions. Indeed people analytics is a permanent and integral part of how HR functions now and beyond.
HR recorded drastic, unparalleled changes in the last two years. Still, a new landscape is expected going forward due to emerging trends. Most of these changes are rooted in lessons learned from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Because of that, companies are expected to embrace digital workplaces and innovate. They should also leverage technologies to enhance their practices, create alignment and deliver value. In fact, a lot more life-altering changes are expected in 2022 and beyond.