In the past, many businesses and organisations viewed human resources primarily as “paper pushers”. For example, HR signed off on hiring and firing, fielded complaints and kept everyone’s records and personnel files in good order. Today, nothing could be farther from the truth. HR executives have a really crucial and rather tough job to do. Professional HR teams need to find and recruit new talent, train and develop workers, engage employees, resolve conflict, keep the company out of court, and keep an eye on productivity. Today, shifting trends in technology and the workforce, in particular, have added new challenges to the HR field. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of top 10 things that every HR executive should know in order to stay ahead of the curve in the modern work environment.
1. Evolving Performance Reviews
The past decade has certainly seen the rise of agile working environments and with this, the increasing conversation around eliminating the annual review. More businesses are moving towards a continual review process where managers and HR touch base with staff on a regular basis to discuss performance goals. This is also proving more effective with the rising millennial workforce, with almost 85% wanting more frequent feedback on their performance (TriNet Survey, 2015).
2. Facilitating Remote Resources
Yet another common trend in the digital age is the ever-desirable perk of flexible schedules, as well as work-from-home or work-while-traveling opportunities. This is not only due to workers striving for a better work life balance, but many businesses are actually experiencing increases in productivity when removing strict schedules and office-based workflow. Technology in the workplace has certainly made this more possible and making room for remote employees can even expand your search for top talent in other countries.
3. Acknowledging The Gig Economy
Along with the rise in remote working opportunities, the growth of freelance and contracted employees is also prevalent. This has been a part of a trend that many are now referring to as the “gig economy”. The challenge for HR becomes the management of this blended workforce and the acquisition of temporary resources that complement the enterprise’s permanent personnel.
4. The Adoption of Self-Service Tools
The question is not if but how and when to adopt tools that integrate case management, document management, employee communications, and even help-desk interactions. This is because shifting towards more data-driven, intelligent digital organisations and more analytical employees is key to modern business success. Self-service and employee experience platforms are simplifying day-to-day HR tasks, meaning that HR roles are more focused on strategy and business development.
5. Prioritising the Onboarding Process
One of the most crucial parts of talent retention is the experience a new employee has on their very first day. By ensuring that the onboarding process is enjoyable and informative, you’re setting both the company and the new talent up for a match made in heaven. In fact, 93% of employers agreed that a good onboarding experience is critical to influencing a new hire’s decision to stay long-term (The Harris Poll, 2016).
6. Managing Managers Effectively
The simple fact is that not every manager is wonderful. However, it gets even more complicated than that. This is because not every wonderful manager is necessarily great for every employee either. This means that finding strategies to empower and support many different types of managers and employee personalities is a continuing and ever-challenging space in the Human Resource department. Team leadership and executive coaching is also on the rise as businesses continue to invest in the development of their leaders.
7. Encouraging Employee Engagement
According to the research performed by Gallup, the enterprise’s financial success in terms of profitability, productivity and customer engagement, has been strongly connected to employee engagement. It’s vital that HR professionals find ways to use incentives and even technology in a way that excites and engages a growing millennial workforce.
8. Navigating Mergers & Acquisitions
In today’s world, companies are bought and sold at a rapid rate. It’s not surprising that the HR department plays a pivotal role in the process of a merger or acquisition between two companies. Having a strategy in place should this ever be required is the first step to being able to ensure the best outcome for the merger and for the existing workforce.
9. Planning for a Mobile World
You may be wondering what mobile apps and mobile integration have to do with HR? However, attracting and retaining talent from Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z is becoming an increasingly mobile affair. It’s important that HR professionals ensure that companies are offering hiring and corporate information in a mobile-friendly manner across all devices.
10. Analysing Big Data
While HR management tech has certainly seen significant growth over the past decade, the analytics aspect has been lacking. Today, managing and recognising competitive situations that are related to business lifecycles can impact several HR touchpoints. For example, data-driven insights into workforce trends can help to refine recruitment, performance incentives, and compensation to meet the evolving interests and goals of the employees and employers.
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