We know that the workforce of the future will be different. We’re already experiencing dramatic changes in the composition of workers. Baby boomers are retiring in record numbers, and beyond millennials, we’re seeing generation z enter the workforce. As we move towards the majority of workers being digital natives, these tech savvy employees have different expectations about working. Below we’ll look at three top HR trends for 2020 and beyond.
Whether you embrace or fight the idea of employing remote workers, the shift toward remote working is gaining more and more momentum. In fact, some companies in the technology space are fully remote by design. By using cloud resources, they can eliminate the overhead cost of facilities yet provide full access to systems regardless of employee location.
Remote working has also become a perk that many job seekers request. Be it full-time remote, or a couple of days a week, the perk has benefits for both the employee and the company. For example, employees that aren’t tied to specific hours can work when they are most productive, regardless of the time of day. And companies in rural areas have a better chance of attracting more top-notch talent since the employees don’t have to relocate.
Technology has made it easy to manage distributed workforces. With tools like Slack, Trello, Google Hangouts, etc… it’s as easy to connect with someone halfway around the world as it is someone down the hall. This also applies to HR. You can now access larger candidate pools as well as SaaS solutions that make it easier to manage the process.
According to Harvard Business Review (HBR), the key to happy customers is happy employees. Per the article, “Becoming a customer-centric business is a worthwhile goal. But our research reminds business leaders that becoming more customer-oriented while allowing workplace morale to suffer is a poor and short-sighted strategy. Instead, customer and employee satisfaction should be seen as two sides of the same coin.”
If you haven’t already, setting up programs that provide honest, two-way lines of communication is imperative to improving the employee experience. Providing a voice to employees invests them in the company. When people are heard and acknowledged, you can reduce turnover rates, increase productivity, and improve financial results.
Another area that can improve employee satisfaction is wellness. We are just now realizing the impact on the entire company that wellness can have. From sick days to retention rates, wellness encompasses both physical and mental wellbeing. Encouraging physical wellness can be achieved through programs such as gym memberships or reimbursement, providing healthy snacks, and related initiatives.
Encouraging mental wellness is a newer issue for HR teams, even though burnout and anxiety are not new issues in the workplace. These often undiscussed issues are the first things that will undermine your corporate culture. A great first step is simply acknowledging that mental health is important to the company. By bringing the issue into the open, you destigmatize it. In addition to encouraging people to use their EAP benefits, make sure you set up an open door policy, encourage work-life balance, and be flexible when discussing mental wellbeing issues with employees.
Technology has forever changed how we work. This has opened up an entirely new world of opportunities for people. Jobs that could be automated, have been creating new, more fulfilling jobs. However, these roles require new skills. And many of these new roles have job shortages because there simply aren’t enough people with the requisite skills.
The area of retraining is, for the most part, new to HR. Never before have we seen this kind of workplace transformation happen this quickly. Ongoing learning has been a requirement in certain fields, but in today’s landscape, it’s becoming a given, for every industry. And HR must lead the charge in identifying skill sets in employees who are interested in learning a new role.
According to Heide Abelli, Senior Vice President, Content Product Management at Skillsoft, “The growing sense of urgency to address gaps in the readiness of the workforce to execute on the digital agenda. With the introduction of new roles, the elimination of outdated roles, the increased scope of responsibility in key roles and the removal of management layers, the challenge around talent readiness is enormous.”
In assessing both the hard and soft skills of employees, HR can set up individual learning programs using online and or classroom learning. Programs like LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda.com), or Bootcamps like AppAcademy can provide intensive training programs in a short amount of time. We expect to see continued evolution and growth of retraining programs in 2020.
If you have questions on how these and other HR trends are affecting your business, send us a note. Our team of executive recruiters can help you build out your leadership team, address culture needs, and provide guidance on training programs.