The “New Wave’ HR is Riding On
2020 marked a huge turning point in history as COVID19 altered the way we work. Everyone has been struggling ever since because of societal upheaval and economic crisis. Technology continues to play a key role in navigating through the challenging job market brought about by the pandemic.
An analysis of the future trends indicates that HR needs to rethink some of its strategies in the coming years to cope with the changes that the pandemic has brought in. There is a spike in unemployment rates, yet HR will play a vital role in promoting employee engagement and supporting business growth for companies that have survived. HR will have a challenging time in riding through this transformation brought about in the last two years.
Preceding trends indicate an exciting future as well as formidable challenges for HR in the coming years. Let’s look at some of the trends that will continue to help HR maintain the efficiency and productivity of its core functions.
Trends HR Should Focus On In the Coming Years
- Wellness Programs for Employee Health
Post-COVID, employees need major support towards their wellbeing to wade through this difficult time. HR needs to work towards focusing on employee wellness programs. They have to talk more about mental health, collect resources to conduct surveys, conduct workshops and develop programs to ensure that employees are healthy and safe. An employee time tracking software like Flowtrack can be used to assess the number of work hours an employee is putting in. If it is more, the employees can reduce it to reduce burnout and promote wellness.
2. Blockchain for Security
When employees work remotely and use cloud-based software, self-service platforms, and GDPR, a data security breach is imminent. HR can use blockchain technology to build and safeguard employee records, verify their identity and employment history, and automate processes like payroll. Blockchain has shown promising results in providing long-term security for sensitive employee information and has tools to eliminate the need for manual approval of transactions for contracts.
3. Artificial Intelligence to Ease Processes
During the pandemic, AI came as a saviour to automate repetitive tasks. This trend will continue in the coming years so that HR gets more time to focus on other things that call for their attention. Companies will continue to use advanced AI technology to source candidates accurately, process their resumes, and onboard them easily.
4. Chatbots To Automate Tasks
Chatbots came in handy during the pandemic as employees moved to work remotely. Research conducted by Deloitte shows that about 25% of high-impact HR organizations already use chatbots. These clever assistants automate tasks and can answer questions on company policies. They also provide relevant information for employees onboarding and training. They can even perform high-volume tasks in self-service portals. With chatbots, HR now has time to focus on important tasks that cannot be automated.
5. Compensation Packages for Employee Retention
The pandemic has altered the way employees now view benefits. They are no longer interested in freebies and snacks. The focus has now shifted to healthcare, paid time off, parental leave, and support for mental health issues. Companies have realized this need and are offering benefits that support critical life events. This helps them in employee retention and gives them an edge in the hiring process.
6. Policies to Attract and Retain Millennials and Generation Z
Millennials today comprise the bulk of the workforce. Soon Generation Z will become part of the workforce. Both have varied working styles and goals. They are much different than the baby boomers and Gen X that came before them. In such a situation, it is the responsibility of HR to understand their varying needs and find ways to attract and retain both. For instance, young job seekers use their mobile phones for everything, including looking for jobs. Therefore, HR, in such cases, can make recruitment ads mobile-friendly to attract talent.
7. Internal Mobility and Reskilling for Employee Engagement
With unemployment looming large and a shrinking talent market, HR needs to find ways to retain existing employees and source new ones. This can be done by looking inward rather than outside. Companies can use an HR platform like HRAPP to find out the work patterns of an employee and assess their suitability for a particular role. Besides, companies can map the skills of in-house employees and reskill them for other roles, including leadership roles. Internal mobility performs a dual role of keeping employees engaged and helping HR find suitable talent.
8. Remote Working for Employee Benefit
With the onset of the pandemic, among other things, working from home has become the ‘new normal.’ This has its benefits for both the employees and the company. While employees can work from anywhere with flexible work hours, employers can recruit from a wider talent pool, irrespective of location. This working pattern will continue for some time now, though some companies may opt for a mix of office and remote work. Companies have to alter strategies to promote collaboration, communication, and work-life balance among their employees.
The Road Ahead
The above trends that started with the change brought about by the pandemic are here to stay. HR professionals need to update themselves and their company policies to prepare their workforce to wade comfortably in the years to come.
Though the last two years have been quite challenging for HR, trends in 2021 show that the focus will be on employee safety and wellbeing. Technology will continue to play a crucial role and it has to be effectively leveraged to provide the best possible experience for the employees in the future. Predictions indicate that these trends will evolve, aiding HR to meet existing and future business requirements.