The past decade has seen a flood of change in the HR sector. The growth of artificial intelligence. The growing gig economy. The growing push towards more diversity.
Most recently the global pandemic has altered the lives of millions and changed the location and how work is accomplished. It begs the question of what’s to come for the future of HR?
This article will take a look ahead for a look at what HR trends are likely to remain the main driver of change and what new developments are emerging to define how work will evolve in the coming years.
2020 was a year of change in the world of business, as companies across the globe rushed to respond to the COVID-19 epidemic that was affecting companies of all sizes across all industries.
If we can learn anything from 2020 is that businesses that do not transform will be lost by those that are able to.
This is the case when it comes to implementing strategies for digital transformation that is able to last, but more importantly, it goes beyond technology to address people-centric problems.
Understanding the shifts in the industry is essential to keep up with the rapid changes occurring, especially given the current pandemic.
To help we’ve spoken with experts and leaders in the field to discover the most popular HR [HR Software India] trends of 2021 so that you can make informed choices regarding your business.
In light of the shift towards an increasingly virtual workplace and less connected to the office, a different trend we’re hoping to see is an emphasis on what’s referred to as ” digital-first work”.
This is a broad topic for companies as they try to decide what this new environment will do to define their culture and their values.
Based on KPMG, 77% of CEOs who were surveyed have plans to “build on their use of collaboration and communication tools” and 67 percent of them are more likely to spend money on technology as opposed to 33% of those investing in skills for workers.
Similar to that, the 2021 Deloitte Global Human Capacity Trends report concluded it was “introducing digital collaboration platforms” is the key element to sustain this new approach to work.
Research conducted by the renowned HR analyst and thought leader Josh Bersin has taken this idea to an additional level.
In his study “The big Reset Playbook He pointed out the need to balance a hybrid work setting as among the top priorities of returning to work.
Countries that aren’t subject to COVID-19 limitations have developed an approach that is hybrid, with employees working in the physical office, but not as often.
“The challenge now,” according to the report “is learning to facilitate connections and collaboration in this hybrid world in which many employees continue to work remotely but periodically meet with others for in-person collaboration and innovation.”
When we were asking David Millner, Founder and Consulting Partner at HR Curator for his opinion on the top strategies we can anticipate in the near future and he also stated that digital HR will play an important role.
His perspective, however, is that digital HR goes beyond supporting changes that lead to “transformation-based initiatives”.
According to Millner, the concept of design must be a major focus over the next few years.
How can this be achieved? Millner believes that HR design can aid strategy in three ways:
- “Shaping the future design of the new structure for the coming years.
- “Designing the future and re-designed jobs that the new techniques of work and the rise of automation will require.
- “Identifying the capabilities and demands that the future of work will impose on the workforce and their managers as well as its leadership in relation to their behavioral and technical requirements.
“This implies it’s possible that outdated methods that aren’t believed to be an element of the human resources toolkit (such as job design, organizational design, scenario planning, etc.) should be re-examined and HR professionals trained whenever necessary.” Millner continued.
“Organizational design and change management” was the second most important concern for HR leaders by 2021 according to Gartner’s research.
The main issues identified are managers who do not have the right tools to lead the process of change (37 percent) and fatigue of employees because of the volume of change taking place (36 percent).
The employee experience (EX) has been ranked as an initiative that was the third most significant essential initiative among HR executives in 2019, according to Gartner.
While Gartner’s latest report on the HR leader’s priorities for 2021 ranks the employee experience in the fifth position most important, it’s clear the trend is likely to remain crucial and pertinent going forward.
Concentrating on the experience employees enjoy with the company, as much as a brand is focused on customer experience canbe:
- Improve productivity
- Enhance satisfaction
- Increase employee loyalty
- Encourage the investment of the vision of the business
- Another emerging trend Ulrich believes will be seen is the impact of HR on business performance with an outside/in strategy. In the same piece Ulrich said that such a method will be what’s next “wave” in the evolution of HR’s contributions:
“The outside-in wave shifts towards value-creation when HR “customers are not only leaders, employees, or strategies within the company but also key stakeholders like customers and the investors (debt and equity) and other communities that are not part of the organization.
Value delivery in HR is recognized when HR analytics isn’t about dashboards, scorecards, and data, but rather about the impact HR’s activities have on the key people.”
This HR contribution covers three main areas: talent, organization, and leadership. Although Ulrich said that these areas don’t have a new look, he added: “They are even more critical in responding to current challenges and discovering future opportunities.”
Here are a few of the most important points to remember:
- talent: “[Traditional] talent-related efforts can evolve to be viewed outside-in to respond to changing times by ensuring that the right competencies are those that deliver customer and investor value, and by linking employee experience to customer experience.”
- Organization: “Our study (The RBL Group and the University of Michigan) discovered that capabilities within an organization can have a four-fold greater impact on business performance more than the capabilities of individual employees. For instance, teams comprised of people who can work as a group will perform better than individuals who aren’t able to work together.”
- Management: “Employees often mimic the actions of their bosses, and organizational capabilities are often a reflection of their personalities. In addition that leadership at all levels of an organization reveals decisions and attitudes that draw the attention of others. In this uncertain time, it is more crucial than ever to ensure the right leadership is in place to generate value for customers and investors.”
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The move to digital will grow even more marked as organizations seek to change in the face of new difficulties, leveraging data to improve practices, give value and build alignment. HR will also help encourage success through direction and by taking an outside/in advance.