The HR world is undergoing major transformation. It used to be that HR’s tasks were simply to make sure everyone got their paychecks and benefits, process performance reviews, and handle conflicts too complex for managers to deal with themselves. Technological advances and a more employee-oriented philosophical approach means HR departments are becoming less one-dimensional as they morph into active, key strategic organizational outposts. Adapting and paying attention to these new HR trends will be critical to a company’s long-term success. Such developments are much more than fads – they form a structural framework for HR’s future.
The following are the key HR disruptors to pay attention to:
- Your HR platform should be optimized for use on a mobile phone. Mobile HR apps are increasingly becoming a central component of the emerging HR platform because most individuals spend the majority of time on their mobile phone rather than a laptop. Currently, there are 5.2 billion mobile devices and 1.6 billion smartphones, as opposed to 789 million laptops and 743 million desktop PCs, according to Kleiner Perkins research,
- It is almost impossible these days to find a place that isn’t overwhelmed with digital technology and HR departments are no exception. HR operations are integrating real-time communications systems with functions such as mobile clock-in apps and space-utilization software. As HR departments are geared to collect all types of day-to-day data concerning the goings-on of the office, HR software provides immediate information on a myriad of company situations 24/7.
- Traditional HRMS systems are being replaced. According to Deloitte’s HR Technology for 2016:10 Big Disruptions on the Horizon, more than 40% of all companies are replacing, or plan to replace, their core HRMS systems. The new HRMS systems being implemented are largely cloud based.
- People analytics is a key focus for HR. Departments are starting to engage with employees on a more regular basis, rather than solely through customary annual performance and engagement surveys. Companies used to wait to conduct all of their data analysis in one massive end-of-year assessment. Because analytics information is always accessible, companies can immediately figure out how to increase their retention rates and help employees reach their goals sooner.
- There’s greater emphasis on employee wellness, welfare and productivity systems. According to Josh Bersin, founder of Bersin by Deloitte, a staggering number of employees are overwhelmed and suffering emotionally and physically. In fact, 40 percent of men work more than 50 hours per week and 80 percent of men in that category want to work less. In order to combat employee fatigue and general malaise, HR initiatives are being set up to promote greater employee emotional and physical wellness.
- The cloud takeover. Cloud systems are being used to manage everything from payroll and recruitment, to employee engagement and culture. Because the cloud is so accessible, reliable and easy to navigate, it is proving effective as a tool for management to engage with their employees. Another use for the cloud is as an online common space for employees to connect with each other, through mediums such as in-house social media networks.
- Emergence of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. ERP software basically organizes and streamlines all processes that are key to running a business. ERP software integrates anything from inventory management to customer relationship management into one complete system.
- Demographic upheavals. Millennials comprise more that half of the workforce. However, baby boomers also remain in part of the workforce. Research shows most millennials and baby boomers are diametrically opposed in their attitudes and beliefs about how the workplace should operate. Balancing the demands of digitally-intuitive millennials with professionally-seasoned baby boomers is an obstacle facing most HR departments.
- HR professionals are becoming strategic thinkers. The HR department is transitioning into a hub where HR professionals can gather and process vast amounts of data at their disposal. While gathering data on employee numbers, attitudes and work-patterns is crucial, being able to adequately analyze and process this information is just as important. Without developing a coherent HR strategy from the data gathered, the data is useless.
- Maintaining employee culture as a top priority. According to Greg Besner from Entrepreneur magazine, “Company culture is more important than ever. It’s not that company culture was ever unimportant, but it’s quickly proving to be a “must-have” rather than a “nice-to-have.” Millennials have turned company culture into a top-priority focus for all businesses, especially with the advent of social media companies such as Facebook, Google, SnapChat and Twitter. These companies are well known for their inspiring modern-decor, effective space utilization and employee perks such as fitness plans, free snacks and meals. Companies such as these have set a company culture standard for other companies to follow and maintain.
- The title itself. Human Relations is being replaced with the term Human Capital Management (HCM). HCM is defined as a set of practices related to people resource management, specifically in the categories of workforce acquisition, management and optimization. In addition to the traditional administrative tasks, HCM includes workforce planning and strategy, recruitment/onboarding, employee training, and reporting and analytics. HCM is accepted as being a multifaceted, data-driven approach to management and is the way cutting-edge HR departments are heading.
While some HR trends can be ignored, these emerging platforms cannot. Rapid technological development and the new millennial workforce has forced the HR world to adapt to a new perspective on the definition of HR and its role within an organization. The ideal model for modern HR is being constantly reshaped but reconciling your company’s current HR to these new approaches is the first step. With “people” being central to the new HR model, forward-planning and reinvention means companies stand a much better chance of longevity.