Top 5 HR Trends and How HR Services Can Be of Value
We have experienced significant changes since the global pandemic hit us and we have needed to adjust to the changing times. It would be fair to say that we weren’t prepared for the disruption to the way we work and live. The changes we had to implement were out of necessity and were required quickly to continue to operate. This article will highlight the top 5 most prevalent HR trends and how a HR services consultant can be of value to your workforce and organization. It is worth acknowledging that some of these trends aren’t new, however, they have been exponentially accelerated by the pandemic.
Here are our Top 5 HR trends –
Working from home
Working from home has been one of the biggest changes for most organisations since the pandemic. While most organisations already utilised remote work, it would be safe to say that most weren’t ready for the sudden shift to complete remote work for their entire workforce. Working from home is now the new normal and many organisations still lack relevant policies and procedures for it. The reality is that working from home is here to stay and organisations need to ensure they are well equipped to continue facilitating remote work for a large proportion of their workforce. It is likely that some organisations will opt for a blend of onsite work and remote work, nonetheless the challenges that arise include engagement, mental health, culture, collaboration and technological infrastructure. All these challenges can be overcome with the appropriate approach and solutions, however, relevant HR expertise either internally or externally will be required to do so.
The rapid scaling of remote work hasn’t been without its challenges for organisations, however, it has enabled business continuity in testing times and provided access to cross-border talent on a much larger scale than ever before. Additionally, work-life flexibility has drastically improved in most cases; however, managers need to monitor that team members are discerning between the two and that hours of work aren’t drastically out of the ordinary. Most importantly, organisations now require a Working from Home (WFH) policy, a WFH self-assessment checklist, ergonomic guidelines, and an injury/incident reporting procedure. These will help clarify and set expectations for all parties. Performance management also needs to evolve, and agile methodologies applied to goal setting, continuous feedback, and team members’ development to foster high productivity. If you require help with any of the above, contact a reputable HR services consultant provider for assistance.
Employee wellbeing and mental health
By no means a newcomer, employee wellbeing and mental health have taken centre stage since the pandemic. Both physical and mental health are important components that HR needs to monitor and should play a significant role in improving. Employee wellness programs are being reshaped and improved to cater to the challenges that the workforce of today faces. This has led to a rise in creative solutions being formulated such as training and appointing mental health advocates, establishing peer support groups, expert-led webinars, mental health wellness campaigns and support apps with access to mental health experts as examples. Some of the favourites of the past such as employee assistance programs (EAPs) have been reinvigorated with increased budgets, mental health days becoming more common and mental health month being leveraged to deploy a series of events/activities. Utilising a combination of these initiatives and tailoring it for your workforce is the preferred approach.
In current times, working from home has blurred the boundaries between work and personal life, therefore, leaders have an important role to play in ensuring that their team members truly disconnect from work and enjoy a healthy work-life balance. Leaders are crucial in eroding the stigma surrounding mental health and promoting initiatives that can be of benefit to their team members’ wellbeing. By leaders setting good examples for team members, it should help convey the message that wellbeing and mental initiatives are for everyone to utilize.
During the height of the pandemic, all onboarding needed to be undertaken remotely and virtually. This very important process of inducting a new team member on the history of an organisation, giving them an overview of systems and processes, and integrating them in the organisation’s culture, now had to be done remotely. This should come as no surprise, but this process plays a crucial role in whether you can convert a hire into a successful team member, or it can drastically increase their chance of failure.
Fortunately, technology has made it easier for organisations to handhold new team members through remote onboarding. Planning is key when conducting onboarding of any type, so ensure in advance that the new team member has access to all the tools and systems, they will require along with any relevant user guides or manuals. Organising virtual introductions with key people within the organisation would also help and provide an organisational chart if available. Furthermore, centralise all onboarding information in an easy-to-access location for new team members, and a tried and proven method of onboarding team members is the buddy system, therefore replicate this virtually. Take the time to assign a knowledgeable and experienced team member as a virtual buddy to the new hire. Combining these tips should help induct your new hire remotely and should set them up for success. If unsure of how effective your current onboarding process is, consult with a HR services consultant.
Evolution of HR systems
Since the pandemic, organisations have had to invest in HR systems in order for team members to be able to have remote access whilst complying with confidentiality and privacy of data. After all, HR systems provide the functionalities required for effective recruitment, onboarding, learning & development, performance management and reporting. HR systems are predominantly used to support people operations and can assist with a multitude of tasks ranging from record-keeping, compliance and self-service for team members. Increased functionality such as payroll integration can be implemented depending on the HR system in use. The need for HR systems has drastically increased since the pandemic, as the functionalities they can deliver on are required to successfully manage people. As stated above, HR systems enhance the ability of an organisation to deliver effective recruitment, onboarding, learning & development, performance management and reporting.
Remote learning and development
Amongst the various challenges that organisations had to overcome since the start of the pandemic, learning and development (L&D) has not necessarily been front of mind. However, in these changing times, most organisations have had to rethink their learning and development (L&D) strategy and shift to remote delivery of L&D in order to retrain, upskill and develop their workforce. Halting L&D during the pandemic hasn’t proven to be a viable option for any business, as team members need to continuously enhance their skills, knowledge and competency in order to perform at their best and outdo the competition in the marketplace. This emerging need has accentuated the necessity for L&D to operate at a faster pace and provide flexible options for workforces to learn in quick bursts of knowledge.
Learning and development is no longer confined or defined by attending a 2-day seminar, instead, it can now occur more flexibly at anytime and anywhere. Nowadays, team members can access a multitude of on-demand learning and development through online learning platforms. It could be easy to lose sight of what’s important in times of a global pandemic, however maintaining the L&D priorities of the organisation should take precedent over whether the L&D is delivered face-to-face over via videoconferencing. Furthermore, new ways of learning are emerging including webcast, podcast and instructor-led virtual sessions which all aim to provide high-quality content in the easiest possible consumable way for team members to retrain, upskill and develop. There are numerous tools, online learning platforms and ways of learning that can assist organisations and their workforce succeed at achieving their L&D goals and in turn business objectives.