HR Trends to Watch Out for Next Year

For years, companies of all sizes have employed a department dedicated to managing the people who work there. Human resources is one of the most fundamental departments in a business, and in 2019, it’s getting a face-lift.

The way people work is changing, and with it, so is how people are managed. Here’s what you can expect for HR as we usher in the New Year.

HR will play a bigger role in business strategies

For years, HR has not been considered a strategic part of an organization. That perception has started to shift recently, and in 2019, the pendulum will continue to swing in that direction. Going forward, HR will continue to play a bigger part in a business’s overall strategy.

Those businesses that do not view HR as strategic believe so because the department is viewed as having an administrative role with no control or oversight of other departments. Pundits also say that HR employees are unable to participate in important conversations about organizational structure, so they do not have a voice in company decisions.

In 2019, perceptions will start to shift, giving HR a more significant role in business transformation initiatives because of its role in directly impacting culture and processes. The C-Suite will hold HR to the same standard as other departments. For example, HR will have its own set of KPIs to hit and be tasked with forward-thinking responsibilities that innovate on traditional practices.

Healthy employee engagement will become more of a priority

Gone are the days of employees clocking in and out, and then calling it a day. Today’s workforce is connected to technology which tethers them to the office. As daunting as that is, this technology empowers teams to stay engaged, regardless of place or time. For employers, that might seem like a blessing, but for employees, it could feel like a nightmare. As employee happiness and engagement becomes more of a priority, so will balance.

In 2019, employers will establish clearer rules of engagement and expectations for when and how employees should be in communication. New platforms will be adopted to empower teams to find balance away from work, while still keeping employers in the know about scheduling, benefits, and other HR needs.

The goal of introducing these new platforms and developing healthy engagement policies will be to achieve better balance in today’s world where nearly everyone has a smartphone glued to their palm. HR will be pivotal in crafting and introducing these new standards.

Automation will shift job descriptions

Artificial intelligence has been on the minds of employees for years. As it becomes increasingly prolific in our business and personal lives, HR will need to shift job descriptions to account for where there’s a human need and for when the jobs machines can take over.

Although this might sound futuristic, many employees and employers alike are excited for what’s ahead. HR used to be a department where many jobs were administrative and tedious in nature, preventing team members from playing a bigger role in strategic work. Now, with more time freed up thanks to automated processes, HR team members can shift their focus to becoming more strategic, empowering them to make a bigger impact on market trends.

Diversity will continue to play a major role

Amazon recently announced that the algorithm it was testing to help automate recruitment was scrapped because the machine was proving to be sexist and learned sexist practices. The importance of diversity has come to light in recent years, and now HR departments are seeing their flaws more clearly than ever before. Having these flaws exposed will cause employers to take a closer look at what they can do differently to push past implicit biases and move toward a more diverse workforce.

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