Top 9 Trends Affecting HR Managers

December 19, 2016

Human resources is growing faster than ever before, often on the front line of new business models and innovative programs. HR managers are having a major impact on the performances of employees and organizations. They now have a seat at the table, as leaders in building and growing healthy businesses and innovators in developing new opportunities for employee education.

As the business world continues to grow and change, here are the newest trends affecting human resources:

  1. HR managers now assist business leaders in making smart choices

When executives find a new business model or employee program that would make their business more competitive, efficient or profitable, they are going to want to know how they can make it work for their company. That’s where HR management steps in. After all, they know what makes the company tick.

More than ever, executives are leaning on human resources to help them analyze and understand their workforce and the trends that are propelling business models worldwide.

  1. The workforce demographic is getting younger

Millennials, people born between 1981 and 1997, now rank as the largest percentage of the American workforce. They are more than 53 million strong and counting, not to mention they operate differently from previous generations.

According to the 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey, this generation looks for companies that hold their same personal values and have a “positive energy” in the workplace. Survey respondents said they are more likely to stay with a company for five years or more if they are provided opportunities for training and leadership roles.

  1. Employers have a new “social contract” with employees

Going hand in hand with the younger workforce is the emerging trend of employers becoming more engaged with employees. While previous generations have expected to stay with one company and climb the corporate ladder, the new workforce expects to have several employers during their careers and expects to have a relationship with each of them.

This means expectations of learning and growth opportunities, and a flexible work environment.

  1. Contingent employees are shaking up the workforce

Mingling among the full-time employees is a growing population of contingent workers – employees that work part-time or on contract. Often called the “gig economy,” companies are still figuring out how to fully integrate these workers into the team.

An overwhelming 71 percent of business and HR executives said the trend toward contingent workers is important, according to the Deloitte University Press report “Global Human Capital Trends 2016.” Yet only 11 percent have completed management processes to handle these employees.

  1. The rise of people analytics

Data-driven analytics have long been used to chart profits and losses, impact and reach. But now companies are using them to analyze current and prospective employees.

Human resource managers are culling information form social media networks, employment brand data, demographics and feedback surveys to predict workplace trends, attract and retain talent and shape a productive and engaged workforce.

  1. Organizations are all about the “network of teams”

Organizational design was the top 2016 priority in the Deloitte University press study, with a whopping 92 percent of executives saying it was key for their companies. With this focus on organization comes an emerging trend to group employees into teams that will focus on specific projects or challenges.

With these networks comes more of a need for HR to provide leadership training and performance management to help the teams operate smoothly.

  1. Companies are prioritizing diversity and inclusion

Diversity doesn’t just mean age, race, ethnicity or gender. It can also mean diversity of thought, perspective or socioeconomic background. Studies have shown that companies who value diversity reap the benefits, including innovation and higher performance levels.

Diversity allows companies to compete on a global scale, reaching new clients and uncovering talent. It also means a focus on inclusion in the workplace to create a culture where employees feel respected and part of the team.

  1. Digital technology is replacing traditional business models

We’ve been living in a digital world for years now – decades even, at some companies – but the pace at which digital operations are replacing their analog counterparts has disrupted traditional models and left leaders scrambling to keep up.

In 2016, two-thirds of executives have listed digital HR as a priority in the Deloitte University Press survey. Among the innovative digital offerings are internal and external mobile apps and cloud-based technology.

  1. The rate of change in business models has accelerated

For decades, standard business models remained relatively stagnant, even as the world around them changed. But gamechangers in the business model realm, including companies like Airbnb and Uber, have forced other corporations to remain agile and flexible to stay competitive.

This means HR managers also need to adapt frequently to changes in skill sets and technology.

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