Human resources departments and professionals have a wide variety of responsibilities. With ever-changing work demographics and increasing reliance on technology, the HR industry must also be adaptable to these new developments as a matter of keeping staff happy and their businesses competitive.
There are a few trends that HR professionals and businesses should be aware of in 2018.
Efficient automation and increased productivity on the office floor
"More companies will be abandoning the traditional annual performance review model."
Many HR departments will be using tools, digital and managerial, to engage employees further and motivate them to work at their maximum potential.
For some HR professionals, this may mean finding higher quality automated systems to handle transactional processes like managing payroll, collecting resumes and keeping records.
According to Josh Bersin, analyst at Bersin by Deliotte, 45 percent of companies still pay close attention to those automatic functions. And while they are important, in today's work economy those systems should be able to generally manage themselves so that more time can be spent on actual employees.
To boost output, HR departments can introduce tech-based tactics like internal social networks to let teams better communicate and collaborate. Small Biz Daily noted tactics like flexible work schedules, exemplary performance rewards and attractive workspaces can all encourage employees to work that much harder because they will have more reasons to do so.
Frequent employee performance updates and coaching
More companies will be abandoning the traditional annual performance review model in the near future. Cliff Stevenson, senior research analyst for the Institute for Corporate Productivity, told the Washington Post nearly 10 percent of all Fortune 500 companies have relinquished the process, and that the number could double by next year.
New systems would rely on on-going employee reviews, delivering feedback and conducting coaching sessions, all more frequently and consistently.
"People want to know on an ongoing basis, am I doing right?" said Pierre Nanterme, chief executive at Accenture, to the Washington Post. "Am I moving in the right direction? Do you think I'm progressing?…Nobody's going to wait for an annual cycle to get that feedback."
Managers and employees are also increasingly using technology to monitor worker performance in real time. For companies (of all sizes) modernizing their feedback systems, the ratings system won't disappear altogether, but there will exist opportunities for technology-based data collection to eliminate potential managerial bias in assigning ratings.
Prioritizing employee concerns and well-being
The demand for services that generate more employee feedback is growing. Things like organizational network analysis tools, real-time survey systems and sentiment analysis software programs are some of the tools businesses aim to use in order to hear their staff's thoughts.
It is healthy for businesses to create environments where employees feel comfortable voicing their concerns, or simply open up about things like their career aspirations. Whether these happen in-person, digitally, using signatures or anonymously, providing opportunities for feedback is something companies should aim to do in the future.
Championing the well-being of staff is another important thing HR departments will need to do to see continued company success. Fast Company wrote that implementing technology into monitoring and promoting healthy behaviors, like lowering insurance premiums based on steps logged with a wearable device, will become increasingly popular as the wellness market expands.
Triton HR is a leader in benefits and HR solutions and can put your company on a path toward higher employee engagement and more efficient business processes.