What Changes can you expect in HR in 2017?

725 288 Kanhai Chhugani

HR has come a long way in becoming a strategic player that adds a lot of value to the business. Functional work has been almost eliminated to avoid complexities. Manual tasks have been replaced by automated processes, reducing errors and time. All in all, 2016 has definitely been excellent for HR practices. However, 2017 is going to be even more exciting.

While we saw organizations give more importance to organizational efficiency, workplace wellness and employee well-being, all this is only going to accelerate in the coming years. Efforts will be made towards improving employee engagement, bringing in more flexibility, boosting career growth and planning.

HR has always been slow in adopting technology to find, screen and recruit new talent. This trend has already started to change and 2017 is going to see an improved adoption of the latest technology.

Here is a list of trends that are likely to surface in the field of HR this year:

Focus on Improving Employee Experiences

Enhancing customer experiences have always been the focal point of all businesses till now. Nevertheless, employers have to now work hard towards keeping their employees happy. This is the only way to fill up the skill gaps that is one of the main challenges being faced by HR today.

Better compensation, more benefits, job security and respectful treatment were the contributors for job satisfaction in 2016. HR trends in 2017 will see more of job perks, paid parental leave, career tracking and more to make sure the skilled employees don’t leave.

Employee Engagement as part of the Organizational Strategy

It is very important to track employee engagement metrics if you want to find out whether your efforts in enhancing employee experience are working or not. This will also help you become aware of better ways to improve employee retention, increase employee productivity and boost employee performance.

It is high time organizations included employee engagement in their overall strategy and align the same with their goals.

The Families get Focus

Families are an integral part of the lives of the employees. There are times when they may have to give first priority to their families and the organizations will have to support them at such times if they want them to stay.

HR departments should think of offering paid parental leave (both to mothers as well as fathers). Paid Family leave benefits are also coming up as a part of employee demands as this trend continues to surge.

Biggies such as Microsoft, Facebook, Netflix and Amazon have already expanded their paid parental leave and now it is time for the other organizations to jump on to this band wagon.

Wellness takes a technological approach

With the use of smart devices and applications increasing, many organizations have started taking a technological approach to promote their employee wellness programs. This involves offering wearable devices that will promote 24/7 employee engagement regarding their health and wellness issues, through a well-configured mobile app. Such an approach will remind employees to take their medications, go on their regular walks or attend a follow-up check up with their doctor.

Aetna, an American health care company, recently provided 50,000 Apple Watches to its employees to make sure they adopt a healthy lifestyle. It is this integration of technology and wellness that is going to rock the year of 2017.

More Flexibility for Better Work/Life Balance

Although not a new trend, this has been growing year after year. The Year 2017 is for sure not going to see a slow-down in this. It includes but is not limited to workplace flexibility, work from home options and unlimited paid leave.

Companies have started moving away from their rigid 9-to-5 mentalities and stepping into a result-driven work mindset. ‘Flexible working conditions for improved work/life integration’ is what companies should look at, in order to retain their employees.

Consistence Performance Management

The annual performance review is no longer a workable solution to improve productivity at workplaces. It should be more of a continuous process where in the employer and employee work together to come up with a plan to track and review the employee’s ability to achieve the set goals within a certain period of time.

The contributions made by the employees, towards the success of the organization, need to be recognized immediately. The weakness areas should be analyzed and worked upon before it is too late.

That’s not all…. there is definitely more to it.

Data analytics for sure is going to play a major role in HR in the year 2017. This is going to help HR in taking decisions more easily and efficiently.

Organizations will be using better marketing methods such as SEO and SEM to reach out to potential candidates. They will be focusing on publishing job-related content to the right candidates at the right time and on the right platform.

Mobile apps will soon be replacing web-based cloud management. This will enable employees to clock-in, check benefits and manage time through their mobile devices.

There is going to be a bigger role for artificial intelligence to play its role in HR. This change in technology will help HR face its challenges related to leadership as well as talent management in an easier and quicker way.

With more and more competition coming up, unethical practices will be done away with. The responsibility will be on HR to talk to employees about maintaining an ethical culture at the workplace.

E-Learning programs will help out HR in saving a lot of time on conducting training seminars and workshops on a regular basis.

While keeping up with the latest in technologies, HR staff will also have to be on the lookout for changes in legislation so that they can bring in the right policies that will work well for their workforce.

In short HR is going to undergo a huge transformation in the year 2017. Their roles are going to change from functional to strategic. The focus will be more on adding value to the business rather than supporting the business with the necessary resources. Employee retention is going to be in the limelight for some more time to come.

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