As we sail past the halfway mark of 2018, it is becoming clear that certain market trends that emerged in the recent past, hold sway – some more than others. With technology galloping along at breakneck speed and market conditions being what they are, certain HR trends seem to change. For instance, we have been speaking about the emergence and consolidation of the gig economy in the market recently. Today we examine some of the top HR trends of 2018 that are currently changing and re-shaping the organisations.
1.Flexi Work Timings / Arrangements
With the internet widening and linking remote locations of the world like never before, time and space constraints are slowly becoming extraneous. Those looking to work from home, work flexi-hours, telecommute or work part time have more options than ever”. New mothers or employees looking to rejoin the workforce after sabbatical can now renegotiate terms with employers to create personalized work timings according to their job descriptions. Flexi hours can reduce the duration of commute, increase productivity and job satisfaction and enables one to work around at the time of emergencies such as floods, transport strikes and traffic congestion.
Online training will help to cut costs and make on job training less resource intensive. Employees will be able to use tangible devices to access information, attend seminars and even take tests. One CPID report shows that online learning can reduce training time by 27% and costs by up to 18%. This also results in a productivity uptick by 14%. This has a positive impact on an organization in terms of return on investment. Learning and development departments can enjoy greater flexibility and utilize budgetary allocations for better purpose.
3.HR Automation, AI
Automation, putting Artificial Intelligence to work – these are not just buzz words any more. These are concepts that have been put to work and have profound implications for the work space. The emergence of workplace requirements such as the use of chat-bots & AI has made it necessary to hire new employees, create gig-based contracts with freelancers, or conduct in-house training for existing employees. In fact, some experts believe that the market disruption may be as big as the shift from agrarian to industrialized societies in the early part of the last century in the West. While this could cause some amount of short-term displacement of labor, in the long term it opens up many more diverse and multifarious job opportunities which essentially reabsorbs the job losses elsewhere.
This brings us to the next HR trend that we see persisting in 2018 and beyond: “up-skilling and re-skilling employees as well as freelancers”. Learning new skills, equipping oneself (or employees) with the ability to keep up in a changing market scenario will become even more vital in times to come. Companies looking to diversify or to keep pace with technological advancements have no choice but to look for competent, clued-in manpower to fill in the skill gap related to digitization, AI and/or automation needs of a company. In the event, employees and freelancers benefit from learning new skills, refining existing ones and diversifying their skill set to cope with newer challenges.
In times to come, business environments and their solutions will become more human-centric than before. Globally, we have seen trends that have created safer, more diverse and inclusive work environments; that have given greater emphasis to matters of harassment in the workplace and other issues as well. Leaders will be seen prioritizing safety and cooperation in a workplace.
Those who don’t learn from their mistakes are doomed to repeat them, goes the old adage. This is particularly true in the field of HR. It is important to identify organizational lacunae, address and resolve them in ways that are both effective and rational.