Future Trends in HR
The role of human resource professionals has completely transformed post pandemic. What does the HR of the future look like and how can professionals be prepared?
The future of HR is expanding, employee wellbeing and benefits will still be a large focus but we will see new responsibilities emerge. HR professionals will be seen in a strategic business leadership role with an influential seat at the table regarding business operations and strategy. Strategic planning, business projections and long-term goals will be the new CHRO’s focus.
There will be an increase in technology to help manage and engage remote employees. The field will see more tools around helping to motivate remote employees and how to quantify their productivity and work time. HR will be tasked with producing more results-based performance metrics. Along with this technology HR professionals will be asked to create “Remote Work Best Practices” guides and trainings for managers and employees alike. Onboarding will have more challenges, content and be driven through interactive formats like Microsoft Teams or Slack.
HR professionals will have to rethink how policies relate to contract or “gig” workers as they become a more common part of the everyday workplace. HR will want to create an inclusive and diverse culture for this subset of workers. Portable Benefits may be a new course of study for professionals to consider and understand.
Cybersecurity will be one of the biggest challenges for future HR. Work from Home policies will have to address data confidentiality and employee privacy. Having a secure remote infrastructure in place has never been more important. HR and IT teams will work together to create the infrastructure and policies.
These changes in HR workings will have an impact on the future of work itself.
Human Resource Professionals are Taking Care of Employees – but Who is Taking Care of Them?
The “Great Resignation” has taken a toll across all industries; but those who carry most of the weight within those industries are the HR professionals struggling to retain and attract new talent to fill the gaps. These professionals find themselves fielding executive demands to fill empty seats; employee complaints about doubled workloads; at the exact time their workload has tripled with phone screenings, scheduling interviews, listing jobs, writing job descriptions, doing exit interviews…the list goes on and on.
HR professionals have played a huge role in helping organizations navigate the pandemic and the massive shifts in the workforce over the years; but who is helping HR professionals with their current new list of never-ending demands?
In 2020 many business leaders panicked and reacted to the government mandated restrictions and economic downturn by firing or furloughing employees. The burden of delivering this bad news fell on HR professionals. Then the change in workforce and the shift to employees teleworking, hybrid working or just basic concerns about their safety coming to work – this burden fell again on the ears and advisement of HR professionals. Fast forward to the Great Resignation and it’s no surprise that our HR professionals are feeling burnout at a higher rate than ever before.
HR professionals serve as therapists, cheerleaders, and model leaders to maintain morale. These tasks are in addition to their core mission of recruiting, hiring, onboarding, and retaining employees. They’ve made tough decisions around remote policies or enacting a hybrid or in-office model. No matter the choice, some people will be left unhappy. It’s a no-win situation for HR.
Gillian French, Workvivo’s expert-in-residence in employee experience, warns that without any significant changes, this situation will have a devastating impact on organizations. She believes it’s time HR and chief people officers have a reserved seat at the C-suite table. “One thing I’ve noticed during my working life is that people who have a background in HR rarely make an appearance on company boards. If they do, it is generally post a corporate indiscretion or incident,” French said.
What can we do to provide HR with the relief it needs to not feel burned out? Offering a seat at the table would be a great start. Providing interim support to allow for vacation time or general assistance within the office could be beneficial. Outsourcing recruiting could be another way to alleviate some of the strain. Hiring an HR consulting firm to assist with benefits implementation could be another option. Each organization has different needs, and our HR professionals may be handling a larger caseload than one individual should carry. It’s time for leadership teams to have a conversation with their HR professionals and check in on their well-being to find out what support would be most beneficial.