Human Resource is a field that never truly stagnates. New ideas and trends are always influencing the ways in which companies hire, retain and empower staff. Therefore, if you are in HR or run a business and want to ensure that your HR department is up to scratch and keeping on par with everyone else, here is a quick guide to the latest influential trends.
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1 Childcare As A Benefit
Childcare is expensive, and parents often cannot hold down a job if they are unable to find care for their children while they are away. Only around 6 percent of American companies offer childcare as part of their benefits package. An increase in childcare provision is extremely likely as companies try and encourage a more diverse workforce.
2 Hybrid And Remote Working
The global coronavirus pandemic greatly accelerated the adoption of remote and hybrid working practices. Remote working has been made eminently more possible for formerly office-based workers due to the emergence of new technologies. Project management software, video conferencing services, and cloud computing technology all make working from home feasible.
Even during the tail end of the pandemic, as people have been allowed to go back to work, many have realized that remote working suited them better. In accordance with this increased interest in remote and hybrid working, many companies have opted to retain ways of letting workers do their jobs from home. Some companies have even accepted that this change is likely to be permanent. Some people love the social and structured environment of the office. Others have decided that they never really liked it anyway. Companies have been appealing to both groups by offering hybrid working solutions. Hybrid working is a ‘best of both worlds’ solution which allows employees to stay home if they wish or come into an office.
3 Inequality As A Feature Of Remote Working
The mass adoption of remote working is not as much of a gamechanger for people working blue collar jobs or those starting at entry level positions. Longstanding inequalities in the US labor market have been exposed and magnified by the shift towards remote working. Human resources departments need to figure out ways of safeguarding staff even if they have no choice but to operate in public while they are at work. The experience gained during the pandemic should be enough to prompt companies to draw up contingency plans for worldwide outbreaks – for all staff, not just office workers.
4 Wellbeing Services As A Benefit
Mental health services and wellbeing services are now being seen as essential Employee benefits. The wellbeing of staff is considered a top priority for companies working in fields where burnout has historically been an issue. More and more employees are quitting high pressure jobs – a trend that has been dubbed ‘the great resignation’. Companies can help to retain their valued staff by offering wellbeing and mental health services as part of their benefits package. Companies without the budget to offer staff members anything in the way of in-person counseling can make use of counseling apps. Although these apps are near enough useless for averting serious mental health crises they are helpful for the maintenance of staff wellbeing. There has been some criticism of mental wellbeing apps, which companies should take into account before offering subscriptions up to staff as if they were golden tickets to a happy life.
Offering adequate paid leave is also important for maintaining staff wellbeing. Staff need to feel comfortable whistleblowing about abuse. They also need to feel like their jobs are safe if they try and join a union. Companies that bust their employees for joining a union tend to lose skilled staff rapidly.
5 The Reshaping Of Corporate Learning
Corporate learning drives are becoming essential staff retainment tools. Staff – quite rightly – want to see a future in their work. Education drives enable them to develop skills and qualifications that can help them to rise up the ranks within an organization. Keeping promotions internal is always a sound strategy, and education drives help to make this process easier.
6 Big Data Analytics In HR
Human Resources departments are making more and more use of big datasets in their search for the ideal candidate. Using data analytics software, teams can identify candidates with the perfect qualifications and backgrounds to invite for an interview.
7 Automation And Software Solutions
Businesses have always been very keen to automate. Automation is the development and use of any process that can run with minimal human input. Throughout history, automation has been achieved using hardware. A good example of pre-digital automation is the impact that the spinning mule had on the English textile industry in the 18th Century. The spinning mule was an invention that automated the production of yarn. The cheap prices that could be offered by companies using spinning mules effectively killed the cottage spinning industry – which relied upon individuals painstakingly using spinning wheels. New factories were opened in which humans worked primarily in the maintenance and running of the machines instead of the production of textiles. A new working epoch was born, for better or worse.
In the modern age, automation is achieved using software in most white-collar businesses. Innovative software is able to automate some of the more mundane calculative tasks previously completed by human beings. Human Resources departments are not immune to the pull of software-based automation. Payroll, for instance, is now largely automated in many companies. Intelligent software can automatically calculate wages, deductions and bonuses.
- Data And Diversity
Corporations have a responsibility to foster an inclusive and diverse workforce. Data analysis is crucial in closing pay gaps and hiring a representative workforce. HR teams collect payroll and hiring data that includes demographic information in many cases. Companies can use this data to identify institutional prejudice that they have the power to counteract.
One inequality within large corporations that has been discussed to no end is the gender pay gap. Women in America tend to earn around 80 percent of what their male counterparts earn doing the same job. Closing this gap is key if companies want to retain their best female staff instead of losing them because they were not being paid fairly.