A new year is the perfect time to evaluate and make adjustments to current Human Resources operations. For the new year, there are some interesting trends and challenges within the HR world to look out for. Keep these trends and potential challenges in mind as you set your HR strategy for the next year:
1) Balancing flexibility with work-life balance
One of the biggest challenges within HR in the new year will be learning to balance agile and flexible working options. Many HR departments will be looking for ways to provide their employees with a better work-life balance. Recent reports demonstrate that almost 61% of workers expect to have agile work opportunities within the next year or two.
Furthermore, research demonstrates that workers are becoming increasingly expectant of more flexible work options and other unconventional employee benefits. The challenge will initially lie in developing and evolving these options, but they are shown to increase overall employee retention, making it worth the investment.
2) Data compliance, security, and privacy
With the increasing amount of data being collected about company and employees, one of the biggest challenges for HR will be cultivating data privacy and compliance operations. This will ensure the safety and privacy of both employees and the company itself. These changes may extend to a variety of vital HR functions, such as privacy and access to online performance reviews, employee references, and payroll, just to name a few.
Recent data breaches have illustrated how vulnerable companies can be to data breaches, but designing policies that address these issues will be a combined effort by HR and other departments to really ensure it covers the full breadth and scope necessary.
3) Bridging the gap between paper-based and digital operations
Another challenge that HR departments will continue to struggle with is transitioning paper documents to digital or cloud-based systems. Though most departments have already started the process, maintaining that and continuing to innovate will be challenging.
For departments who have not started digitizing more of their operations, the initial implementation process will be slightly tough to navigate. Moreover, The earlier point about data security will tie into this as well. Balancing the digitalization of operations with protecting sensitive data will be a unique challenge for many HR departments.
4) Constantly learning about the company and the industry
The onslaught of digital means that there are constant streams of information from all ends. Keeping track of all this news, as well as industry news, will be another somewhat unique challenge for HR departments as digital continues to reign in 2018. From the industry standpoint, HR departments must ensure that they are aware of new trends and developments within the industry itself. It is also worth exploring what competitors are doing to differentiate themselves, how they are approaching payroll, benefits and compliance and what practices could be adopted from them.
From a company standpoint, though it might sound redundant, HR departments must take time out to develop and learn about company culture, and ways to celebrate and highlight what makes their workplace culture so unique compared to other companies. This will mean diving deeper into employee insights, using their feedback as well as industry trends to continually evolve and update existing HR policies and implement new ones.
Employees who feel valued, and feel like their contributions to the company's well-being are meaningfully considered will help boost morale and overall employee satisfaction. As companies ramp up their recruiting and benefits, this will become a crucial base upon which to upsell the company's profile and attract and retain the right talent.
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