Like so many industries, 2020 has redefined the role and status of Human Resources forcing those of us in the industry to step up and deal with accelerated change. So as we approach the second half of the year, here are some of the trends we can expect to see and stay.
HR culture heroes: as companies learn to put people before profit, the HR role must evolve from managing people and processes to driving new organisational culture – one that promotes wellness and productivity and accounts for the flux and uncertainty of our world. Those businesses who fail to see the need to address evolving culture and values as we start to make headway in our re-imagined and post-pandemic world, will risk losing their best talent, alienate critical stakeholders and put their brand purpose in question.
What if fortune favours flexibility? The adoption of remote working was accelerated ten fold at the start of the year with the outbreak of the pandemic. And for the most part we have survived it. Some companies may be waiting out the storm before relocating their work-force back to HQ or look to offer a hybrid office/home working model. Going back to work may need to be optional at first which is an approach that some companies are adopting. But now that the remote cat is out of the bag – we can expect that some employees may not be willing to part with their new found flexibility – and if that is the general consensus what then. Additionally in cases where there has been no impact on productivity, will we see the opposite as people return to more structured work environments?
Renewed focus on employee health and wellness: core to this evolution of company culture will be a focus on staff wellness. With the extreme spike in stress and anxiety being felt globally around issues such as health, job security and finances – employees will need more support than ever before from their employers. While salary and career growth will remain key factors when looking for a new job or career opportunity, company health policies and plans will become more important than just the bottom line. Businesses will no longer be able to pay lip service around employee wellness – people want to see packages that account for their wellness and that of their families.
Remote staffing: from interviewing and recruiting to hiring and onboarding, the process of staffing up is expected to remain virtual at least until the end of the year for many companies. We could also see more cautious hiring in the second half of the year. In the absence of traditional in-person vetting and a close onboarding or probation process, the risk of a bad hire will weigh heavier on recruiters than ever before.
While these are some of the trends we are seeing at the moment, the world is changing so quickly that whose to say what new HR challenges we could be facing in six months. What we do know for sure is businesses need to evolve and human resources plays a key role in that process.