Now that the year is half over, some workplace trends are becoming clear. Keeping abreast of these trends is essential in attracting and retaining top talent, especially in a job market that is very favorable toward employees.
Annual Conference Highlights Important Trends
The recent Society for Human Resource Management’s 2019 Annual Conference and Exposition provided an in-depth look at many of the issues facing HR administrators, from technology and economic changes to globalization and automation. These are some of the biggest trends that are affecting HR departments in 2019.
- Human-robot partnerships. This may sound like it’s coming straight from a sci-fi movie, but automation has led to an increased collaboration between humans and robots. This can be viewed as an opportunity for inter-departmental collaboration (HR and IT), as well as improved efficiency.
- Flexible work schedules. With the work week extending beyond 40 hours for many, flexibility has become prized by employees looking for the right work-life balance.
- Social issues. Millennials and other young workers are drawn to companies that take a stand and try to make a positive difference in the world. It’s more important than ever before to take a position on the compelling social issues of the day and stick to your guns in the event of fallout.
- Gender diversity. The gender gap is a well-established fact by now. While women still hold fewer executive positions than their male counterparts, more and more companies are addressing this issue and paving the way for positive change.
- Mental health. Mental illness has been in the spotlight in recent years in the wake of many highly-publicized incidents in the U.S. People are talking about the subject more openly than ever before and companies are looking at the issue seriously, taking steps to offer mental health services as part of their benefit plans – and encouraging their employees to take advantage.
- Isolation of remote employees. Technology has made remote work an attractive option for many workers and allows employers to be flexible, but the lack of social interaction can lead to problems for many of these remote employees. Companies can help by promoting offsite and team-building events that include all employees, not just those in the home office.
- Soft skills. Experience may get you through the door, but it’s the intangibles that will help you succeed in the long-term. So-called “soft skills” such as attitude, work ethic, and organizational skills are becoming more sought-after.
- Preventing burnout. In today’s smartphone culture, it’s harder than ever to disconnect from work after clocking out for the day. This can lead employees to feel overworked and may cause burnout. Those companies that take steps to address and prevent the problem are best positioned to retain a skilled and motivated workforce.