December 29.2017, 11.29am

New Year, New Rules: 5 HR New Year’s Resolutions for 2018

January is a time for new lifestyles, trips to the gym, and binning your favourite ‘bad’ foods. It’s also a great time to get ahead and set yourself up for the year. While we’re not about to advise you to brave the cold for a run, we are going to detail five emerging HR trends that are set to play a major part in many HR professionals’ lives in the coming year.

The beauty of these five HR resolutions is that their adoption will actually make life easier, which is a helpful incentive in its own right. So, what should you have on your ‘to do’ list for 2018?

1. Improve the digital expertise in your HR team

Having the most advanced HR software available is fruitless unless you know how to maximise it. A recent report found that just 23 percent of HR managers felt their HR leadership were successful at exploiting the opportunities offered by digital technology.

“If organisations and leaders within them are to take advantage of the opportunities offered by digital, they are going to have to become more skilled at closing the gap between the technological advances being made and the underlying social processes needed to maximise the potential benefits on offer,” the report found.

Another report found that only 8% of HR respondents had usable data and only 9% fully understood the elements of talent that drives performance. HR leaders need to fill knowledge gaps in their department, either through recruitment or upskilling. Only then can they properly harness technology and start reaping the true benefits of digital analytics.

 

2. Re-examine the way you deliver training and development

As we outlined above, upskilling is important but it comes with a caveat: traditional models of training are becoming defunct as the skills needed in a digital age are constantly changing. Evolving technology is rendering skills defunct faster than ever, so digital competencies must be constantly updated on the job. It’s never been easier to be left behind.

The “half-life of skills is rapidly falling,” according to the latest Deloitte Human Capital Trends report, adding that, “continuous learning is critical for business success.” It advises organisations to rethink the way they deliver learning and development opportunities for the digital age. Learning must be always-on and available across a range of mobile platforms.

HR must adopt real-time learning and ongoing development programmes to ensure that the workforce is prepared to succeed in a digital age. Learning infrastructure is becoming rapidly dated and organisations are turning to new tools that provide curated content, videos and mobile learning solutions.

This trend also reflects the changing demands caused by increasingly flexible organisational structures.

The new employee mobility calls for interdisciplinary skills to be constantly developed and cross-functional training to allow employees to move seamlessly between teams. The future is all about convergence, both in terms of capabilities and in cross-functional collaboration – so new training models have to reflect that.

 

3. Adopt a more flexible workforce model

The movement away from old-fashioned, Tayloristic organisational models continues to gain pace. A shift in the dominant organisational design has seen the rise of cross-functional teams that react quickly to business needs.

New research suggests that this trend for agile workforce models will increase flexibility in the coming year. Expect to see a steady increase in remote, part-time or freelance workers. In fact, employees will actively assume this type of arrangement, with 61% expecting to be able to choose one of these options by 2019.

Offering this type of flexibility will be key to attracting and retaining high performers. HR needs be strategic about team structures. Studies have actually shown that work/life balance programs can help retention and improve employee satisfaction, so it’s a model that clearly reaps benefits.

Start analysing the merits of initiatives like flexible hours, compressed work weeks, telecommuting or permanent part-time hours to ensure that your organisation can stay competitive.

 

4. Investigate cognitive recruitment technology

The Deloitte Human Capital Trends report states that 83 percent of executives say talent acquisition is important or very important and points to the need to develop an attractive employment brand using workforce experience, which is a combination of high engagement and strong career opportunities.

Luckily, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) technology in HR is advancing in leaps and bounds and huge advances have been made in cognitive recruitment software.

“Predictive analytics is increasingly important to talent acquisition (TA), as sophisticated analytics teams begin to prioritise recruiting workflows, conduct workforce planning, evaluate different recruiting sources, assess quality of hire, and use pre-hire assessments,” the report says. “Companies that are not prioritising analytics do so at their own risk.”

Cognitive recruitment technology will enhance pre-assessment, remove any human bias in candidate selection, provide data analytics to create recruitment metrics, and provide portals to help unsuccessful candidates update their skills.

Not only do these technologies improve candidate experiences and candidate sourcing but they also benefit the employee brand as well. So being an early adopter will help your business, improve its performance and prevent rivals from gaining a competitive advantage.

 

5. Adopt gamification to improve business goals

It’s no surprise that a generation of workers who grew up on video games love gamification. It’s now something that HR professionals are adopting to enhance everything from recruitment selection to the promotion of company culture.

It has even been used by the US Army for training purposes and to attract talent as the America’s Army site has attracted millions of potential army recruits. KFC has adopted virtual reality (VR) games to provide training for employees and the University of Nebraska recently began work on a $119 million VR training facility for healthcare workers.

Simple forms of gamification can offer employees a fun way to learn or engage with organisational requirements. Like video games, the psychological reward associated with beating previous scores or improving at a game is a key driver in getting people to carry out what could otherwise be a mundane or uninteresting task.

Indeed, gamification is a useful motivational tool for HR and something you should look at adopting in 2018.

 

Unsure of how to build a successful business case to carry out your resolutions? Download our best-practice guide today!

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Sam BuckleyBy Sam Buckley

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