As the Executive Director of the Workforce Institute at
Kronos, I get to talk to a lot of smart HR people about their challenges and
their successes. The successes I hear about are generally born from the
necessity of resolving tough challenges. Irrespective of industry, world
region, or company size, most HR professionals are torn between the often-competing
priorities of supporting individual employees while respecting the overall objectives
of the organization. And the main thread
that runs through these success stories is that great business strategies only
work when they are based on clear eyed, data-based problem statements.
A former boss of mine used to say that you can't manage what
you can't measure. I don't think she originated that expression, but it has
always stuck with me. If you are trying to resolve issues based solely on how
people feel about problems or proposed solutions, you're bound to fail. This
can be particularly tricky with HR challenges. People issues inevitably are
accompanied by strong emotions. Employees' lives outside of work are filled
with responsibilities and stressors - partners, children, elder care, volunteer
work, illness, second (or third) jobs, etc. What appear to be minor changes in
the workplace can upset the delicate balance that employees are managing
between your workplace and the rest of their lives.
How you manage necessary changes in HR practices makes all
the difference in whether those changes will be successful. What changes are
you likely to need to make this year? At the Workforce Institute, we believe
there are six
major trends that organizations of all sizes need to prepare for in 2019.
- Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming
more mainstream. Don't expect robots to replace your employees any time
soon, but there are many use cases for AI that can help smaller organizations
achieve efficiency and operational effectiveness. Using things like predictive
analytics and assisted decision-making capabilities, available in most HCM solutions, ensure HR at your
company as well as managers are spending time on things that retain key talent
instead of spending their time buried in approval requests, etc.
- Tight labor markets make great frontline
managers more important than ever. Our
CEO says that people join companies, but leave managers. If your managers
aren't helping your employees develop and move up in their careers, they'll be
moving on to greener pastures before you know it. Companies of all sizes need
to be thinking of their employee experience as a key differentiator and a way
to attract the talent you need to remain competitive.
- People will increasingly pursue alternative
paths to employment this year. As more people question whether the value of
a college degree justifies huge student debt, more people will pursue
alternative paths to employment and employers will need to revamp their job
requirements accordingly.Do your
candidates really need degrees for all the job postings you have that currently
require them? Are you considering alternative candidates and new ways of
evaluating job fit?
- Compliance with federal, state and local
legislation is more challenging than ever. From the
ACA to minimum wage changes, there has never been a more complex
environment when it comes to managing compliance with labor and employment
we published in 2018 indicated that more
than half of human resources and payroll professionals (55 percent) have
witnessed compliance activities by their colleagues that created unnecessary
risk. If you're not sure of what the most current labor laws are in your
locations, you may want to check out what resource your HCM vendor makes
available to you, so you can stay on top of the right updates to keep your
- Employees expect more flexibility from
their employers when it comes to where and when they work and better
self-service technology to support that flexibility. We know it can be difficult to balance all
your employees' schedule preferences against the needs of your organization,
but the more effective you are at doing so, the more loyal those employees are
going to be. In research we published in 2018, 9
out of ten employees globally felt their employers could do a better job with
- Disaster preparedness will become a bigger
part of your HR strategy. You don't have to be a climatologist to see that
extreme weather is having a bigger impact on business operations. You need to
have a plan to deal with them. Here are 7
tips for managing your people and your business through extreme weather.
As you prepare for 2019, consider these predictions and the potential implications to your business if you don't start talking about them now with your leadership, your managers and your employees.
This article was originally published on the What Works blog at Kronos.