Authored by Nakul Mathur, MD, Avanta India
The human resource (HR) function of business organizations is steadily moving its positioning from being a cost-centre to becoming a profit-centre. Along with it, the business workplace too has evolved in a multi-fold and substantial manner. We look at the top 5 trends in HR and the workplace that every HR-related professional needs to know about, and adapt his or her style of operations accordingly.
Given the flexibility ingrained in the business over the past few years as well as the prevalence of COVID-19, much of the modern task force has moved to work from home (WFH) or performing work in a hybrid (a combination of working from home and working from the office) manner. Apart from the flexibility imparted at work, hybrid work has allowed employees across the world to save on travel time, expenses, office time, and being able to spend more time with their families and friends. Moreover, co-working is also a trend that has caught up in a big way along with hybrid work. It entails employees working from a flexible third-party workspace rented by either the business or the employee himself/herself.
Learning and Development
When employees get to do hybrid work or work from home, they release more of their time for upskilling themselves. As such, training and learning interventions for the modern-era employee are helping him/her grow, develop, and advance further in their career. That employees can learn and acquire new skills and capabilities from the comfort of their homes has led to the emergence of several online training courses in addition to their physical/offline counterparts.
Holistic employee well-being
Employee well-being doesn’t just pertain to comfortable chairs, air-conditioned workplaces, and efficiently-working laptops. It also spills over to the kind of work environment and culture that gets established over the years. With ergonomics and aesthetics forming one side of this trend, the other side talks about the physical and mental well-being of the employees. HR Analytics is an objectively-driven trend that plays a key role in ensuring the holistic well-being of all employees. In turn, employees exhibit greater happiness and workplace performance.
Lesser single job spans and the gig economy
Employees now spend substantially lesser time (1-2 years) in a single job as compared to the previous generations (3 years or more). This trend has been well-accepted and endorsed by most HR and OB experts. True loyalty doesn’t always amount to longer job spans, and today, organizations are also endorsing alternative work approaches by engaging the rising gig economy of freelancers and other independent professionals.
The HR function has moved a level up from employee skills to looking at their professional capabilities. This macro-view trend is driven by the fact that employers do well to look at their employee capital in a 360-degree manner instead of just specific skills that the job may demand.
We discussed how the trends of hybrid work, continued education, holistic employee well-being, HR Analytics, the gig economy, career flexibility, and capability-based recruitment are on-the-rise trends in contemporary HR functions and the associated workplaces. All in all, interesting times are ahead for the continuously-evolving HR function to play a more strategic business role and less of a tactical intervention specialist. As we proceed further in the new decade, these trends are likely to get completely established while newer associated trends would also come up in all probability in the near-future.