HR Trends 2018: What to Expect

HR Trends 2018: What to Expect

2017 was a huge year for HR departments around the country, with organizations prioritizing the well-being and satisfaction of their employees. In the past year, executives focused their attention on building a better environment for their workforce, and invested in strategies to help recruit and retain top talent. Buzzwords like ‘culture’ and ‘engagement’ continuously made their way to the forefront of business discussions.

2018, however, will bring a fresh set of trends to the table that will significantly impact the way HR operate and perform their daily tasks. Now that organizations have built a foundation for employee success, executives will now be looking for ways to provide their workforce with the tools they need to thrive and develop. The DATIS 2017 State of Workforce Management report found that 65% of executives plan on investing in digital tools in 2018. With the new year just around the corner, executives must begin to prepare their organizations for the HR trends 2018 will bring.

Below are the HR trends that experts are expecting to see in 2018:

The Drive Towards Digital
There is no denying the fact that technology has transformed the way employee’s go about their daily activities. Today’s digital tools are more user-friendly than ever before, and vendors have built industry-specific solutions to meet the niche needs of organizations that have often been ignored by the big corporations in the tech space. DATIS, for example, provides nonprofit organizations with a unified HR & Payroll software solution specifically designed to help executives overcome the challenges and hurdles of their industry. With all of these advances in technology, it’s likely that investments in digital tools and strategies will reach its peak in 2018.

HR has historically been bogged down by time-consuming administrative tasks, restricting them to impact their organization in terms of strategy and decision making. By automating key functions of HR through tools and software solutions, HR professionals will have more time to spend on developing key strategies that can help move their organization forward. It’s long been documented that HR belongs in C-Suite discussions. Given recent tech advancements and the increase in software accessibility, it’s likely that we will see the true power of HR in 2018.

The Employee Experience
Culture and employee engagement were a top priority for executives in 2017. This is largely to the influx of millennials entering the workforce expecting offices to be equipped with beer fridges, ping pong tables, and nap pods. This made executives scramble to invest in creating a work environment that feels as least like work as possible. Now, larger companies are realizing that the employee experience is much more important than culture and engagement combined.

Susan Peters, Senior Vice President of HR at General Electric defines the employee experience as “seeing the world through the eyes of our employees, staying connected, and being aware of their major milestones.” In other words, the employee experience is a sum of all interactions employees have with their employer, and focuses more on an employee’s perception of their executives. Experts have found that the employee experience is the foundation of employee engagement, and positively correlated to the customer experience. Other global companies like AirBnb, IBM, and Cisco have also discovered the importance of the employee experience, and are likely to make this a priority in 2018.

The Rise of Workforce Analytics
Workforce analytics, also known as HR analytics, is a tool used by organizations to measure, characterize, and organize important workforce data. This information is crucial when determining employee performance and is a good indicator of an employee’s success potential. The DATIS 2017 State of Workforce Management survey exposed the rise in workforce analytics when 84% of survey respondents reported that they were ‘likely’ to invest in workforce analytics tools in 2018. The report also revealed that 40% of executives believe that HR should be responsible for dealing with workforce analytics.

When discussing the importance of workforce analytics in a recent article, Josh Bersin, Principal and Founder of Bersin by Delloitte, says that such tools are “must-have” for organizations around the country. This is largely due to their role in strategic decision making. Today’s workforce analytics are also predictive, and can help HR develop strategies to top employees that are showing signs of leaving. This insight is key to organization stability and growth.

While no one can know for sure what HR trends 2018 will deliver, studies and expert opinions point towards digital tools, the employee experience, and the rise of workforce analytics. One thing we can say for sure, however, is that technology will continue to impact HR and the way they operate. In order to stay ahead of the game, executives should begin preparing their organizations as soon as possible.

This DATIS Blog was written by James Clark, DATIS, on December 1st, 2017 and may not be re-posted without permission.

Written by James Clark