5 Human Resources Trends for the New Year

Jan 2, 2020 | Human Resources

In human resources, some things change and some things stay the same. For example, the basic needs of the people you serve are fairly stable year to year. Employees want to be treated fairly, appreciated frequently, and listened to continually. When business leaders and managers meet those needs, employee engagement improves and staff turnover decreases. The strategies businesses use to meet those employee needs are constantly evolving. Take a look at these five human resources trends that are emerging for 2020.

#1 – Quicker Onboarding

Many businesses, especially those in the service sector, will continue to find themselves short-staffed this year. With the pressure to get new people into functional roles as quickly as possible, human resources managers are desperate for quicker onboarding strategies that set new employees up for success. Blended training orientation meets this need. Start your employees off with foundational online training, then sprinkle in on-the-job mentoring. As the orientation period progresses, new employees spend less time online and more time on the job. This leads to improved confidence and competency.

#2 – State Level Harassment Prevention Mandates

As of 2020, these six states require sexual harassment prevention training for all or most employees: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, and New York. Many other states require training for employees in certain positions or sectors or highly recommend that employers provide training. Although requirements differ state to state, the trend is clear – employers must take a proactive approach to protect their employees from harassment. This starts with creating a comprehensive policy and training employees on what harassment looks like and how to report it. Human resources managers don’t want to be under a state-imposed deadline, and many are seeking ways to efficiently train on harassment prevention before they’re forced to.

#3 – Ongoing Performance Management

Business managers are discovering the benefits of replacing the annual performance review with ongoing performance management. Managers who schedule brief one-on-one meetings with employees monthly or even weekly are finding that employees are more engaged and challenges are solved before they become productivity-killing problems.

#4 – People Focused

In some companies, human resources officers are now being called “people officers.” This in just one indication of the growing trend of managing the whole employee, rather than focusing only on their job functions. Your employees are more than individual resources, they collectively are your company. How you treat them determines how they treat your customers.

#5 – DIY Employee Development

The idea of employee empowerment is nothing new. It’s been a human resources buzzword for decades. As with other trends, the idea is evolving. Employees want more autonomy, but delivering that sometimes puts managers in a difficult position when they’re bound by performance metrics, compliance regulations, and non-negotiable company procedures. It is possible, though, to give employees other freedoms. Make it easy for them to choose training that supports their career path. Give them opportunities to solve their own problems and challenges the company faces as a whole. Offer guidance rather than criticism. Celebrate successes.

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