Research by Forrester predicts several key business transformations for 2019. There will be major workplace innovations, and various challenges that the business sector will have to solve. We take a look at the top employee engagement trends likely to be prevalent among businesses in the coming year:
Hiring biases at the workplace often lead to companies losing out on what is otherwise a talented pool of candidates. Which is why several organizations are now setting diversity goals for the coming year. HR personnel are expected to take steps to remove all kinds of unconscious or conscious gender, class, age and geographical biases from the hiring process. And luckily, there are also a growing number of technology solutions that can help them do that.
It is predicted that the year 2019 will see companies increase their use of technology to remove unconscious bias from the hiring process by 30%. The use of blind hiring technology is also expected to gain more momentum in the upcoming year.
Flexibility at the Workplace
A research claims that workplace flexibility is a top priority for employees between the age of 16-24 years. They value it even before compensation and other benefits. This trend is further going to pick up pace in 2019 with advanced technology solutions in the areas of Artificial Intelligence and face-to-face communication. While AI will help manage remote staff in a more organized manner, replacing video conferencing with VR conferencing will make communications much more real.
Employee experience is expected to move to the center stage in 2019. With the introduction of automation, AI, robots, and other intelligent machines, how employees conduct their day-to-day work will change. And there will be an increased focus on training, software learning and development programs to engage and improve the employee experience.
Effective Management of Multi-generational Workforce
As of now, the workforce comprises of four generations - baby boomers, generation X, millennials and generation Z. And each has vastly different experience and expectations. To manage them effectively, HR personnel need to build an inclusive culture for all of them. They should decide the roles that each generation has to play, according to the experience and capabilities they hold.
- Should the older employees be given opportunities to mentor the young?
- Are younger employees being moved to leadership roles quite early?
- Or are older workers incentivized to “step aside,” while still making important contributions?
All these are important issues that need to be addressed, and soon.
Technologies influencing the HR Space
HR and workforce technologies are now merging. Companies have realized how important it is for HR departments to partner with IT and analyze all aspects of the current workforce-technology architecture. Several of them are now investing in new workforce tools like Slack, and the HR systems are required to integrate and co-exist with it.
On the other hand, AI-driven HR technology innovations are expected to increase by 35% in 2019. Companies are leveraging AI technology to help identify data opportunities, improve internal workflows, and increase their productivity. From engaging employees to fighting unconscious bias, and working on wellness programs, AI-enabled HR tools help streamline all these HR processes. And as the demand for such technologies expand, there will be no shortage of new innovations in the coming year.
Learning and Development
Learning and development programs are expected to receive a huge boost in 2019 owing to the growing trend towards creating a digital workforce.
- Employee training will be made digital. Companies may implement virtual reality or augmented reality technology for training their employees
- Increased focus on employees' soft skills, such as emotional intelligence, collaboration, and negotiation. A Deloitte survey indicates that soft skills can foster employee retention, improve leadership and build a meaningful culture in organizations
- Gamification in learning & development programs will incentivize the online training experience for learners with the use of badges, points, leader boards and community involvement
So a learning culture will be developed, where leaders need to plan what they want to accomplish with training programs. The management and HR shall work together to define values, processes and practices that will help employees, departments and the organization as a whole to increase their competencies and performance.
All-in-all the year 2019 is expected to be a year when companies and their HR teams will focus on a “holistic career development” for their employees. As Henry Ford famously said, “The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave, is not training them and having them stay.” And it is expected that most companies will choose the former over the latter this year.
Besides, with new solutions in HR tech, career development solutions, and L&D modules, we can expect the workplace culture trends to reach a whole new level in 2019.