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30 Apr 2019

Top 5 key trends in the HR field in 2019 (so far) and what we learned from them.

It has already been a busy 2019 for ever-changing HR trends. Changes in company focus and socio-political issues over recent months have played a huge role in shaping how we engage with our employees.There is a lot of comprehensive research that shows employees are looking for changes in the working dynamic in order to boost their productivity, enjoyment and understanding of their own personal needs and values.

This is especially true in the UK. Stress and financial uncertainty, due to the recent Brexit developments, have created panic in workplaces across the UK. With huge shifts happening ever more frequently, it is important to keep abreast of the emerging trends in the HR field in order to stay competitive.

Having taken all of this into account, we have compiled a list of the top five trends in the HR field in 2019.

Top five trends in the HR field

The ‘employee experience’

The employee experience is one of the major HR trends in the industry this year. Put simply, it is how satisfied a person is with their role and expectations when they have taken everything into account. Aimed at retention and engagement, a good employee experience is integral to retaining the best talent.

According to a study by Qualtrics only 48 percent of UK employees are engaged. And, 17 percent of workers are looking to leave their jobs within a two year period.

Another one of the major solutions was to introduce more ‘connector managers’. A report by Gartner outlines the importance of connector managers for the employee experience. Part of the experience side is about the understanding of the need of empathy. Connector managers tap into the human side of management and it is this style that has become the most popular. According to the Gartner report, this type of management triples the rate of employee satisfaction and performance.

 Financial wellness

Financial wellness is another factor that has been prominent, particularly in the UK. Especially in the wake of recent Brexit decisions. The monetary uncertainty that Brexit has caused makes financial wellbeing more of a pressing issue for more employers than ever.

A study by Neyber in their annual study indicated that these stresses are detrimental to the maintenance of a healthy home and relationships. According to the cited study, 57 percent of the surveyed public said that financial worries affected their home relationships. 52 percent also said that these same concerns had had an active part in harming their social life. In addition to this, The Financial Wellbeing Index, that surveyed more than 5,000 workers and more than 1,000 employers, found that 77percent of employees say that money worries impact them at work.

Digital Disruption

In the age of digital disruption, technology is constantly altering every aspect of a company. From recruitment to communication to production, great shifts in company management are being digitised.

Put into simple terms, digital disruption is what happens when emerging technologies interfere with current business models, goods, and services. The term ‘disruption’ is used as these new technologies, in whatever field, stimulate the need for re-evaluation and growth.

One of the changes that has proven to be effective in improving workplace productivity is Gamification. Gamification is the means of engaging employees through game-like experiences. Still very much in its infancy in the HR world, Each Person – powered by the epoints digital currency and retail discount platform – is a front-runner in using this technology to improve engagement in employee recognition and rewards schemes.

As well as being able to send and receive ecards from colleagues ‘peer to peer’ via the epoints app, employees can also play games and win rewards on the app.

The app ensures an employee’s interest in the scheme is upheld with addictive actions including the chance to spin the wheel to win a daily prize.

The psychology behind gamification turns work into a game. According to an article by Medium, statistically 90 percent of employees are more productive with gamification systems in place. This has also been received very well in the industry as 95 percent of people enjoy using gamified systems.

This is just as important in the HR field as it is anywhere else. The question was asked to HR leaders to try and deduce the importance of accepting digital change. Having been asked if they agree with the statement: “If my company does not become significantly more digitized by 2020, it will no longer be competitive, 67 percent of HR leaders agree.

Many companies, however, have not reached the point they would like to be. Use of technology could be one of the things holding them back. As seemingly large proportion of companies still run on old intranet systems for their company news and communications. These are beginning to be slowly being phased out by internal communication apps.

Employee retention

As it so often is, recruiting is another one of out key HR trends this year with the focus being on onboarding and reducing employee turnover. Both of these were deemed crucial to the employee experience and reducing employee turnover. A study by Future Workplace shows that 87% of leading HR professionals agree that employee retention is deemed critical, if not, a high priority for companies.

Good onboarding strategies involve transparency and honesty as the main criteria that should be met. Being honest about pay, company policy and job role and expectations will ensure that your trainees won’t get any nasty surprises on the job. Knowing the company situation will help you best adapt and optimise your employees’ work ethic. If they are ill-informed during the onboarding process, it will hinder them when it comes to being faced with unexpected difficulties. Transparency allows time for preparation. It is also a huge trust boost and reaffirms to your employees that they are the right person for the role.

This whole solution will also be beneficial in the long run. As mentioned before in the Label Insight data, 94 percent of people would prefer honesty and the truthful outlook on a business situation. Keep the channels of communication open and make sure everybody is aware of everything within the organisation.

It is important to have a good onboarding program and ethics because of how much employee turnover can actually cost a company. According to an article by Croner, the average cost of employee turnover, based on the average UK salary, is around £11,000 per person. It can be significantly higher depending on the position and role. For a senior member of staff can be anything between £40,000 – £100,000.

With costs this high to replace your employees, it is always better investing into  recognition and reward schemes for your team. If you are interested in showing appreciation to your team in a customisable and easy to use way, head to our website by clicking here.

Building critical skills and competencies for the organisations

People are looking to develop their skill sets and progress their careers now more than ever. Employment options and chances for progression are now crucial according statistics. A study by Neyber revealed that 73 percent of employees need extra help with developing themselves and their careers. Whether it comes in the form of helping to hone an employee’s skills or offering a path to progress within a company, these are extremely desirable. This will also help in the process of on-boarding and reducing retention as they won’t have to leave.

The significance of building skills and allowing for development is shown in research done by leading cognitive psychologist Abraham Maslow. His ‘hierarchy of needs’ show that in order to reach a level of self fulfillment, you need to be satisfied in your work that you have achieved what you want to. Often people will never be fully engaged unless it is their dream role. But to reach the upper reaches of the hierarchy, it is important for people to have their ego’s massaged and their creative and innovative requirements fulfilled. This can be helped with reward and recognition schemes as well as feeling valued inevitably increases satisfaction with the business.

A famous quote from Sir Richard Branson says:

“Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t have to.”

This year has already posed many challenges to the HR field that has pushed new key HR trends. Moving with the times is key to ensure employee happiness, business efficiency, and all-round satisfaction across all walks of employment.


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