Another year lies ahead of us, and with it the challenge of finding innovative new solutions to those perennial HR issues.
With this in mind, myhrtoolkit has taken it upon itself to ask several leading HR experts for their predictions for the year ahead.
Here are the key areas they identified.
• A focus on wellness at work
‘Presenteeism’ became a hot topic in 2015, with increasing concern over the number of employees turning up to work unwell and the negative impact this can have on business performance.
For Karen Teago, HR adviser and Director of Gravitas HR, this is still one of the main challenges for HR to address in the coming year.
She says: “In 2016, the businesses that look after their employees’ wellbeing will have the competitive edge. Employees turning up to work physically or psychologically unwell, drag business performance down.
“HR’s challenge is to translate the widely available data and evidence proving the link between wellbeing and productivity into a language that can be understood by top management, implement effective wellbeing strategies across their business and measure the return on investment of these.”
• Forward looking appraisals
Another hot topic in 2015 was the issue of appraisals. In fact, the traditional approach to performance reviews took quite a hammering in some quarters, with many large companies doing away completely with formal annual appraisals in favour of more informal feedback.
Samantha Sales, Director of Call HR Ltd predicts an even bigger shake-up in the year to come.
“There will be greater momentum to focus on the future needs of people in any type of appraisal / feedback process rather than a backward look”, says Samantha.
“HR will hopefully wake up to the fact that it is too late to look 12 months back, and more regular conversations focussed on feedback and priorities are more useful to the people and business.”
• More reliance on outsourced HR
As we all know, HR management can cover a vast array of activities, from logging a holiday booking to presenting HR reports to the board to determine strategic direction. It’s an issue that Judith Fiddler, CEO at Direct Law and Personnel believes will lead to a significant shift in the HR landscape.
She says: “My predictions for HR 2016 are actually quite radical. I believe that there is going to be a time in the not too distant future which is going to break up and disrupt the whole HR industry as we know it, as in the US they have realised that 80% of HR work can be described as ‘administrivia’, i.e. can be carried out by administrators without qualifications (i.e. cheaper). Not only that, but in many cases this level of work can also be automated.
“As a result, I predict that more companies, especially those in the charity sector where we are well known, will continue to outsource their whole HR function because it makes no sense not to. The fifth most popular reason to outsource is cost. HR is all about quality, efficiency and consistency and current HR managers with over 240 emails a day simply can’t deliver.”
Turning great ideas into reality
The human resources community clearly remains open to finding new and innovative ways to address today’s HR challenges. That said, perhaps the main challenge for HR in 2016 will be getting key decision-makers to recognise the true value of these changes. Only then can businesses reap the benefits of these new approaches for enhanced business performance.