Two thousand and seventeen – a big sounding year where futuristic movies of the past claimed that by now, everyone would be zipping around in flying cars. While we’re not quite there with the flying cars, we are set to see some dramatic changes in the workplace. Namely, Human Resources. 2017 is slated to be all about the employee. Times are changing and in tandem, so are the practices. Logically then, it is wise to gear oneself and face the wave head-on. HR is turning its focus to strategic and tactical models soon reducing functional work to avoid complexities and implement automated approach that can be integrated with the core business processes. Some of the key aspects that bring swift management in HR are:
Enhance your brand image - there’s nothing more important for a brand than the image it’s perceived in. All too often, companies get so carried away with the business angle that they treat brand enhancement with secondary importance. A strong and relevant image is the very personality of the brand. This will assist in attracting desired talent, build loyalty and in the long run, ensure you become a house-hold name
Improve employee experience - with a global focus around employee engagement and experience, the existing and new generations in the workforce demand changes. They’re a savvy lot that needs stimulation and will get bored easily. With the talent pool on a steady rise, what you do to attract the right talent will pay you back tenfold in the long run. You need to allocate time and resources to ensure that your employees are happy and thriving. The job seeker today looks at the work environment and does extensive research to gauge a potential fit. Keep them smiling, they’ll keep working
Drive recruitment with data - a common problem and a top contender for attrition is hiring the wrong person for the job. It’s futile for both the employee and the employer, who stands to lose more. The recruiting department should conduct thorough research on the role and its requirements. The research shouldn’t stop at just the JD, it should include current trends that give better insights into the market. When it comes to interviewing, it’s all too easy for the interviewee to prepare and say all the right things. The challenge however, is to mix it up with something pertaining to the generation and introduce a scenario where the formalities are broken. This will help you get a much clearer picture of the person, as opposed to “Where do you see yourself in five years?” Make an informed and not a hasty decision
Make way for Gen Z - This is a big milestone and is going to bring with it a fair amount of radical changes in the work sphere. 2017 marks the first year that Generation Z enters the workforce. The past generation, ‘Y’, is widely known to be smart, tech savvy, educated, etc. With the new kids on the block however, things are amplified. They’re the sort who grew up in a highly digital world where choice was abundant and convenience is key. What this means for the HR departments is that this lot (as well as the previous generation) needs to be constantly stimulated at work. They need to be challenged and are less likely to settle for something menial. Their style of working is more laissez-faire inspired than a traditional nine to five. Employers have to take note of this and rethink their policies to offer the most habitable environment to cater to this new breed
Ensure workplace wellness - The perfect example to illustrate this is to look at all the ‘young-natured’ MNCs and startups alike. They spend a great deal of eort to make sure their employees are happy and healthy. Whether it’s providing sports and recreation activities, a vast array of meal options or a comfortable and inviting work space. The psychology behind this is to lure the employee to want to come to work. A positive association is then created and the sought after work-life balance emerges. It could also help to have dedicated staff to see to the welfare of the employees. Happy Specialists, perhaps?
Get creative with benefits - Apart from the usual competitive pay that is universal amongst all age groups, the newer generations demand more. The employee of today looks at extensive healthcare cover and above all else, flexibility of work. The work-from-home option is catching on and in many cases, is a make or break factor for a job-seeker. Unlike our forefathers who stuck to a job for decades, studies reveal that the average period a person spends in a job is around three to five years. This would have in the past, raised a few alarms with a recruiter who would have dismissed the application, citing un-reliability. In the fast-paced world of today, this is the new and accepted norm. Employees are constantly looking to up their game and have a thirst for challenge. So in order to retain good talent, help your employees grow. This can be done by offering financial assistance for higher studies or additional courses or by simply keeping the work dynamic and fun. No room for idle minds.
Keep it informal - much like the ever-changing trends in fashion, once attire has taken a complete 180. The suits and ties of the old guard are making way for jeans and a shirt. Employees world over, prefer to come to work dressed casually. One man’s sloppy is another man’s comfortable. This is perhaps the very first step to align to the overall shift in 2017 - employee centric. An employee who is comfortable in what he/she is wearing is happier and more likely to perform better. Rethink performance reviews - this is not to say performance reviews are obsolete. They’re still very important for development of the employee and in turn, the business. That being said, people are now far more impatient than before. It’s all about instant gratification that’s fueled in part by social media and the ‘have anything’ attitude. They don’t want to wait a whole year to hear how they performed and could more than likely lose interest midway. Consider either weekly, monthly or quarterly reviews. It doesn’t need to be too extensive as that would be tedious for both. It could be something as small as a pat on the back, a word of appreciation or similar. Studies have found that more than monetary incentives, positive reinforcement has stronger and longer lasting results on employee performance. After all, self-esteem is a primary need and catering to it can only yield positive results.
2017 brings with it many firsts and is the perfect opportunity for companies and the HR departments to take advantage. In order to get with the times, one has to adapt and evolve. The key thing to ask this year is, ‘how happy are your employees?’