As the New Year dawns, and as always it’s a time for reflection. There were many things that made 2010 a great year in HR, but many more that will make 2011 especially exciting. Some areas will change slightly, while others will undergo a complete overhaul. You know what they say-out with the old, in with the new. So, with that said, let’s take a look at what’s coming down the pike in the New Year.
Getting Down With The Tech Craze.
What once seemed to be the realm of generation Y, organizations are now seeing the need to integrate technology and social interaction tools into the way they do business. This could mean developing dedicated project/department related interactive networks to keep abreast of developments, or investing in smart phones for staff in the field. Smart companies are embracing technology to enhance their business and the productivity of employees.
The challenge for HR will be developing standards on who gets what, and keeping an eye out for possible abuses. But usually, staff members are so happy that you are investing in helping them do a good job, that you’ll only have the rare bad apple.
Increased Customer Engagement.
It is no longer enough for a business to have great products, nice customer service representatives and perhaps a discount every now and again. Nowadays customers want more. They want to be involved with the companies they do business with. Who runs the company, what is its mission? Do they care about me?
With the rise of social media into a mainstream staple, companies are flocking to Twitter and Facebook in an effort to engage their customers where THEY hang out. Posting company updates, service offerings, and just letting people get to know the individuals that make the company go ‘round. So in 2011, I think that many HR departments will be implementing some type of “social media outreach” in an attempt to humanize the company and engage customers.
Stepping Up to the Plate.
As companies tighten their belts and strive to get the most bang for their recruiting and training buck, HR will become more involved in the operational side of things and have more accountability for reducing hiring times and ensuring the effectiveness of training programs.
This year there is no room for “fluff” programs that don’t have a measurable return on investment, even if only employee satisfaction or company image-as long as it’s measurable. Be prepared to fully back up any initiatives you propose and establish a collaborative partnership with the operations folks. You need each other.
Staff Development and Succession Planning.
What if all of the senior leaders of your company were in a collective freak accident-would the business survive? Sometimes the top people in a company are afraid to groom subordinates, due to fear of a takeover. But little do they know, they’re actually shooting themselves in the foot.
The smart exec knows that having a few well trained go-to people actually increases his worth. One, it shows that he knows how to develop talent-an important asset. Also, he will have the ability to delegate more and focus his efforts on the big picture. Our role as HR Managers will be to help identify talent and nurture it to prominence. And, be careful about just focusing on the obvious “overachievers”, but take out the magnifying glass and search for that diamond in the rough, as well. You’d be surprised as the potential of some of your supposedly average employees.
How Light is Your Carbon Footprint?
As more companies jump on the “green” bandwagon, this measure will increasingly used to evaluate your company. Thinking of ways to become more efficient, waste less, kill less trees, etc, will become more important this year.
Things like evaluating your records retention and destruction policy, buying recycled toner cartridges, and sponsoring employee car sharing programs are all a step in the right direction. And as usual, HR will be tasked with the development and implementation of many of these programs.
Create A Sought After Work Environment.
With the economy starting to show improvement, there will soon be more jobs available than in the previous two years. This means more competition to keep top employees and recruit the best from the ranks of the unemployed. The clincher for a lot of job seekers and hoppers is not just cold hard cash, but also many other incentives.
Does the company value their employees and show this in the form of frequent rewards and recognition? Are there opportunities for advancement and specialized training? These are some of the deciding factors.
Another concern is “how human” is the company.
Do they offer solutions to foster a healthy work/life balance?
Is there a daycare on the premises?
How about the attendance and vacation policy?
Are they overly restrictive, or accommodating to life’s curve balls?
If an employee has to give you forty hours of their life per week, they are looking for something in return.
As the year is just dawning, I am sure that there will be many new HR Trends that evolve as the months pass by. These are just a few of the areas I think have been clamoring for attention and are ripe for change. I think that the next decade will bring about a whole new way of working.
Are you ready?
Share your thoughts.
What do you see as the possible trends for 2011?