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Three HR Trends Which Will Influence 2018

Digital transformation is something that almost every business is undergoing in today’s world. The rise of cloud computing, mobile integration and now artificial intelligence are having a real impact on the way businesses are being run, affecting almost all sectors and departments.

Human Resources is a critical business function that is being transformed by this new digital wave, finally adapting in the same way marketing and sales have done over recent years. Businesses now have the opportunity to converge their existing employee engagement, recruitment and learning with the capabilities that digital transformation provides them.

In 2009 McKinsey famously coined ‘the new normal’ referring to ways in which business functions operate on a day-to-day basis, shedding light into how these would change over the coming years. That was back then, but today the mind wonders – what is ‘the new normal’? and how will businesses, especially the HR function evolve in the ever-changing landscape.

This article is going to look into three ways in which businesses will be evolving and how through the implementation of a digital transformation, they can improve their HR functions in 2018 onwards.

1. An Improved Employee Experience

Along with customers, employees are the most important stakeholders of any company. Businesses are working to design and improve their employee’ experience through engaging tactics in the hopes of instilling a culture with them.

On a granular level, businesses have now started to work with corporate real estate executives to design workspaces that maximise creativity and productivity in the workplace.

The best business are also implementing smart technologies to create a more engaging and interactive environment. For example, Google have a global reputation for providing their employees with incredible offices. HR managers are now having to implement a consumer-based mindset; making sure their employees have a similar experience to their customers.

2. Real-time Analytics

Big data analytics will play an increasingly important role in HR business functions in the next few years. Using the advancements in mobile technology and Internet of Things, HR managers are now becoming more reliant on technology to help improve their feedback culture. This includes everything from employee self-assessments, to succession planning.

One of the biggest problems facing HR managers is the lack of number-based analytical decision making, but over the coming years big data will help HR managers do just that.

Through smarter working tools, these managers will be able to analyse internal performance and making accurate forecasting to they can make better decisions. Big data analysis is allowing HR managers to plan strategically in the digital age and it’s now a vital part of personnel and performance management.

3. More Flexible Working Arrangements

In an attempt to improve the employee experience, businesses are creating a more flexible work arrangements across their organisations. In 2018 we are set to see businesses investing heavily into the transformation of the working environment, by making informal workspaces and revamping existing ones.

According to the report Working anywhere: A winning formula for good work, flexible working will be the predominant style of work for 70% of businesses by 2020. The same study also mentioned how 44% of the respondents concurred in saying mobile working increased their productivity, with 42% also saying it improved their relationship with the business because of the increase in their trust towards the organisation.

Another example is British Telecomms which have already begun reaping the rewards of their investment into flexible hours by seeing a 54% increase in productivity, and an 11% company wide office cost reduction. They’ve also seen a reduction in staff turnover seeing 63% less sick days taken by their employees, and a 99% retention rate following maternity leave.

The overall impact of digital transformation has had a profound affect on businesses and has begun to change their HR function. In the near future, we expect to see more companies implementing a consumer mindset across their business; improving their employees’ experience, using big data analytics, and having more flexible hours.