2018 is less than a week old, but already the organizational challenges we face as we head toward 2019 are pretty clear. The big challenge of course is people – having enough of them. And as HR professionals, we have a big role to play in how to meet that challenge.
Five things that are sure to factor into how well we do:
We live in a world today where everyone expects the Amazon experience – and not just for online shopping. HR in 2018 needs to be technically advanced in all we do, harnessing technology to be able to provide our employees and our managers with all the things they need in a very quick and timely manner. If I can’t deliver in one click or in two days, they’ll look elsewhere.
The Evolution of HR
Today’s employee issues are complicated. So Human Resources can no longer afford to be siloed as “benefits” or “staffing” or “talent.” As HR people, we need to function as a single organization that can be counted on to solve anything that has to do with our employees. Whether it’s benefits, development, or rewards, employees need to be able to count on HR as their partner. Our retention will depend on it.
The Evolution of the Workforce
We’ve been talking about demographic shifts in our workforces for a long time. But the shift is here. Our Boomer employees are retiring and the number of Millennials we have is getting a lot bigger. By 2020 – just three years from now – Millennials and Gen Z will make up three quarters of our workforce. That’s an astonishing number. To maintain our knowledge base, we’re going to have to aggressively work to find points of connection and opportunities for mentorship between generations.
Demands on employees are as fierce as the demand for them. Given that, we as employers need to think of benefits not just as recruitment packages, but as the way we provide the best for our employees so that they are able to provide the best for us.
Culture versus diversity
Business culture is a recognized business driver and diversity has never been more important. Yet the two can work against each other. As our own Lucy English wrote in 2017, “Culture tends to govern the way companies hire and operate. But the very nature of seeking cultural conformity can threaten inclusion.” It’s an urgent matter for 2018, as we all need to figure out how to make sure the two are working together. Here at Bright Horizons it’s prompted a change in how we think about hiring. Long focused on the “It” in “fit,” we’ve begun complementing our hiring practices by talking about employees’ “add” or what might be called, “The ‘U’ in “Us.”
HR in 2018 and Beyond
The above is only going to get more important. Last week’s jobs report showed 148,000 new jobs added, and unemployment holding steady at 4.1%. With those kinds of numbers, benefits, culture, and HR practices are all going to play increasingly important roles in who attracts (and keeps) the best of the best…and who doesn’t.
Check back here often for news, data, and studies about the latest on HR in 2018 and beyond.
And from all of us here….Happy New Year.