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5 Trends That Can’t Be Ignored in 2019

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5 Trends That Can’t Be Ignored in 2019

No matter how much we hear about new age HR and AI, the way in which some companies function (especially the midsize and small size companies) is still the same as they were decades ago. Not to take away from the companies who are leading the way to change, but I suppose the early adopters and late adopters’ theory applies to every aspect of the business. With the new workforce of millennial coming in, there need to make drastic changes in the way companies function.

CEOs, HR managers and leaders have to be on the lookout for the changing trends or your organisation might find it tough to catch up or keep pace. Being updated and learning about HR trends is one of the most crucial necessities of today’s times. You might not be able to jump into changing your workplace but can certainly benefit from knowing what’s new, what’s expected and most importantly, what works.

Here are 5 emerging trends that you might want to look out for.

1. Prevention of Sexual Harassment (POSH)

An absolute need of the hour is the Prevention of Sexual Harassment (POSH) at the workplace. Credit it to the host of Bollywood movies highlighting women based issues or the #MeToo movement that encouraged hundreds of women to speak up and get justice for themselves. On the other hand, it has left a lot of employers, employees (especially men) in doubt, resentment and in a fear of the unknown.

While the law makes it mandatory for an organisation to have a policy in place, the responsibility to prepare the employees to seek the benefit of the policy is left to the organisation itself. It is therefore imperative for every organisation to create awareness about sexual harassment, gather knowledge about the various things that constitute sexual harassment and the various penalties associated with it. A common mistake that most companies make is that they put a policy in place that outlines what to do in case an act of sexual harassment is experienced. What they don’t do, is watching early signs or taking preventive measure by educating employees what constitute sexual harassment and what should employees do to prevent it.

If you haven’t already, draft your POSH policy and conduct a sensitisation workshop for your employees.

2. HR Analytics

Gathering data and documenting employee-related information is a practice that goes back many years. Smaller companies maintain this data in simple excel formats, while larger companies rely on popular HRIS softwares. Before data analytics became popular, this data was probably looked at only once a month to process payroll. At max, some analysis was done once a year (usually during the year-end) for tax formalities. In recent times, data has become a buzz word, HR analytics appears in the job descriptions of several HR related roles and we have reached a point where data can no longer be ignored.

Overwhelming as it may be, data analysis has made things more precise for businesses. Data analysts have proven over time and again that numbers don’t lie and are an effective tool to drive bjective decisions.

HR Analytics or simply data analysis for Human Resource Management is nothing but the application of data mining and business analysis techniques. Such data helps measure recruitment, training, retention, employee performance, engagement and similar HR functions.

Employees constantly give cues through their behaviour. Some might express it openly while for others it may reflect in their productivity and in the work they submit. As an organisation, set up an HR analytics dashboard and start making people related decisions based on data and the insights that are generated.

3. Employee Wellness

Most of the companies I know or have worked with are have some or the other employee health insurance policy. They are taking positive and appreciative steps to ensure their employees are in the best health. This is done by organising occasional fitness workshops and even activities. However, these are important yet just the initial steps of the entire employee wellness program. It encompasses financial and mental wellness too. Are the employees able to manage the funds they earn in the right way? Do they have clear bifurcations for savings, spending and investing or they struggle to find that balance?

Having initiatives that focus on their financial wellbeing helps employees feel more contented and secured. Similar is the case with mental wellness. Having a counselling session or a coaching session by a professional at least once a year (if not more) would help the employees overcome their mental roadblocks and give their 100%. The blocks may or may not be professional but the impact certainly affects their productivity. Therefore, understanding the signs and offering help at the right time is the key here.

4. Flexi Working

Millennial terminology, you may say. Many organisations are still very hesitant to adopt flexi working in their schedules. This is mainly because they are unsure of the concept and there’s a huge gap between expectations and actual execution. Flexi working doesn’t mean that you come in or leave at any time you wish. Nor does it mean you can work one day from your desk and another day from your home without any accountability whatsoever. To me, it means work when there is work and be available when there is no work. If an employee is willing to work on these rules, diligently of course, then there is merit in exploring flexi work with such a person.

Ensure that the flexible working environment suits your needs and that of your employees too. Have policies and guidelines in place before you implement a new change to save you any trouble later. Some organisations are successfully using flexi working to retian their talent and manager thier workforce optimally.

After all the deliberation and internal discussions, if you do decide to roll with flexi-working in your workplace, you need to prepare a list of things that would make this transition smooth for your employees. We recommend these 5 essential aspects are prepared before introducing flexi-working.

5. People Management Skills

Managing people, in general, is an art. And like most other art forms, it is struggling to survive. No, I’m not kidding. 8 out of 10 organisations are facing a challenge in people management related areas; ranging from disciplinary issues, project management, internal communication, and managerial skills or be it about inculcating a growth culture. Employees have moved up the technical skills ladder but are performing poorly when put in team leadership roles.

Once again soft skills are becoming the most critical area in training and development. In our training about people management skills we often share this quote with our participants – “Behind our roles and designations we are all people”. Reading your team, understanding what motivates them, what inspires them, what their goal, what is their aspiration, identifying their areas of improvement, enabling their growth, are all important aspects in a team leadership role. Understanding the teams’ requirements and wants will not just increase their intention to stay but also motivate them to do more.

Unlike some of the other business assets, if managed well, the human assets or the human resource of your company have the potential to constantly appreciate and yield multi-fold returns. If you don’t have it already, develop a skills matrix for your organisation. Map it against various roles and designations. Plug in the performance review data. Now identify the skill gaps and prepare a training calendar. You can also read more about managing such people tactfully and efficiently to improve the productivity of your organisation.

The real reason why these 5 trends can’t be ignored in 2019 is that they are critical to your business. Without a healthy, skilled, satisfied employee it is impossible to achieve high productivity.


You can write to us at contact@yellowspark.in to know more about all the points mentioned above and how you can implement them in this New Year 2019.

Author Profile: Aparna Joshi Khandwala is a passionate HR professional. She co-founded Yellow Spark to work with like-minded people who believe in the power of leadership, which is the only business differentiator in today’s time.