Human Resource Management has an ever-dynamic environment. From retaining and rewarding present employees and managing multiple work arrangements to recruiting top talent for the organization and building future leaders, HR plays multiple roles to create desired business impact.
The talent landscape today is defined by constant change. Acute talent shortages, changing employee demographics, and the need to maximize business impact through talent management have been some of the top priorities for HR departments for some years now. Add to that an impending economic slowdown and subsequent budget cuts, HR has a challenging road ahead.
These factors call for an innovative approach to human capital management rooted in objective data, technology, and employee experience. Advancements across disciplines like machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), and advanced analytics have opened the door to a world full of new opportunities for HR. Experiences that were limited to the realm of consumer experience have slowly made inroads in HR to help organizations remain their employee Centricity and workforce management practices.
1. Artificial Intelligence will transform key HR practices
While you may be tired of hearing how AI will affect HR, it is set to become even more important for HR in 2020. Thanks to rapid advancements in technology, organizations can now deploy AI-powered solutions to streamline key HR processes including, recruitment, onboarding, learning and development, and performance management to name a few.
As the focus on driving business value through HR practices becomes central in a tight economic environment, AI will help HR teams improve outcomes for HR processes by automating repetitive routine tasks. AI is also helping HR teams predict and act upon information that was inaccessible in the past. For example, AI can help HR teams identify employees who are most likely to quit and enable HR to proactively take retention measures. However, one of the biggest challenges that AI will help organizations overcome is productivity.
By 2020, we are likely to witness AI integrations across common employee-facing apps and software that will help HR drive higher productivity and engagement. Additionally, we might see AI-powered virtual assistants and bots becoming more common in the workplace. Employee self-service, communication, performance management, and learning and development functions stand the most to gain from it. As a direct consequence, organizations deploying AI solutions will become attractive places to work as they will deliver superior employee experiences.
2. Data analytics will take centre stage
While many HR professionals might argue that HR has always been data-driven, digital HR has certainly added a new dimension to its analytical capabilities. Today, HR teams are sitting on a goldmine of data waiting to be unearthed. They already have the right applications in place for various functions but haven’t been quite successful in tapping into the data collected by digital HR solutions.
HR will apply analytics to:
Establish metrics/benchmarks in areas such as employee churn and retention, employee performance, recruitment, employee development and engagement, workforce planning, and incentive programs
Identify behavioral patterns. These patterns can be used with various events to identify underlying causes. For instance, identifying employee behaviors that have a high correlation to engagement levels leading to attrition.
Predict the future actions of employees based on their current behavior. Predictive analytics can further be used to strengthen recruitment and retention programs
Using analytics data in HR will lead to better HR practices, improved employee experience, increased productivity, and eliminate bias in decision-making.
3. The Gig Economy will thrive
Gone are the days when the term ‘gigs’ were exclusively used by stand up comedians and indie musicians. Technology has played a major role in facilitating the gig economy.
Individuals prefer to be freelancer than working a full-time job. In fact, a 2019 report by Noble House found out that 73 per cent of the respondents surveyed wanted to undertake freelancing opportunities over a conventional full-time job. Employees, especially in India are choosing to work as freelancers, consultants, or independent contractors because it allows them the freedom to choose. They can choose location independence, BYOB (Be Your Own Boss), flexible schedule, cut off the daily commute, and so on.
Organizations are finding the gig economy lucrative because they can now hire experts on a project basis and reduce the overheads in terms of not only compensation but also saving on infrastructure and other costs incurred by in-house employees.
This win-win arrangement makes the gig economy engaging for both – individuals and organizations.
4. Remote employment will become a norm
Remote employment is an option where you essentially get the best of traditional employment and the gig economy. Organizations are already allowing employees to work from outside office premises for certain days of a week, and we can expect remote employment to become a norm by 2020 for the following reasons:
- Organizations are prioritizing work-life balance and employee engagement to boost career longevity and retention Gen Z entering the workforce
- Organizations are identifying avenues to increase productivity without incurring additional costs or overheads
5. Learning and development will become interactive
Today, we are at the crossroads of disruption and innovation, and high-performing organizations acknowledge this. Reskilling and retraining the workforce will become a key business concern as we begin to face the effects of increasing automation and AI. As organizations look to remain competitive in an increasingly disruptive business environment, learning and development will undergo a massive transformation to help businesses thrive.
Additionally, younger generations of the workforce are more likely to choose employment with organizations that promote skills development and continuous learning. As a result, organizations will deploy learning and development (L&D) platforms that cater to the needs of business and employees alike. L&D platforms will become much more interactive with AI algorithms running in the background, helping organizations track, measure, and optimize employee learning.
We are bound to witness the emergence of mobile learning for employees with intuitive apps and dashboards designed to recommend optimal learning pathways.
In sum, 2020 will be an exciting time for HR as the function plays a strategic role in business growth under new and challenging environments. While choosing and deploying the right solutions for specific business needs will improve competitiveness, long-term success will be determined by how well organizations are able to manage change and drive employee adoption of these technologies.