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The Evolution Of HR

Posted On: 12/02/2019

Need for Speed. The Data Games. Deploying AI. Licence To Skill.  At first glance you may think that these are all blockbuster film titles, but these are the themes that are dominating the future of HR.

The traditional role of HR was mainly task driven carrying out functional operations such as processing applications, getting new starters on board, payroll and ensuring the rights of employees were met.  Today’s HR landscape has changed from its humble foundations as employers consider their workforces to be their main assets and are placing more importance on their welfare.  The role of HR is now more strategic and proactive with the necessity to build solid working relationships in all departments.

Let’s look at how the past has shaped the future of HR. 

Early HR Influences

In the 1800s working conditions were atrocious and workforces were seen as a replaceable resource.  To quell the vast quantity of complaints the government put in place rules to protect the rights of workers.  This era witnessed the start of a formal method of addressing issues.

The mid 1900s saw competition and pressure rise in the workplace.  Employers recognised that they needed a quality over quantity mindset when hiring; and with this the recognition that they needed to train and treat their workforce better to improve retention. 

Acts came into force in the late 1900s to further protect the rights of workers and to encourage diversity without discrimination.  These included The Equal Pay Act 1970, The Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970, Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and the Race Relations Act 1976.

The Ever-Evolving Role of a HR Professional

As businesses require support with their growth strategies to boost their bottom line, and employees expecting more than pay, the HR professional of today must take on a more all-encompassing function to meet these growing demands

Today’s HR professional must be:

8 HR Trends for a Profitable & Healthy 2019 (and beyond)

Employee engagement.  It has been predicted that businesses will increase their employee engagement spending by 45% this year.  Engagement initiatives, programmes and surveys are crucial for a thriving workplace culture. 

People analytics.  The role of HR has shifted to become more strategic and collaborative as its tools track productivity, employee satisfaction, recruitment, training and development and absence.  This invaluable data allows the HR professional to help businesses make better informed decisions and improve processes.  This information goes hand in hand with employment engagement as companies gain clear insights into what makes their employees tick.

Smart workforces.  To keep organisations running smoothly HR teams today keep one step ahead of the game with innovative solutions to facilitate career progression, redeployment and the redistribution of talent across businesses. 

AI & automation.  Automating recruitment procedures is perfect for speeding up the process as it removes laborious tasks.  AI takes this HR process to a whole new level as it supports intelligent decisions with no bias.  HR professionals will remain key to programming recruitment, applicant, screening and assessment software to ensure companies meet their diversity goals. 

Innovative learning.  One of P3 People Management’s buzzwords at the moment is ‘rethink’.  Research has proved that sitting in a large room listening to a person speak isn’t conducive to learning.  Businesses need to rethink how they keep their workforces up to date on their training and development.  Applying gamification to learning could be the solution for today’s employer.  We’re also excited to see how VR and AI takes on the world of training!

Corporate wellness.  For a while businesses have concentrated mainly on the physical wellness of their employees.  Thankfully this has shifted to focus on financial and mental health too.  Innovative solutions to support workforces include financial wellness technology, wellness apps, stress management workshops and access to meditation spaces.

The generation game.  For the first time ever we are seeing up to five generations of workers in the same workplace.  To ensure every member of staff benefits from the same level of employee experience HR teams must focus on inclusivity and provide every individual with what they need to remain productive and motivated. 

Working remotely.  With the abundance of technological advancements remote workers can remain engaged with fellow team members whilst working elsewhere.  A study last year revealed that just under 80% of workers would move to a company offering remote working if the pay was equal.  HR teams must perform risk assessments and provide policies to protect both the employer and the employee.

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If your business is looking for regular HR support or just a one-off helping hand we’re here for you.  Give our friendly team of HR professionals a call on 0161 941 2426.

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