We can see an evolution as we look into the field of HR. It began back in the 30s and focused on the administrative systems of work, managing processes and managing the terms and conditions of work. HR then began to shift to self HR practices with focus on staffing, training, compensation and how the practices can be carried out in an effective way. In last 15 years it has shifted to strategy. And in the near future, the next step in HR will be ‘to not just look at the strategy as a mere concept but looking at it as an opening.’
2017 seems to be a big sounding year where future was predicted by the past and by now, everyone should have been sparkling around in flying cars. While we are not quite there with the flying cars, we are set to see some dramatic changes in the workplace, namely Human Resources. Times are changing and so are the practices. Logically then, it is wise to gear oneself and face the wave head-on. HR is turning its focus to strategic and tactical models and soon reducing functional work to avoid complexities and implement automated approach that can be integrated with the core business processes. The current trends in HR are shaping the future of work and it has a greater impact on the organizations.
It is seen that, people are expecting an experience at work which can be compared with the experience they have at home. What most people experience at the workplace is still far from ideal. It is still remarkable that there are still high percentage of people who are not satisfied at work. The algorithm with suggestions for new opportunities is missing. The ‘Experience of the Employee’ is very much related to this trend. There are fewer organizations that consciously design a positive employee experience for the complete life cycle of a particular employee.
In 2016, redesigning the performance management cycle was high on the agenda of many organizations. A boss with limited observations had to give feedback to the employees and it is a positive sign in getting rid of the traditional paternalistic process. We are also getting rid of labeling people with performance ratings. In 2017, the focus can be more on performance consulting and improved performance for better output. There are many people who want to improve their performance through frequent relevant feedback from various sources. This is an important element of performance improvement.
The new shapes of organizations are emerging from static hierarchical organizations to networks of teams that are able to adapt to the continuously changing environment. The focus of HR has been on the individuals and it is now slowly shifting from individuals to team. The HR view is also limited to the people on the payroll of an organization. The focus is less or sometimes it is missing on the people and teams who are important for the organization but not on the payroll. ‘To improve the way in which teams are working together’, still gets less attention if we look at networks of teams.
Even when an algorithm beats human judgment, people tend to trust human judgment better. When you sit next to the driver in an automated car, you probably experience the feeling. You prefer the driver to keep the hands on the steering wheel, above trusting the technology used in the car. In the use of people analytics, algorithm aversion is also one of the obstacles. Many managers tend to rely on their own judgment over solid insights from the HR. To overcome algorithm aversion is a trend and an important topic for 2017.
HR Operations & Data Ownership
It is seen that HR operations has been highly undervalued. All the HR professionals wanted to be a strategic business partner. An upgrade has been seen in the last years of HR Operations, which will continue in 2017. An HR can add most value in the HR operations area. A new breed is needed for HR professionals who can run HR as a service organization as there are different requirements for the people.
In 2014, privacy seemed to be less of an issue. It is predicted that there will be more discussions about privacy and data ownership. As part of an effort to improve people analytics, organizations are capturing more and more data of their employees. The data of the people can be captured in real-time with the help of numerous new instruments available. It can also be used to give an indication of the mood in various parts of the organization.
The Battle of the Apps
There is a rapid increase in the amount of clever HR Tech solutions. The big HR systems have not lived up to the promises as implementation is expensive and it takes a long time. With money and a relatively stable organization, the investment in one of the big core HR systems can certainly be worthwhile. HR avoids taking risks and the IT department does not like to have too many providers. The providers are struggling to convince HR to add their solution to the mix. A proper mix might be most effective between solid core HR systems, payroll solutions and focused innovative HR solutions. This helps in choosing the solutions, and in capturing the data from different systems for analytics of people.
Considerable work will be essential in building a positive organizational climate, within which improving performance level is not only appreciated and rewarded, but becomes a way of life. The HR team will be only one of the important pillars, and the other functions will certainly and equally have to do a lot of upgrading for improving the organizational results. Team work, will therefore, be a key driver in any organization, that will demand and result in high performance both at all individual levels and also across functions and teams continuously and consistently.
But still there is a strong contention and race of struggle to take the lead in the academic and professional field but obviously only time will fill which of these and other possible rival scenarios will offer more accurate description of the reality in future. The new technological change, downsizing, rightsizing and privatization management can also play role for future trends and accepts the challenges of the future.