As the workforce continues to undergo digital transformation, new HR trends follow suit. With HR tech like Employment Hero giving you the opportunity to free up time, it’s no wonder that companies are investing in software to increase productivity. This means you can focus on doing the things you love and leave the rest to us. Before we get into what we can expect in the people and culture space in 2020, we thought we’d recap on 2019 and the year that was.
In 2019, we saw a massive crackdown on employment compliance. This crackdown uncovered many large Australian employers underpaying their staff up to hundreds of millions of dollars. We also saw the rise of employer branding and EVP (Employee Value Proposition), which we spoke to JobAdder and Uber about in our webinar. It was an eventful year in HR land, but 2020 is forecasted to be even bigger. With this being said, read on as we share 24 HR trends you can expect to see in 2020 and beyond.
Psst… If you’re looking for a bite-size overview of what HR trends you can expect to see in 2020, you can view our visual infographic here.
1. Annual performance reviews are old news. Regular 1:1 check-ins are in
Annual performance reviews are a formal, infrequent way to discuss your team’s performance. More often than not, they can be a time consuming, unproductive way to provide feedback. They may even cause decreased employee engagement if someone receives lots of negative feedback without any warning.
So, what are the benefits of adopting regular check-ins?
By choosing to adopt regular 1:1’s, you open up the lines of communication in an informal setting. By opening up lines of communication, you enable your team to be more transparent and honest with how they’re really feeling. From here, you can address any concerns and stay on track to reach goals. A study by LinkedIn found that 80% of Millenials prefer feedback in real-time, compared to annual performance reviews. Regular 1:1’s between an employee and their manager are also an excellent opportunity to create actionable steps to reach different career goals. They’re also proven to reduce employee turnover rates by 14.9%.
2. HR tech will become an essential part of business compliance
Almost every week, we hear about large Australian companies getting caught up in pay scandals. With these scandals being front-page news, it’s no surprise that compliance is front of mind for business owners and HR professionals. The Australian pay system is complex, and it’s crucial you get it right – or you’ll end up getting caught out as many others did in 2019. Remember when Woolworths underpaid their staff by $300 million? Or when George Calombaris lost his Masterchef role when it was revealed he underpaid his staff by $7.8 million? These high profile pay scandals are just 2 of the many that occurred in 2019.
Our advice? Let Employment Hero help you stay compliant, so you don’t become another front-page pay scandal story.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one HR, payroll and employee benefits platform that helps you stay compliant, get in touch with us today and we’ll run you through a demo.
3. HR automation will allow HR professionals to pivot into more strategic roles within organisations
At Employment Hero, we know how HR automation can help you be more strategic in your day-to-day. Instead of spending hours doing mindless HR-related admin tasks, you can spend your time developing strategies that will lead to greater business success. Whether this is establishing your brand’s EVP, improving the candidate experience or finding ways to improve employee engagement, 2020 is looking bright for HR strategy. It might even see your HR team collaborating more with your marketing team to convey your improved EVP and employee experience on social media. Make 2020 the year you get digital. Your team will thank you for it!
4. Flexible working to become a vital piece of EVP
Now, more than ever, employees are looking for flexible working arrangements. Gone are the days of all employees doing their 9 to 5 in the office. When you support your team by allowing flexible working, you improve the overall employee experience. During the recruitment process, you should let your candidates know that you do (or don’t) support flexible work arrangements. That way, expectations are clear on both sides.
To make sure you set your remote workers up to succeed, leverage technology to optimise their engagement and productivity. Use video-conference tools like Meet-up or Zoom to ensure your remote workers are included in meetings and all-hands. We also use Objective and Key Results (OKRs) to make tracking progress on goals transparent and seamless – for both employer and employee
Using people analytics in 2020 can help you address areas of concern in your people management strategy. Not sure what people analytics is? People analytics includes the collection of employee-related data from your team, such as turnover, training, recruitment or compensation. This information can then be used to make informed decisions. It’s a great way to analyse insights from your team and make improvements to the company culture and processes.
In 2020, people analytics can help you make your team feel more valued. Some strategies we can expect to see in 2020 from HR professionals include ways to minimise absenteeism rates and reduce employee turnover.
6. Artificial intelligence
When you think of artificial intelligence and HR, you may wonder how the two relate. While AI is automating some of the application processes, such as filtering through applications to find the most qualified applicants, HR will always require human elements. HR professionals will become more tech-savvy, data-driven and strategic in their roles, and who doesn’t want that?
With more and more job-seekers looking for workplaces that fit within their values, it’s no surprise that everyone is checking on external review websites to find out what it’s like to work there. Workplace review websites, like Glassdoor or SEEK, allow potential candidates to gain real insights on how it might be working for the workplace they’ve applied to.
While employer branding isn’t a new concept, it’s one that will continue to trend well into 2020. Employers want their future employees to have a good impression of their company, and more often than not, review websites are the first place potential candidates look. According to Glassdoor, 83% of job seekers research company reviews and ratings when deciding where to apply for a job.
As for existing employees, it’s essential to communicate your EVP to the rest of the company. You want your current team to be your cheerleaders. They’re the ones that will write the review at the end of the day. They’re also the first ones to tell others if it’s a great place to work when job referrals get thrown into the ring.
In 2020, we will continue to see more use of videos. Using your employees to tell their story is more compelling and authentic than a “we’re hiring” post. You don’t have to invest a lot in this. It could be as simple as using your smartphone to record one of your employees talking about their role and company culture. Take some inspiration from the Employment Hero video below.
8. Employee advocacy
Following on from the above, we’ll start to see an increase in employee advocacy. If you’re not sure what this is, an example of employee advocacy can be a post on Linkedin sharing the benefits of working for your company or even sharing a company blog with their network.
It’s no surprise that a company’s greatest strength is its people and by leveraging your people you can reach new audiences. You’ll be attracting amazing talent and new business in no time.
9. Mental health
Don’t push mental health to the back of your mind. If your employees’ mental health isn’t a core focus for you, make it one in 2020. A sobering statistic, 91% of Australians believe mental health in the workplace is important and yet only 52% believe their workplace is mentally healthy. This discrepancy speaks volumes. What happens when you ignore your employees’ mental health or brush it under the carpet? People leave.
Over the next decade, Millenials and Gen Z are set to make up nearly 60% of the workforce. A Havard Business Review report recently uncovered that half of Millennials and 75% of Gen Zers had left roles in the past for mental health reasons (both voluntarily and involuntarily) compared with 34% of respondents overall — a finding that speaks to a generational shift in awareness. Not only is supporting a mentally healthy workplace the right thing to do, but it’s also good for business. If you want to find out more about how you can support mental health in your office, you can view our webinar here.
If you’re looking to support your employees’ mental health, we can help. With Employment Hero, you can provide your team with access to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). The EAP offers your employees and their families access to 24/7 professional counselling services. By providing this, it shows that you’re supportive of their mental health when they’re going through difficult times.
10. Work-life balance vs. work-life integration
In a world connected by the touch a button, work-life balance and work-life integration are becoming increasingly blurred. Previously, work-life balance was all about switching off at the end of the day and enjoying life outside of the office. Today, with the help of technology, work-life integration is becoming the new norm. For example, working mums can attend their kid’s sporting activities and still work when they return home in the evening.
Although it may seem like a privilege to have a solid work-life balance, it’s a necessity for maintaining your employees’ mental health. As an employer, it’s vital that you understand the triggers of stress and anxiety for your employees. These triggers can stem from having inflexible working hours and poor work-life balance and integration. In 2020, you need to address these. Why? One in five Australians has taken a day off in the last 12 months due to feeling mentally unwell, stressed, anxious or depressed. Learn more about the signs of workplace stress and how you can implement an employee wellness strategy that works.
11. Corporate sustainability
Now, more than ever, we’re seeing employees demanding sustainability efforts from their employer. Whether this is through social, environmental or ethical contributions, it is expected that businesses incorporate this into their strategy and contribute to driving change. In 2020, companies will shift their approach to include a ‘values-driven’ mentality, leading to improved EVP and social responsibility – just what Millennials and Gen Z’ers want!
But it doesn’t stop at your employees wanting to be a part of a sustainably responsible company – your customers and clients want it too! According to Nielson, 81% of respondents feel strongly that businesses should be using their resources to improve the environment – with Millenials, Gen X and Gen Z leading the trend. The benefits? Increased employee engagement, reduced costs and improved brand image.
Some ways you can get involved with corporate sustainability in 2020 include:
Developing a recycling and waste reduction program
You may not think it, but social media is only going to get bigger for HR leaders in 2020. HR professionals will continue to work on growing their network on LinkedIn and companies will continue to use it to recruit new talent. Social media is a valuable piece of the employer branding puzzle. With the average Australian spending roughly 1.5 hours a day on social media, your brand must be there – and not just for marketing efforts.
You and your people team may not be digital natives, but that’s okay! Don’t think of your social media efforts as marketing, but rather as a platform for storytelling. Tell the story of your company, yourself and your team. If you’re looking for inspiration, we’ve written a quick blog that will help you showcase your company culture on social media. Help people understand why they should want to work for the business. Above all else, tell it true – people will see through BS. A practical way to start would be to review your Linkedin profile and consider how you can build your presence on this platform. If you’re still unsure, link up with marketing and get their input.
A study by Deloitte revealed that teams with inclusive leaders performed 17% better than those who don’t have an inclusive leader. What is an inclusive leader? According to the DISC assessment, inclusive leaders are people-oriented, great listeners and able to tap into the talents and motivations of their teams. They are patient, understanding and genuinely interested in others. Personality traits of effective leaders include commitment, humility, curiosity, intelligence and effective collaboration. Inclusive leaders also understand that diversity and inclusion are vital to successful problem-solving. In fact, studies show that teams with cognitive diversity solve problems faster than those who are more homogeneous.
In today’s political climate – where loud, dominating personalities hold power – more and more people realise this may not be the most effective type of leader. We anticipate a shift towards inclusive leadership, where collaboration and a focus on people are celebrated.
14. Designed employee experience
Designing an employee experience (and getting it right) is a one-way ticket to employee happiness. In 2020, there will be even more significance placed on designing a positive employee experience for your team. When you’ve nailed your employee experience, you can create a group of high performing, motivated and innovative people that work together to get stuff done.
The employee experience can significantly impact employee engagement and all aspects of the business, so it’s crucial to put energy into getting it right. If you get it wrong, you’ll be left with an unmotivated, disengaged team that can be felt throughout the office. Employee experience can impact everything from your hiring and onboarding process right through to your bottom line.
The employee experience starts before their first day and carries on through to after their last. Designing that journey can seem like a mountain to climb, but once you’ve got the right tools and frameworks in place, you’ll have a well-oiled machine.
Remember the employee lifecycle (ELC). Each step of the cycle should be designed with intention.
15. Designing the candidate experience
As we said above, the employee experience starts before you hire, so the candidate experience needs to be good too! Did you know that 78% of candidates believe the candidate process is an indicator of how the company values its employees?
In 2020, we will see more businesses spending time developing their candidate experience. With review websites like Glassdoor allowing reviews throughout the entire employee experience (including the interview process), there’s never been a more critical time to get yours up to scratch. This is one of the most important HR trends in 2020, as it will allow you to give the best possible experience to top talent.
If you’re looking for a reason to design a candidate experience, listen to this. 72% of people who have had a poor interview experience have shared their experience on a review website like Glassdoor or shared it with friends and family. These reviews can deter other potential candidates from applying for open roles, and no one wants that!
Last year we started talking about designing the candidate experience in our employer branding webinar hosted in collaboration with JobAdder. Consider how every potential employee sees your business because you know they’re going to tell their network.
16. Spotlight back on soft skills
With technology advancing faster than ever, the last decade has seen a large number of resources being put into upskilling. While upskilling your team’s technical expertise is crucial for business success, soft skills like adaptability, creativity and collaboration have taken a back seat. According to a study by LinkedIn, 57% of leaders say that soft skills are more important than hard skills.
In 2020, we will see emphasis placed on soft skills as the leaders of tomorrow begin to emerge. According to Forbes, the most in-demand soft skills for the future of work include conflict management, time management, stress management and communication.
17. Performance coaching
2020 will see performance coaching come into action across more businesses. This is one of the HR trends we can’t wait to see. If you’re not familiar with the concept, performance coaching refers to the process of an experienced team member assisting and collaborating with another team member to improve their performance. Coaching allows for skills development, feedback given and enables initiative in employees to improve their performance. As a people manager, your role will start to focus more on developing strategic capability in your team. As a senior leader, you should also put attention into helping your executive team or business leaders grow too.
Top tip: you might need to bring in outside help. A fresh perspective can make all the difference.
18. Interactive learning development
Learning and development are essential for creating a high performing team. In 2020, remote and flexible working arrangements will only increase. This is why learning opportunities need to be digital, so those not in the office can develop too. At Employment Hero, we use Learning Plus for our team. Learning Plus has thousands of on-demand courses that assist in improving your team’s skills.
Employment Hero’s Learning Plus library.
Looking to implement an interactive learning system so your team can upskill? Book a demo today and we’ll show you how your team can excel with online learning.
19. Cross-team collaboration
Collaboration is at the core of every successful business. When you encourage cross-team collaboration, your team is 64% more likely to stay engaged with the task at hand, leading to an overall better result. Make sure to watch out for some common cross-team failures though. These issues can include social-loafing, one person doing all the work, strong personalities taking control or misaligned goals. As an HR professional, it’s your job to encourage and facilitate collaboration across teams. It’s also your job to diffuse tensions between teams if any issues arise.
20. New HR job roles emerging
As companies become more aware of the importance of valuing their employees, new HR roles have started to emerge.
In 2020, you’ll begin to hear HR positions including:
Chief Happiness Officer
Head of Employee Experience
HR Technology Office
2020 is shaping up to be an exciting time for the HR industry. We’ll see emphasis being placed on strategy and the automation of manual tasks. Remember when we said automation was your friend? This is why!
A forecast by Deloitte suggests that HR roles will grow on average 2.5% per year for the next five years, contributing to 8000 new job roles created in Australia alone.
21. Skills gap mapping
According to Linkedin, the number one concern for talent development in 2019 was identifying and assessing skills gaps. We know that it can be hard to know where the gaps lie. In 2020, there will be a focus on closing these to create a cohesive, highly skilled team.
By identifying the skill gaps in your business, you’ll be on your way to achieving business goals in no time. If you’re looking to take control of your skills gaps, you can use this step by step guide here.
While the side hustle has been a well-known concept for the last ten years (and its predecessor, moonlighting, even longer), there’s no sign of this HR trend slowing down. With wage growth sitting at a low 2.3% and the cost of living increasing, many Australians are feeling the pinch. With facts like these, it’s no surprise people are looking for an additional source of income to reduce financial pressures. If an employees’ side hustle isn’t in competition with their primary job and is worked on outside of work hours, it can actuallyprovide value to your business. When you think about it, those who have a side hustle are motivated, creative and have excellent time management skills. Sounds like the perfect employee to us!
Not only this, side hustles are often a passion project and provide a significant inspiration boost. This best part? This boost can be transferred to their main job. Some employers view side hustles as a distraction from their full-time role, but side hustles enable self-motivated upskilling. Resulting in your employees to be more innovative, educated and motivated at work, and who doesn’t want that? This is one of the HR trends you should encourage in 2020!
23. Inclusion culture
Australia is one of the most diverse counties in the world and our workforce is no different. Every business has a range of cultures, backgrounds, ages and abilities in the workplace. With varying life experiences and backgrounds, comes the need to create an inclusive culture. By fostering inclusive company culture, it will allow your employees to grow individually and as part of a team. Better yet, 63% of Gen Z place ‘working in a culturally diverse workplace’ as one of their top priorities when choosing an employer.
“By 2022, 75% of organisations with frontline decision-making teams reflecting a diverse and inclusive culture will exceed their financial targets. And gender-diverse and inclusive teams outperformed gender-homogeneous, less inclusive teams by 50%, on average.” – Gartner
Let’s recap: not only will you attract and retain young star talent, but the business also makes more money. Win/win!
24. Gen Z begin to join the workforce
In 2020, we will begin to see the start of Gen Z entering the workforce. Gen Z are those born between 1995-2012. Gen Z have recently finished their degrees, filled with inspiration and are ready to embark upon their professional journey.
Why does Gen Z entering the workforce matter?
Gen Z is values-driven. That’s why. They know what they believe in and want to work for a company that shares those values. They’re wanting to know that their company is using business as a force for good. They know what they want and are ready to stand up for what they believe in. That’s why you, as an employer, have to invest in developing your EVP and social responsibility so Gen Z’ers will want to work for you. Gen Z will change the future of workplaces, and 2020 is the time to get ready.
Excited for the future of HR in 2020 and want to learn more?
We always share content that will help you get the most out of our team. Whether it’s about how to adopt an HRIS like Employment Hero, or staying up to date with trending topics, let us be your HR information go-to. If you’re ready to make 2020 the year your human resources becomes automated, get in touch with us today.
If you want to share our top 24 HR trends for 2020 and beyond with your team and colleagues in an easy to read infographic, you can download it here.