In business, there is always the urge to look forward and to predict what your business or role will look like next year or in five years’ time. Trends are a good way to glimpse the potential near future, and in the world of human resources, the employee experience is a big topic of debate.
Many businesses have long valued their employees, but this can sometimes take a back seat to fulfilling the needs of the business. In more recent times, the realisation that a positive employee experience can have a massively associated positive impact on the business has caused a change in approach. Using measures such as employee satisfaction surveys (https://www.qualtrics.com/blog/employee-satisfaction-survey/), businesses can realise what is going right or wrong and make immediate changes to improve the working environment. And the HR departments are at the forefront of these changes.
Businesses now realise that high quality and satisfied employees are the best way forward and giving them meaningful purpose is the perfect way to achieve this. This has meant a big shift in approach for the HR professionals and new importance to the role hence accredited HR courses being a huge area of growth. People entering the profession want to be at the cutting edge of what HR now means.
A part of this shifting mindset has created one of the big trends for the near future – the non-traditional organisation of a business. Gone are the days where a workforce was just an expendable resource and there were always more people to replace them. Employers now want to invest time and effort into their staff, building relationships and creating positive workplace experiences. This is why every company has a corporate wellbeing program for their employees.
A big part of this is flexibility and freedom of workplace and HR are at the heart of organising this in many businesses. This allows employees to work in ways that best suits them and leads to greater contentment and productivity.
Working towards goals
People respond differently to different approaches but one that has seen widespread success is the idea of working towards goals and creating the freedom to choose what those goals are. For some businesses, this means a change to collaborative workspace to allow everyone to work together and solve problems. Or it may mean flexible working approaches or even working from home. The focus is on achieving the selected goal and finding the best way for employees to do this.
Very much tied in this that idea is the one of employee autonomy – allowing people to work with less one on one guidance from managers. This allows people to work uninterrupted and to have a feeling of pride and confidence in what they are doing. It also increases accountability when someone goes wrong – people are less likely to simply blame the boss.
The Sandbox approach
Most of us will have encountered the idea of a sandbox, often in computer programs or systems – a place where you test and learn about something without affecting the original. But the Sandbox approach to career progression is a little different. It changes the development path of a career from a straight line along a set path to a sandbox of ideas where you can switch from one area to another.
This concept is also tied in with the shifting ways that businesses operate with factors such as flexible working and working from home. While not every business can create opportunities where staff can move from one career to another, those that can have noticed greater success and employee satisfaction.
It is an interesting and exciting time to work in HR and businesses of all industries and sizes are looking for these professionals. As times change and these new trends come to be the normal way of working, the role of the HR professional will continue to be a crucial one.