10 piping hot trends in HR practices

Kim Pullinger, Content Writer · 26 Nov

As the year draws to a close and you admit that it may be acceptable to start listening to Christmas music, we can start to look forward to 2019 and ask ourselves a few important questions: "what are the 10 most piping hot trends in HR practices?”

As the year draws to a close and you begrudgingly admit that it may be acceptable to start listening to Christmas music, we can start to look forward to 2019 and start to ask ourselves a few important questions.

Questions such as “what on earth is going to happen with Brexit?” “How do we solve the ever-urgent problem of climate change?” And “Will England win the Nations League?”

The most important question, however, is "what are the 10 piping hot trends that are going to warm you in the cold winter months?" 

meditating HR man

Most companies have HR departments, and if they don’t, they’re in trouble. HR departments deal with the hiring, administration, and training of staff.

They’re there to answer your contractual queries, take on board your work-place environment worries, and they might even be able to get you a microwave on the second floor. Strategic Human Resource management means keeping up with the hottest trends in the industry.

So, if you’re in strategic HR management, this article is essential for you. And without further ado, let’s go through the 10 hottest HR practices trends.  

  1. Employee Experience

This one is close to Perkbox's heart. As an Employee Experience provider, we can't stress the importance of focusing on improving there "life" not just their office amenities. Hopefully, you’ve realised that engaging with your employees in an individual way is important. Your employees are often your biggest advantage that you have over your competitors.

The old model where employees would slave away for hours on end, hating every second, is on the way out, and rightly so. The role of HR, therefore, is crucial and making sure that your employees are happy in the workplace should be the number one priority for HR management.

It starts at the recruitment and interview stage and runs right the way through until, and even after, an employee has left your business. Happy, well-trained, and motivated staff will be able to offer your company the best that they can, and your performance-levels will improve as a result. It’s really a win-win.

good employee experience two men chilling

  1. Flexible work arrangements

The standard working week of nine to five, five days a week is dying. The growing list of people who don’t want to work from nine to five Monday to Friday can no longer be ignored.

Young people trying to hold down two jobs to make ends meet, young parents juggling work and child-care, people looking after elderly relatives, women returning to the work-force after a career break, and people who simply can’t get themselves going before midday.

These people should not be discriminated against simply because they don’t fit into the old status-quo.

The best HR managers recognise that such people can be the most motivated and talented. Flexi-hours, or even the possibility of working a four-day week should be explored by any company with an eye on the future.

Not only will flexible work arrangements attract more people, but they will also help retain your best talent if your employees’ circumstances change. 

  1. Phasing out fixed jobs

Just as employees should no longer be expected to be working fixed hours, they may soon also not be working in a fixed role. Organisations are increasingly giving employees less rigid job descriptions in favour of a more personalised approach. One of the ways that this works is crafting a job-role specifically designed to play to a candidate’s skills.

Another is selecting the people for a specific task whose skills best match those required. The benefits are two-fold. First, employees will no longer be forced to work on projects that they either have no interest in or are not fully-equipped to carry out.

Second, this approach ensures that the employees who are assigned to a task are the best available. These two factors, when put together, make for a powerful combination in relation to employee satisfaction and output.  

  1. Reskilling

A lot of graduates working in HR will have studied a humanities degree, which, although developing many transferable skills, is not vocational.

Many employees in HR, therefore, need specific training once they start a job, and keeping up with changes in the industry makes this all-the-more important, and not just for recent graduates.

All the way up to management, employees need to keep up-to-date with how the industry is changing.

Having a high-potential workforce that lacks specific skills is often a problem for businesses and ensuring that people keep up with changes in the industry is therefore of paramount importance. So how do you make sure that your employees reach that potential? 

aggressively reskilling

  1. Online learning

Online learning could be the new night class. As universities roll out more “i-learning” courses, HR should be doing the same.

Rather than making employees attend courses in the evening or during their lunch break, online courses could be the answer to those motivational woes. The flexibility of online learning means that employees can do smaller chunks more frequently.

Employees can complete online learning courses on their commute or on a quiet day at the office, rather than in a stuffy conference room at 6pm on a Friday at the office after everyone else has gone home. In an increasingly fast-paced modern society, this seems to be the way forward.

  1. Chatbots

From their humble Microsoft Word paperclip origins, chatbots are on the rise. Although they are primarily used in customer service to answer relatively straightforward queries, employees may also need their help.

To free up HR departments’ valuable time, chatbots can be used to direct employees to the answers to FAQs or collate feedback on ways that your company can improve.

Not only that, they can be used in training, recruitment, marketing, and many other areas. They’re an exciting tool that shows that your company is looking to the future.


chat bot

  1. Ditching PTB in favour of EI

Dave Ulrich’s book “Human Resource Champions” includes this well-known image of the four typical HR roles; the strategic partner, the change agent, the administrative expert, and the employee champion.

HR management involves dealing with all four of these HR focus areas in order to achieve the best outcome overall. In the past, the strategic partner was given the priority by HR management because it meant being close to, or becoming, management.

However, the “Please The Boss” (PTB) strategic partner is increasingly being rejected in favour of the humble “Employee Intimacy” (EI) employee champion.

Businesses are beginning to understand that the needs of individual employees are important for making a company successful, and so employee champions are beginning to get the appreciation that they deserve.

  1. Community focus

Not only are business increasingly looking after their own employees, but they are also engaging in more and more community projects with a focus ranging from the environment to women’s rights. Businesses realise that they no longer operate in a bubble, and the way that they interact with their communities is important.

Getting your business’ name out there is beneficial in terms of attracting talent, but supporting community projects also provides a concrete example of what your business’ priorities and concerns are. HR’s role in this is extremely important.

Deciding which projects to support, selecting the best employees for each project, making sure that they are well-equipped and trained, is the responsibility of HR management.

  1. Global leaders

The number of global leaders is on the up. The benefits of having leaders from across the world can make your business a better place. They bring a different world-view to their job and inspire different approaches to problem-solving in their teams.

Global leaders willing to work abroad are often inclusive and collaborative and should be cherished.

HR managers should be keen to integrate them as best as possible by proving them and the teams they manage with information on how best to work with new environments and colleagues.

global leader

  1. Continuous performance management

Yearly appraisals are on the way out. Rather than encouraging employees to cram as the date of their appraisal nears, more frequent check-ups will allow your employees to be working to the best of their ability all the year round and will remove the pressure on employees to “make a big statement” only once a year.

More frequent performance management will also allow high-performing employees to be identified and rewarded more quickly.

In the same way, employees who are not performing as well as they, or you, would like, can be offered more support by HR (in the form of reskilling or online learning, for example) so that they can reach their potential.

chilled manager lady

Hopefully, now you’ll be able to think about some of the hottest trends in HR practice that are revolutionising the sector. Make sure you keep your eye on the ball, or you could end up being left behind!

Looking to make your workplace exceptional? Why not download our brochure and find out everything there is to know about being an employer of choice: 








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