Upcoming Trends In Human Resources

startup-594090_1920 As technology and digital media infiltrate nearly every facet of our lives, the Human Resources realm will not be left behind. In 2015 we saw many organizations gather their social and digital resources to advance recruitment, development, and engagement. This will continue in the new year, but focus will shift to the consumerization of human resources. What this entails is the creation of social, mobile, consumer-like experiences for employees within a company. We have all become digital citizens conditioned to having apps readily available on our desktops and mobile devices. Now, the HR realm will have to adapt to meet these needs and provide current and potential employees with a seamless experience.

First, your workplace will need to become an experience in itself. The job market is full of talented individuals seeking more than just benefits. Major companies like AirBnB and Pandora are innovating their employee’s experiences to provide them with an environment where the physical, emotional, intellectual, virtual and aspirational components of work are all carefully considered. Pandora for example, allows and provides funding for Pandora Employee Resource Groups (PERGs), wherein employees can use up to $1,000 a year to explore professional development topics (like leadership or time management) or even fun shared interests like baking, or feng shui. The purpose of these groups is to give Pandora employees the opportunity to bond with one another while learning about a mutual interest. The benefits are dual. There is personal development happening, along with team building conducive to future collaborations.

Your employees will take on a new role in the coming year, they will be your new brand advocates. As digital citizens, we are able to share our personal and professional experiences within our own networks. Companies are learning that this is good for business, and have started forming employee advocacy programs to encourage teams to share business updates to their own social media accounts. According to Forbes, content shared by employees earns eight times more engagement than content shared by the company’s own channel. Employee content is also re-shared 25 times more frequently. Additionally, 52% of the individuals surveyed by Edelman Trust Barometer trust an employee more than the CEO.

In Cisco’s Connected World Technology Report, we learned that employees value flexibility over almost anything else. It is the second most important factor (after salary) that potential employees consider. More than half of American Millennials surveyed (66%) said companies that offer flexible, mobile and remote work models have an advantage over companies with the standard 9-to-5 model. A company’s success can be driven by finding and keeping the best talent, and adapting to these new work models can foster an increase in productivity. In a study commissioned by Polycom, 90% of American business reported offering or expanding remote options. These options are undoubtedly changing the way we work, as demonstrated in a ConnectedSolutions survey. According to 39% of remote employees, productivity increased 77% when working off site. While working remotely can create a sense of disconnection, 42% of the same survey group reported they felt just as connected to colleagues on site.

Rapid changes are taking place in many realms of modern life, many of which are in response to developments in technology. In order to continue driving your company’s success, it is imperative you stay ahead of the game. The time has come to account for all the needs of your employees, and provide them with the tools for success.

To learn more about trends in Human Resources, see Forbes.