HR Trends for 2020: What Smart Businesses are Planning for the Next Year and Beyond

We take a look at the HR trends for the coming year that business owners should be considering in their longer-term business strategies:

Increased Focus on Diversity and Equality

With the Government looking to extend gender pay reporting from 250+ employee companies to 50+ employee companies, the proposed introduction of ethnicity pay gap reporting and FTSE 100 targets to have 33% women represented boards; equality and diversity is clearly very high up on the agenda.

Job applicants are much more likely nowadays to consider and review equality and diversity figures before accepting an offer of employment, so employees are evidently more aware of the importance of these figures and how they can be a major indicator of earning potential, job equality and company culture.

Business owners cannot ignore their own company’s status, attitude and processes for equality and diversity, as this will become increasingly vital for the attraction and retention of staff.

Many smaller employers (with fewer than 250 employees) have taken to annual reporting their diversity and equality figures despite the current legislation not applying to them. This open and honest approach to communicating their equality figures proves to be a commendable and positive tactic in attracting staff.

Gig Economy

The world of work is changing with more individuals becoming self-employed, setting up their own business or working in the gig economy than ever before.

The Good Work Plan is helping to ensure that workers have more consistency and security in this economy. It’s predicted that more and more of the UK’s workforce will move away from traditional, full time employment into other types of work such as freelancing and contracting.

Employers may need to consider relying more of different types of workers (rather than traditional 9-5 permanent employees). Employers should also ensure they are Good Work Plan compliant, as well as offer competitive rates and rights for these types of workers.

Reskilling of Jobs

As technology advances, traditional roles are changing.

Automation, digitification, gamification, chatbots, robotics and increases in online products/services/purchasing, mean the evolvement or replacement of many traditional work roles. With this comes a requirement to retrain and reskill employees.

Employers should ensure they are ahead of the curve with technological advances within their sector, but also more vitally that their company and workforce have the skills, competences and knowledge to manage and administer such systems and implementations.

Instant Messaging Surpassing Emails

People will naturally gravitate towards the easiest method of communication. Traditionally at work, emails have been the most popular method of communication, replacing post and faxes.

Nowadays, there are more instant messaging systems, including messaging applications like Whatsapp, and professional networking communication tools such as Yammer and Slack. These systems enable employees to chat in real time, see when others are on/offline and when people have read their message.

Many employees (particularly millennials) prefer to use these new tools to get quicker responses from colleagues.

Smart employers will offer a range of communication methods (e.g. emails as well as a messaging system like Slack) and will also have communication policies in place to outline the use of these systems.

Changing Work Values

Like it or lump it, millennials are the future of work and will increasingly make up a large proportion of the workforce as time goes on. They have a very different set of values from other working generations, such as the baby boomers and generation x.

Business owners need to ensure that their company culture and benefits package is appealing to this generation to help with the retention and attraction of staff. Top of the millennial agenda is:

  • Flexible working arrangements – e.g. remote working, flexi-hours and work/life balance
  • Strong values – opportunities to do greater good and contribute to society – e.g. volunteering days, corporate and social responsibility, equality and diversity reporting, charitable giving, etc.
  • Communication – increased focus on feedback, transparency of information, contribution to strategy and collaboration at work.

If you would like strategic HR support, the EmployAssist HR Team can help you. Please contact us for professional human resources expertise on 0333 400 7920 or email [email protected].