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HR Trends and Topics for 2018 – 2020

2018 – 2020 tend to be breakthrough years for human resource management in North America; resulting from new developments in Artificial Intelligence (AI), HR Transformation, Harassment, Diversity and Generational Inclusion, Virtual Work, Smart Office, Final Performance Evaluations, Salary Equity and People Analytics.

Most of these developments are not new; they are simply the reincarnation of old buzzwords, concepts, and discoveries.

John McCarthy’s concept of Artificial Intelligence (AI), for example, was first introduced by IJ Good in 1959, when he said “in 20 years (or by 1979), people won’t have much to do” when AI is around. fully integrated. in the workplace. Good’s prediction had taken more than 60 years for scientists and programmers to move the needle further to harness some of the benefits of AI.

Another example of a buzzword that has recently gained popularity in HR is “Transformation.” Today, most change initiatives and initiatives are labeled as “HR Transformation” when they are improvements to HR processes using change management techniques.

Listed below are some of the top HR trends and topics that will capture the attention of HR management professionals as we close out another decade.

  • HR transformation and the future of work (Robotics, AI and Blockchain Technology)

Human resource professionals continue to lead organizational change initiatives and projects to improve productivity. However, they will need to go beyond these projects to embark on enterprise-wide HR transformations that involve redefining work processes to achieve future visions and strategies for their organizations.

Robots that specialized in repetitive jobs will eventually take over the work of some employees in the workplace, especially in manufacturing and related industries.

AI (artificial intelligence) applications will affect a significant number of jobs in all sectors of the Canadian economy. A recent report on the future of work (McKinsey, 2017) suggests that up to 375 million workers worldwide may need to change occupational categories and learn new skills. The report also highlighted around 60% of jobs, and at least a third of the job can be automated using AI. Professional HR roles in recruiting (for example, through the reimagining of the human recruiter), headhunting, HR assistants and advisors are some of the jobs that will be immediately negatively affected by AI. .

The good news is that AI applications will take HR management into its golden age of being a true partner in organizational strategic decision making. According to a recently published article: A new era of opportunity What does artificial intelligence mean for HR professionals, by the Ontario Human Resources Professional Association (HRPA, 2017), AI has already had a significant impact on human resources in Ontario, Canada. The HRPA document was based on a 500-member response to its survey of a total of 23,000 registered members or the 2.2% who might be speaking on behalf of a select group of HR professionals in the country. However, according to highlights from the report, AI will facilitate HR services by:

  • Reduce administrative workload,
  • Introduce efficiencies in recruitment,
  • Mitigate some biases, especially in recruitment, and
  • Improve employee retention and internal professional mobility

The HRPA and PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) report “Artificial intelligence in human resources: a no-braineralso published in 2017, which reported that AI in HR would immediately create the following efficiencies:

  • Eliminate repetitive tasks (administrative workload)
  • Accelerate the search for talent (recruitment efficiencies)
  • Reduce employee burnout (and retention), and
  • Improve employee engagement (including internal professional mobility)

Finally, the application of blockchain technologies will facilitate job referrals and provide access to past payroll records for recruitment and hiring.

  • Workplace Harassment

2017 ended with several stories of discrimination and sexual harassment in the media and damage to the reputation of some companies and put some employers on notice for major lawsuits. These accusations led to the resignation or dismissal of many male executives, celebrities, and politicians. Organizations would now need to take proactive steps to reduce harassment complaints through the adoption of zero-tolerance harassment policies, training, and culture change initiatives. Harassment in the workplace could be a subtopic for an HR forum or conference.

  • Diversity and Generational Inclusion (workplace fit)

Generational diversity and inclusion will dominate the agenda for HR professionals for years to come as organizations become global entities and welcome new generations of employees into the workplace. This year, the first batch of Gen Z college graduates will enter the full-time workforce in North America, creating a motley quilt of employees in the workforce. Managing a mixed generation of Gen X and millennial leaders while boomers and traditionalists migrate into project contractor and consultant roles will lead to demand for new soft skill sets. Other skills that will be brought into the workplace include texting on cell phones, building online communities, learning via mobile devices on demand, and managing online behavior outside of the workplace.

  • Flexible time, remote and autonomous work

Most surveys conducted in 2017 indicate that the majority of workers and job seekers are looking for remote work. The concepts of “smart office”, “free home”, virtual work and work from home are some of the characteristics of the gig economy. 2017 employee survey reports from Workplace Analytics, Gallup and others also found that telecommuting and working from home are on the rise. To reduce employee turnover, it is sometimes recommended that companies invest in hybrid live-work (life-work) space rentals.

Some of the employee surveys conducted in 2017 indicate that freelancers are proactively developing work-relevant skill sets compared to their counterparts who are employed by companies. As many as 65% of freelancers said they are studying to stay on top of career development as jobs and skills evolve, compared to 45% of non-freelancers.

  • Productivity and performance management

In recent years, the focus has shifted back to increasing productivity as new people have been hired following the recent 2008 North American recession. Changes in performance management, competency assessment, and goal setting had given rise to new methods of measuring productivity.

Employers are currently devising new techniques to measure employee productivity and training to improve future performance.

Issues of concern to most employers in Canada that can affect productivity include the legalization of marijuana, the increase in recreational drug use, and substance abuse.

  • Equal pay, fair compensation and benefits

Although transparency is a core value for many companies, Canadian provincial governments are actively working against workplace practices that favor some male employees over female employees in pay. New labor law now addresses differences in wages and benefits between permanent employees and agency employees in Ontario. In 2018, organizations’ management will spend part of their time ensuring that their companies comply with pay equity and other employment laws.

Suggested Conference Topics for Human Resources

  • The future of HR is Now
  • HR transformations: the best option for your organization
  • Reinventing Human Resources: A Guide to Facing Current and Future Challenges for Success
  • The Performance Review Impasse: How to Reform Performance Appraisal and Goal Setting for Employee Success
  • People Analytics: data goes beyond human resources (predictive analytics)

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