- Demographic change and a shortage of skilled workers are creating competition among companies for suitable workers.
- Companies are better able to recruit and retain employees with additional values that affect the work environment.
- Five HR Trends 2019 to strengthen the employer brand: work-life balance, corporate culture, diversity, talent management and digitization of the workplace.
In recent years, demographic change and a shortage of skilled workers have ignited a real battle for suitable personnel, the “War for Talent”. The trend is towards an employee’s market. Human Resources no longer asks only, “What can the employee do for the company,” but also must impress suitable candidates with the company through added value, so that they do not go to work for the competition. The company’s image, the employer brand, must be made attractive. But what actually makes up a good employer? What do employees expect today from companies? In this blog, we will identify five trends which will gain even more importance in 2019 in order to simplify recruiting and retain employees.
1st HR trend: Work-life balance and New Work
Digitalization is pushing business processes and the need for skilled employees is growing in companies. If a number of activities are to be performed by AI and machine learning in the future, the question of the actual meaning of work arises. Particularly the new generation of employees, the so-called Generation Z, is growing up and challenging human resources work and recruiting. The classic workplace and fixed hours always in the same place are giving way to new, open and mobile work spaces. Work is shaped independently of place and time, and new management styles rely on agility and an actively positive error culture in “New Work” Human Resources must adapt to these trends. Young recruits are ready to contribute to the company’s success with passion and effort, but no longer at any cost. Today, they want to harmonize family and private life and gain room for personal development. Flexible work time models and the opportunity to work from home excite young professionals and retain talent in the company. In 2019, HR departments should use this opportunity and develop new working conditions. EASY SOFTWARE has also adjusted to changed employee conditions and growing flexibility for years and has successfully reduced hierarchies, introduced agile work and offers mobile work. For us, the priority is on results-oriented work. It is our opinion that companies must meet their employees with trust and appreciation in order to remain successful in the long term.
2nd HR trend: Positive company culture
According to a Gartner study, “2019 HR Executive Priorities” HR administrators are more and more recognizing the commercial value of employee experience in regard to the company culture, company values and commitment. In the survey of 800 HR administrators conducted by the analyst and consultant Gartner, 55% indicated that they had difficulties communicating company values to their employees in day-to-day work. In addition, there were challenges in measuring employee satisfaction. An HR trend in 2019, therefore, is toward strengthening employee satisfaction through common values, appreciation and promotion. According to Gartner, this is even more important than the actual job. HR administrators can simplify recruiting and promote team spirit among employees by establishing authentic values. In order for that to work, the company management must support this plan and, above all, communicate. Strategic company communication, which controls both external and internal communication, is a fundamental tool for this. That is why EASY SOFTWARE AG has also made company communication an important strategic element, even for internal communication. Thanks to regular news, written and by telephone, and regularly occurring round tables where our CEO Dieter Weißhaar invites people to direct discussions, we strengthen the communication of all employees. EASY SOFTWARE is already reaping the benefits with a majority of positive responses from their own workforce and thus a strengthening of the employer branding.
Especially younger generations of employees appreciate work-life balance and the possibilities of flexible working models such as mobile working.
3rd HR trend: Diversity and inclusion
Deutsche Telekom was one of the first companies to promote diversity in teams and had success with it. Today, we know from numerous studies that diverse teams are usually more successful and have a positive effect on company revenues. Many different perspectives are conducive to innovation and outside-the-box thinking. Diversity is becoming a crucial competitive factor. Those who want to hold their own must create teams in which people with different characters, characteristics and cultural backgrounds work together. HR is responsible for designing a culture in the company which encourages all employees to get involved in the company with their whole personality. However, along with a fundamental open mindset, it also takes measures to increase awareness of unconscious privileges. EASY SOFTWARE AG, for example, is an open-minded company which advocates diversity and actively promotes it in recruiting. Our just under 300 employees from a wide variety of backgrounds work together successfully in 16 locations and value cooperative interaction. We treat each other with respect and always as equals and cooperate based on mutual values which have no room for intolerance, discrimination and disrespect. As another specific measure, employees have founded a program for advancing women WINIT (Women in IT) in order to promote diverse teams and increase the percentage of women in the IT industry.
4th HR trend: Talent management and coaching
Talent management is not a new HR trend, but it will become even more important for companies in the future in order to be able to fill strategically important positions with employees from within the company. And employees also usually expect a work atmosphere in which they are able to emphasize and develop their abilities. They want to be coached. The Harvard Business Review has identified four management types. The “always on” manager coaches and consistently monitors their employees, representing what is commonly the ideal type for Human Resources. However – as surveys have shown – it is precisely this type of manager who is most detrimental to the commitment and motivation of employees. Because individuals can’t know everything and therefore can never be great coaches all on their own. Besides, who wants to have someone constantly looking over their shoulder? Human Resources is significantly responsible for promoting a management style in the company which gives employees the opportunity to develop their potential and to network with other experts in the company when they do not have specific knowledge. For example, EASY SOFTWARE offers an exchange program with other partner companies in their newly founded talent and successor program.
5th HR trend: Automation of company processes
Companies in every industry are in the midst of one of the most massive transformation phases, and HR is developing into one of the most important functions to actively design and control this transformation in companies. Along with the penetrating questions of digitalization, a parallel development is also leaving behind its first deep traces: digital natives are arriving in the working world and taking on more and more responsibility. According to a PwC study on the workplace of the future, Millennials and Generation Z, who grew up in a digitally networked world, will very soon make up 50 percent of the global workforce. These employees want to perform meaningful work with the support of modern digital tools which can be used trouble-free from anywhere and satisfy their DIY mentality. Overall, the digital HR platforms and tools, familiar from our increasingly digitalized day-to-day work, will become the critical success factor for companies. For all HR departments, this holds primarily one bit of good news: the strengthening of personal responsibility and the promotion of self-management will create new room which will be urgently needed for the HR tasks of the future. Modern digital processes such as employee self services will be an important component for the transformation to HR 4.0
Companies are definitely facing an employee’s market. Applicants and employees are noticeably paying attention to the company culture and to the added values which companies have to offer along with satisfactory pay and activities. HR departments have new requirements as a result. HR employees are significantly involved in strategically supporting the company’s objectives by getting new and existing employees ready for future developments. Therefore, HR administrators should consider which of these HR trends for 2019 they are able and want to implement in order not to fall behind the competition one day. Off to the wonderful new working world.