Posted on Monday, November 19, 2018 by Rae Shanahan
Annual Enrollment is in full swing, and as if that wasn’t enough, Thanksgiving is just days away, with more holidays and year-end celebrations right around the corner.
It can be challenging to look ahead when so much is happening in the present moment, but before you know it, 2019 will be here. What does the year ahead hold for HR professionals?
Many of the trends that made headlines in 2018 will continue — such as the growing use of AI technology in HR departments. There are also new ideas about wellness programs and flex schedules you’ll want to stay aware of as you plan for managing your workforce and keeping them engaged. Here are three trends to watch for 2019:
Flexible working arrangements. Technology has changed so much about our workplaces, and none more than the ability to work from different places and at non-traditional times. The 9-to-5 workday is no longer the only option for employees in the knowledge-based economy, and in 2019 we’ll see a greater emphasis on flexibility in work schedules. And it’s not just about laptops and smartphones — flexibility helps employees balance responsibilities outside of work as well.
study, flexibility to accommodate medical needs and caring for family members was rated the most empathetic action that employers could demonstrate to employees. Expect employees to increasingly show interest in remote working options and wanting more flexibility when it comes to their schedules, such as working longer hours on certain days so that they can log off early on other days to handle family obligations or doctor appointments. 2018 State of Workplace Empathy
Hiring beyond competencies. In the year ahead, recruiters and HR departments will start just checking boxes about years of experience or particular programs that candidates have used. A more holistic view of a given candidate, including how they would fit into a company’s culture, will be increasingly valued in the hiring process. For example, if your organization emphasizes a collaborative work style and lots of teamwork, interviews and recruitment materials should address this cultural factor with applicants. Not everyone works best in that type of environment, but a candidate who flourishes in a collaborative setting but maybe hasn’t reached a certain number of years of experience could be a better fit than a more experienced candidate who prefers working alone. As you’re planning your recruiting initiatives for next year, think about emphasizing more factors than cut-and-dry competencies. moving beyond
Wellness programs for the whole person. Wellness programs have been popular for a few years now, but there are continual questions about their effectiveness at improving employees’ health, and an employer’s bottom line. As we’re understanding more and more, wellness means addressing all aspects of someone’s health—physical, mental, financial, and otherwise. If an employee is stressed over financial issues, for example, that can affect not only their engagement at work but their physical well-being too. Likewise, someone could be in great physical shape and be experiencing depression, so reaching total wellness goes far beyond what a scale says. In 2019, expect to see wellness programs that have a more holistic focus than simply calories or steps. If you partner with a vendor to provide wellness training, be on the lookout for those who address financial health with employees, and make sure that topics such as nutrition and preventive care are part of their program. Wellness will remain an important trend in the coming year, and companies that offer a comprehensive program will find better engagement and better employee outcomes.
If you want move information on updating your benefits offerings for the new year, we have a perfect starting point to assessing your health-care offerings. Download our guide, “Tune-up or Overhaul 5 Tips for a High Performance Health Plan,” below.