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Revolutionizing HR: 5 Cutting-Edge Management Trends Transforming the Workplace

hr best practices hr department hr leadership team management team work Jul 17, 2023

The way in which organizations operate has profoundly changed over the last ten years. And the way in which organizations will operate in the next ten years will change as well. With all these changes, human resources must learn to quickly adapt in order to support the organization and properly serve employees.

A number of factors have played a crucial role in driving the significant changes we have witnessed in the business landscape this year:

  • The economic downturn and recovery
  • Greater adoption of and evolving trends in technology
  • Millennials comprising the majority of the workforce…and Gen Z entering
  • And of course….Covid 19

Undoubtedly, businesses across various industries, along with their leaders, have experienced substantial disruptions. The current business environment demands agility as the new standard. However, it is not just company executives who are affected by these transformative management trends. Human resources departments have also been profoundly influenced. As we gaze into the future, it becomes imperative for HR professionals to embrace adaptability in their practices and navigate these evolving changes effectively. As company leadership adjusts their styles of management to better align with modern day trends, human resources need to keep up. Below are five trends that will directly impact the way human resources departments operate and what you can do to prepare for them:

1. The Demand for HR to Add Value

The days of managers tolerating HR as a cost center are over. Not only because profits can’t support it, but because leaders are starting to identify that employees are often their largest budget item.

Employees drive business, meet profitability goals, and create the products or services that are the business. So, how can an organization run if the function responsible for their employees is not involved?

Leaders of the best organizations finally understand that. Human resources managers must own this role in the organization and step up to the table. At the same time, leaders need to educate themselves on how HR can add value, and what they want from their human resources function.

The conversations need to occur between HR and leadership to set expectations and involve HR in conversations as issues emerge. HR must be involved in critical conversations guiding the business.

2. Virtual Work Continues to Increase

Through Covid-19, business learned the virtual work can work when it has to. Employees have come to expect some level of virtual work when positions allow for it. But we also know a great deal can be lost through a fully virtual environment.

Often, in a virtual environment, managers address issues on their own. They fail to consult and work with HR on solutions. HR can add value to situations by suggesting training, coaching, or reassignment before taking more serious steps. But the ability to see situations early is complicated by the fact that they have a completely virtual workforce.

While there are clear benefits in empowering employees to work virtually, managing team members in this manner does require an increased level of attention to communication as well as involvement with the team. Employees can be extremely productive given the flexibility and autonomy of virtual work.

While this may make some managers nervous, setting goals and expectations can quickly solve that issue. For example, focus on managing the performance, not the hours and times of day work is completed. That said, employees must have standards and be available as appropriate for the position.

Human resources should then be responsible for setting virtual goals and ensuring they are met.

3. Connecting with Employees Is Critical

Building bridges and creating avenues for communication is essential in business. HR can take on this role by having checkpoints with managers where the agenda is simply “How are things going?”

In addition, HR should be checking in with employees on a regular basis. You should feel comfortable reaching out to employees at random times just to ask if everything is okay. Not only does that provide feedback to HR, it lets the employee know that the organization cares about how they’re doing at the moment.

We know that the employee of today finds personal connections at work and with management one of the most important reasons to remain at an organization. As such, human resources should be creating meaningful opportunities for employees to feel they are part of a community, going beyond their department or work unit.

4. Open Communication Is Expected

Employees want to know what is happening at the company and how their position aligns with success. Human resources should be the conduit that brings the message from leadership to the employees. However, they can only do that if they have a proverbial seat at the table.

HR needs to hear first-hand what is happening, so they can create meaningful information for employees and answer questions. Employees will absorb the messaging differently, so be sure to send the same message in multiple formats. A favorite tool today is a quick and simple video message that any HR manager or executive can record on their smartphone.

5. Data Analysis Replaces Data Gathering

Human resources have a mass of information on employee populations, which is extremely useful in driving your business forward. As a HR leader, be at the forefront finding great stories in the data that will help leaders make decisions that support the organization’s goals.

Often, we find that the leadership team wants all the data, but then never looks at any of it. Company leaders should consider whether they are keeping HR focused on administrative tasks that don’t add value. After all, it is the HR leader’s responsibility to analyze the data, generate meaningful initiatives from the information, and support the long-term success of the organization.

Management Trends Are Ever Changing

The management trends we see today will evolve into new trends for the next few years. One key component of human resources is to be able to look into the future and evaluate how these trends might impact their organization.

Recruiting, performance management, and compliance cannot be effective after the trends have changed. A great HR team member will see where employee management and your organization is going and be ready for the future before it arrives!

Thanks for reading!

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