The changing workplace
Faced with this onslaught of change, part of the role of HR directors is to assess which trends are likely to have the largest impact on their organisations and to decide how best to manage the opportunities and problems that these developments represent. The chart below displays the social trends that HR directors in this study expect to have a high or very high impact on their workplaces. The war for talent (67%), skills shortages (57%), and remote working (46%) in particular are seen as important trends. To manage the impact of these and other changes, HR directors are revising policies and procedures, training their workforce, investing in career path and talent planning, and investing in technology. HR directors are also exploring new recruitment initiatives such as apprenticeships, graduate programmes, encouraging referrals, and working with partners to widen the talent pipeline.
HR leaders expect lagging productivity to have a larger impact than in previous years, despite investments in talent and in technology. Conversely, the rise of contingent workers is expected to have less of an impact than before.
On a regional level, demographic changes are affecting continental Europe in particular – 65% of
European HR leaders believe this will have a high or very high impact. An ageing, and in some
places shrinking workforce brings challenges in terms of recruitment, training and development, employee motivation, and many other aspects of HR. Innovative management and workplace practices are needed to help organisations adapt to their changing workforce.
Employers are under increasing pressure to accommodate employee lifestyle choices and desire for flexibility as well as career aspirations and issues over productivity. Good management is a recurring theme in this context, with workers who feel valued and understood by their employer being more likely to perform well but also to demonstrate loyalty. Importantly, on the back of a period of austerity, both employers and employees have been reminded that these factors are not necessarily based on monetary reward alone.
Forthcoming changes to the taxation of pension payments will present a further point at which employers might review in-work benefits and incentives. However, employers who invest in better management, whether through training or astute recruitment, are likely to fare better than those who overlook the importance of this aspect of employment.