HR trends for 2019

By Dr Lydia Cillié-Schmidt

I must admit that I did not have my usual enthusiasm for reading the predictions for HR in 2019. It may be because it is too close to 2020 or it may be because I did not see many organisations implementing the trends predicted for 2018.  I have however put my reluctance aside and read some of the predictions (see list of sites that I accessed below). There are many trends and predictions regarding compensation, recruitment, productivity, learning and development, enhancing the employee experience, employee-wellbeing, artificial intelligence, robotics and data, but I have decided to share with you only 3 of the trends, namely:

  • HR in the flow of work
  • Personalising the employee experience
  • Net Productivity Score

HR in the flow of work. Josh Bersin views this as the future, where technology is integrated with day to day work and becomes management and work tools, instead of HR tools. This will impact on all aspects of HR. Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP has already published articles on what they call performance management in the flow of work and even registered the term “Learning in the Flow of Work®.” Bersin also cites research that found that organisations that implement performance management in the flow of work are outperforming others. Embedding HR in the flow of work is however not a new concept – IBM more than fifteen years ago had already started embedding learning in the flow of work – but the latest technology may make it easier.

Personalising the employee experience. This was one of the major trends predicted for 2018, but bar a few cutting-edge organisations, I have not seen a lot of this happening in practice. Tom Haak from the HR Trend Institute may have identified the main reason for the lack of personalisation when he wrote that most organisations still design the employee experience from a top-down , company-focused perspective instead of giving employees an experience that fits with their needs and expectations. The question is: Will organisations will get better at creating personalised experiences for employees in 2019?

Net Productivity Score. David Mallon from Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP wrote in his predictions that HR’s core mission is to enable and enhance the productivity of people. David wrote that the most important metric on the HR dashboard isn’t the net promoter score, it’s the net productivity score. In its quest to raise productivity, HR will become more work-centric and also rethink and simplify work itself. Everything facilitated by HR will be focused on enhancing productivity, from recruitment to providing productivity-enhancing insights to ensuring that productive people are rewarded and retained. Highlighting productivity was also seen as a trend in 2018 and it will be interesting to see whether HR really becomes more concerned about productivity on a broader basis.

Whatever you are focusing on in HR in 2019, we trust that you will have a rewarding year!

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