Full-Service HR

Human Resources Trends of 2018

Ella Baker
Human Resources Trends of 2018
Reading time 4 Mins
Published on May 30

The ever-changing world of human resources can be a compliance minefield for many companies. HR departments that stay on top of employment trends can help their companies not only avoid major penalties, but also help with employee retention efforts and create a workforce that is better suited to meet your business needs.

Utilizing the gig economy and flexible work arrangements

As the gig economy, defined as “a labor market characterized by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work, as opposed to permanent jobs”, continues to grow HR departments are having to play catch-up. The number of workers who have telecommuted at least some of the time for at least one job rose to 44 percent as of 2018. Utilizing the gig economy and flexible work arrangements will play a huge role in HR this year.

As Gen Z workers enter the workplace, new mothers return to the workforce, and older employees look to stay in the labor market longer, many are seeking alternative or flexible work arrangements to accommodate family demands and create more work-life balance. While some of these workers may seek a direct employment relationship with the employer, the standard 40 hour in-office work week will not be conducive to long-term retention of these employees.

Other workers prefer the freedom of scheduling and selection of projects offered by the gig economy. Determining daily working hours, the ability to work from when and where they want, and the ability to choose the types of assignments they want to focus on allows freelancers to develop specialized skillsets within their niche.

The development of flexible work arrangements that fit the employees’ needs and the company’s demands will become a requirement to attract and retain new talent. HR managers and business owners will need to focus on developing strategies that allow them to quickly identify projects or work that requires the talents of freelance workers, develop a pool of skilled freelancers, and create project teams that can quickly perform the necessary tasks.

Upskilling and online learning

As the labor market continues to become more competitive, the need for employees to continue to hone their existing skills and develop new ones will become even more important. HR departments will need to develop strategies to help employees stay abreast of the latest continuing education and upskill opportunities.

With the demands of work, family, and other life activities, online learning opportunities are strategic factors in the continued growth of an employee’s knowledge base. While many organizations have already begun effectively utilizing this trend, a younger workforce will be particularly receptive of these opportunities.

To help fill significant talent gaps that have been identified in the workforce, employees will need to continue to expand upon existing skills or developing new ones. HR departments are addressing upskilling demands by developing on-the-job apprenticeship and mentoring programs, offering more opportunities for professional development activities, and by creating cross-training opportunities.

Harassment prevention and inclusion

With recent sexual harassment scandals rocking the modern workforce, harassment prevention will be a key focus for HR departments and managers across every industry. Company cultures that permit harassment breed low employee morale and engagement, make workers feel less safe, and leave employees feeling undervalued.

One key strategy to combat workplace harassment is to create policies and a culture that promotes inclusion. Company leadership and HR departments must create environments in which all employees, particularly women, people of color, and other disenfranchised populations, are valued. This can include promoting protected classes of workers to leadership positions, creating zero tolerance policies, effectively on-boarding and training employees, and developing pre-employment screening practices that limit the likelihood of harassment.

In addition to helping employers remain compliant, effective sexual harassment prevention and inclusion policies can help your employees thrive, feel more appreciated, and increase employee retention.

Sheakley’s HR Management division can help you develop strategies to ensure the success of your staff.

Learn more about Sheakley’s HR team and contact us for your free consultation today. Stay up-to-date on all things Sheakley by subscribing to our blog and following us on social media. Join in the discussion by commenting below.

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