HR Top Trends For 2019

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A blind boy was sitting on the road. He had a board which read – I am blind, please help me. He had collected only a few coins in the bowl since morning. An HR guy passed by. He saw the blind boy and decided to help. The HR guy changed the wordings on the board. In an hour his bowl was full of money. Blind boy desperately wanted to know the message that the HR guy wrote on his board. Someone read the board for him. It said – It is a beautiful day, but I can’t see it.

This story defines 2019 for HR. Messaging will be the key skill for HR in 2019 to help its stakeholders. Here are the key HR trends for 2019, which will shape the HR of tomorrow.

1- AI, Apps and Analytics (A3)

HR function is fascinated with Artificial Intelligence, Apps and Analytics. This fascination is going to get a reality check in 2019.
HR will realise that technology is not the hard part. The tough part is to make AI, Apps and Analytics usable to create value for business. The business value of the tools reside in right messaging. HR knowledge of day to day interactions with employees will help in defining employee experiences and preparing powerful personalized messages.

2- Flat, Open and Digital Organization (FODO)

2019 will create a need for organization restructuring. The need for restructuring will come for either optimizing the cost structure or building new business lines. Organizations will opt for flatter and open design after seeing success of such experiments in the past few years.

Businesses and people processes will be reviewed in light of AI, Apps and analytics. Organizations will aspire to improve productivity standards by doing this exercise. HR will be fine-tuning messaging and policy framework to enable flat, open and digital organization. HR skill of design thinking and change management will come in handy.

3- Culture of Talent Agility (COTA)

2019 is going to be ambiguous for Businesses. Businesses would like to be ready for any opportunities or threats that come with political stability. Organization will restructure. Organization restructuring will create new roles. Large parts of talent within an organization will need a skill upgrade to fit the new roles. At the same time,there will be a need for talent to be flexible to take up these new roles.

Developing the agile talent within the organization will be a challenge for HR because the whole restructuring process might involve multiple iterations. Hence, talent would need tolerance to deal with ambiguity. Change Management will not be enough. A culture of talent agilityneeds to be created to manage the situation. Messaging will be required to create excitement around talent agility to mitigate natural anxiety attacks.HR expertise of people development will add value.

4- Managers Leading Culture Change (MLCC)

Any organization is as strong as its backbone. Managers are the backbone of an organization. Managers will lead culture change for the organization. Organizations will be investing in managerial development programs. These programs may include skills to manage SPICE (Stakeholders, Productivity, Inclusion, Capability and Engagement).

These development programs will also create a leadership pipeline that can be leveraged to exploit opportunities or mitigate risks. Mobilizing managers to lead the change will be the key challenge for HR. HR expertise of designing leadership programs, marketing these programs to create aspiration and garnering sponsorship for the programs will decide the fate of the organization.

5- New Performance, Engagement, Review and Compensation (New PERC)

Performance Management will bean interesting watch in 2019. Organizations will try to take on new approaches where everyone performs better, everyone wins. This will be ensured by putting a threshold performance standard and teams will be supported to surpass the threshold performance standard. That’s right, organizations will be engaging and reviewing teams instead of individuals. Rankings are likely to get replaced by threshold criteria.

This will bring an era of flat compensation increases or team based performance increases. Individuals will be motivated by leveraging non-monetary rewards. Investment in employee well-being, health and work life balance will gain ground as differentiators. Messaging will play a key role in this transformation as well.HR expertise of crafting creative non-monetary rewards will make the program successful.

6- Bye, Bye Shared Services (B2S2)

Shape and size of HR shared services will change in 2019. Risk management and employee experience will get added to the shared services organization. That will change the shape. Size will get reduced significantly. Most of the work performed by the shared services is standardized. AI, Apps and Analytics will automate the standardized work. Organizations will say bye, bye to large HR shared services organizations. Risk management expertise of HR will become visible.

7- Flexible Workforce Phenomenon (FWP)

Organizations will start exploring benefits of flexible workforce phenomenon to reduce cost, mitigate risks and to gain flexibility. AI, Apps and Analytics will enable the flexible workforce for companies towards the end of 2019. Once FWP kicks in, then the challenge for HR would be evaluate how many existing jobs can move to a flexible workforce.

Another challenge will be the inclusion of flexible workforce along with the regular workforce. Messaging is going to play a critical role here. HR is about to re-live the IR era once again. HR expertise of drafting work contracts, which protect the interests of the organization and are within the framework of law, will shape the future of organizations.

Messaging will be the central theme for 2019 in various forms. HR professionals will love 2019 as HR function will be there at the centre of the action. It will bring the feeling of pride and achievement. 2019 will pave the path for a big leap forward that HR is going to take in the next decade.

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Harjeet is an international speaker, writer, poet and a HR Leader. He is an alumnus of IIT Roorkee and INSEAD. He is currently working with Reliance Jio as VP- Human Resources. He is a SAP HCM consultant, Six Sigma Greet Belt, White Belt in Executive Coaching and Assessor for Predictive Index. He has been conferred with HR Leadership Award, Pride of Nation Award, HR personality of the year and Global Learning Award. Harjeet has been a LinkedIn Power Profile, Chicken Soup Writer, TEDx speaker and Co-chair of Nasscom Diversity Committee.

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