5 HR trends for 2018

Axel Schiphof

We have distilled 5 HR trends to look out for in 2018 – so that you can finally set New Year’s Resolutions that will future-proof your company.

5 HR trends for 2018

1. A new balance in the triangle of success

We said it last year and we’re going to say it again: Becoming a successful company requires finding a balance between the individual needs of the employee, the requirements of the organization, and the demands of the external market (your clients but also the greater good). During the financial crisis, most of the efforts were focused on the survival of the organization. In 2018 as talent acquisition and retention become more important we’ll see HR departments focusing more on the individual needs of the employee. At the same time, organizations should look at creating impact on a bigger scale; how are you going to contribute to society or the planet? If your organization didn’t exist, why would you start it today? Whether it’s a local issue or a global one, a sustainability matter or a political cause, your activities will enhance the authenticity of your organization as well as empower your employees.

2. Treat your employees as well as you do your best customers

We’re seeing more and more jobs open up – which is great news. But this also means that your employees are worth more and that it’s becoming increasingly expensive to hire new people. Focus on improving your company’s reputation (in terms of working conditions, salaries, etc.) as well as optimizing the entire employee journey, from onboarding to exit – you can’t expect people to stick around forever but you need to try to keep them there as long as possible. Treat your employees as well as you do your best customers – give them the same levels of attention, dignity and respect you give your highly valued customers. Involve them in your business and give them the opportunity to let you know what should be changed or what can be improved upon.

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3. Focus on job crafting

In these changing times, it’s important to look at how your employees can adapt to new positions and acquire new skills. Invest in those who are able to learn new skills and advance your business. You’ve heard everyone say that every company is a tech company and since software engineers are hard to come by, you might need to help members of your staff acquire the relevant skills. At the same time, we’re seeing more and more people craft their own jobs. Giving your employees the responsibility and trust to shape their own job results in higher levels of engagement and commitment.

4. Don’t miss out on diversity and inclusion

There’s no way around it, diversity and inclusion must be part of an organization’s values in 2018. As awareness around diversity and inclusion grows, the two have become important for talent acquisition, reputation management and richer decision-making. Inclusion is more about the talent you already have in-house; it’s important to make sure that everyone feels safe to share thoughts and opinions. Introducing frequent moments for feedback can play a crucial role in this. Diversity concerns hiring processes. Talent is distributed equally among people, why would anyone want to miss out on half of that by only focusing on a population you are familiar with? Or disregard any share of candidates with other backgrounds than you’re used to? It’s all part of developing a supportive and encouraging company culture.

5. Effective work environments

In our increasingly digital and technological world, businesses need to find a way to keep up. We’re seeing private consumers adopt new technologies faster than most businesses, which can create quite the disconnect between what your people use in their free time and how they have to work at the office. You pay people too much to waste their time on outdated systems. Bridging this technological gap will ensure that your employees are more productive – and they’ll be happier too.

Do you have any thoughts on the trends listed above? Have we missed something? Or do you want to know more about one or all of them, or how we can help your organization with employee feedback? Get in touch!

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