As the first chapter of a new year draws close, it’s time to take a look back at what influenced and evolved us. When it comes to fundamental changes, we know Covid-19 kicked off the grandest experiment in the world of work. From the hybrid work model to the ongoing layoffs, the crisis continues to fuel rapid innovation at a breakneck pace.
Hence, there’s no time like the present to pause, take a breather, and look back at the Human Resources trends that shaped the last decade to help us chart a course through the new year. Here they are in no particular order, the top 10 HR trends of the last decade.
From an exaggerated ask on data to prove the business case for diversity to now accepting it as the ‘right thing to do’ has been an interesting trend. “Conversations on gender as the key diversity factor to track, to accepting visible and invisible aspects of diversity like cognitive differences, fluidity of gender, sexual orientation, varied disabilities, differing sociocultural factors, and even emotional well-being, HR practices have evolved in multiple ways to accommodate changing needs far more in this past decade than ever before,” said Nirmala Menon, Founder and CEO of Interweave Consulting.
A whirlwind of technological innovation
The tech industry made its way to the HR and impacted it in ways that resulted in advancements like never before. “Prior to the advent of tech, the recruitment process was different. But now, it has accelerated through the use of online platforms, chatbots, AI, mobile technology, etc. Performance reviews are now more structured and helpful for everyone involved. Also, HR analytics have improved organisational culture and processes, all thanks to great tools and software,” said Mr. Suresh Kumar Chitralayam is the Director of People and Operations of WNS Vuram.
Legal essentials for business
The last decade has also seen some progressive statutes. Starting with “the PoSH Act to the extension of maternity leave, the Company’s Act of having a woman on boards of public companies, RPWD Act, reading down of Sec 377, the Transgender Rights Act, and ESG reporting, we have come a long way. These ‘Protections’ for traditionally disadvantaged groups have not only nudged organisations into action but are also helping to embed new practices for the long term,” stated Nirmala Menon.
Crucial social movements like MeToo and Black Lives Matter have also influenced company policies and HR has kept pace remarkably with these changes, including gearing up for a potentially more litigious workforce.
Targeted policies and practices
The other irreversible trend one sees is the increasing uptake on alternate work arrangements and better work-life integration support and benefits. Flexible working and working from home, once a highly debated subject, just slipped into its peak during the pandemic.
“The hybrid format is here to stay and HR is finding ways to fine-tune a wide spectrum of innovative policies to suit the unique needs of the workforce. Progressive organisations are going even more granular by addressing the unique challenges of intersectionality. By recognising that experiences differ by how diverse factors intersect an individual, organisations are designing targeted policies and practices in ways quite unprecedented at the beginning of the last decade,” said CEO of Interweave Consulting.
Offbeat employee engagement
Engaging with employees in offbeat indoor and outdoor activities can prove to be real good icebreaker sessions, such as having an outdoor brunch meeting or playing simple game of pictionary, where you are likely to see more of their personality traits clearly as compared to their professional selves. “In the last decade, leaders started taking care of overall employee well-being, such as reimbursing therapy bills while also having a transformational coach who can guide and direct the team,” told Ms. Ramya Ramachandran, Founder and CEO, Whoppl.
2022 brought us chaos, but also the opportunity to review, renew, and advance. Read the end-2022 issue of People Matters Digital Magazine for a look back, and some key takeaways to bring forward.