The 2020s are shaping up to be an exciting decade for HR technology. Companies are starting to see the value of focusing on the digital employee experience, and there’s an influx of new technologies that will help them do so. Below, we’ll explore some of the biggest HR tech trends that will impact the workforce, the workplace, and organizations.
7 HR Tech Trends To Watch in the 2020s
Digital innovation and technology-driven change will affect workplaces and HR departments across the globe, regardless of the industry.
Here are a few of the most important ones to pay attention to:
1. The rise of automation
Automation will impact every area of the workplace, including HR.
The right tools, for instance, can automate:
- Employee onboarding
- Job training
- Document processing
- Employee support
Tools such as these will free up HR staff time for more valuable activities.
2. Data-powered HR
AI in HR holds promise in several areas.
Data-driven tools, for instance, can help analyze employees’ history, predict team synergy, forecast performance, and more.
As with any other digital technology, however, it is important to avoid overreliance on these tools – doing so, after all, can make HR processes too mechanical.
3. Remote working
Remote working is another trend that has significantly affected the HR world, especially in 2020.
In the years ahead, HR will use tools designed specifically for the hybrid office, such as:
- Remote communication tools
- Remote workforce management platforms
- Remote onboarding applications
- Remote training software
While many offices will not return to normal after the pandemic, remote working will become a more permanent part of the workplace.
According to many researchers, for instance, employees prefer remote work.
Gallup found that two-thirds of remote workers want to continue working remotely, and PwC found that 55% of workers would prefer to telecommute at least three days a week.
4. Talent management tools
AI and data will play a role in talent management, as mentioned above.
However, talent management tools will extend beyond workforce management to include:
- Employee training and development tools
- Career development and pathing
- Talent mapping
- Accountability and performance management
Sophisticated tools such as these will offer several benefits for HR, from reducing turnover to improving the workplace culture.
5. A digital-first culture
Organizational culture has become a big topic in recent years, for several reasons.
Not only have businesses recognized the impact of technology on employee performance, it has also become clear that culture affects the performance of digital change initiatives. Organizational change, after all, is often affected by culture.
Since digital has become the way of the world, a digital culture has become the priority for many organizations.
In many cases, this means HR will work with IT departments to create a workplace that puts digital technology first.
Automation will likely impact knowledge workers before jobs that require a physical presence, such as retail, agriculture, and in-person customer service.
The reason, according to AI experts such as Kai Fu Lee, is that robots take longer to build and deploy, whereas software can be deployed globally in short order.
However, robots will eventually infiltrate the workplace eventually – Amazon, for instance, says that fully automated warehouses will arrive in about ten years.
To keep up with these changes, HR will be called upon to perform tasks such as:
- Creating employee training programs
- Participating in organizational changes driven by robotics
- Assisting employees with career development
- Remapping careers and job categories
- Helping change managers restructure the organization
Another side effect of robotics and automation is that HR tasks could be reduced or, at the very least, significantly altered. After all, if the workforce is smaller and its composition differs, then HR’s duties will also differ.
7. Employee wellness
Employee well-being and the employee experience has also taken the spotlight in recent years. Organizations have recognized the link between these two factors and employee performance.
These trends have also become more prominent during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since working from home (WFH) became commonplace, feelings of isolation have taken a toll on many workers.
To combat this isolation, HR departments have been using technology to minimize these issues.
- Communication tools such as Zoom and other video conferencing software can help employees stay connected even when working remotely
- At the same time, being “too connected” can also be a problem for remote workers, so HR can use tech to educate employees on how to stay healthy and happy when working remotely
- Analytics can be used to assess employee behavior and performance and identify issues that may be tied to wellbeing
There is naturally a fine line that must be tread when it comes to monitoring tools.
Employees’ privacy, particularly when it comes to health-related matters, is a concern. Yet with the proper privacy controls and safety measures, such technologies can be used to improve employee wellbeing – and, as a result, employee performance, engagement, and the workplace itself.
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