3 trends that will become HR essentials and employee engagement staples in 2019
In late 2017 we looked at the 6 trends that would define the coming year. Since then, we have seen many of our predictions become reality – from CX and EX becoming more closely linked, to the rise of organization-specific solutions for diversity and inclusion.
For 2019, we’re looking at the 3 things that will become must-haves for every HR team. These are not just for the lucky HR teams with big budgets and modern IT systems; this is what will be mainstream in the next 12 months.
1. Text analytics
It used to be a terrifying prospect to ask your employees to give feedback in their own words. After all, this meant someone had to read all of the responses and draw their own conclusions. Which in turn would introduce human bias and blind-spots – an HR team might identify connections that aren’t really there, or entirely miss company-wide trends.
Text analysis changes all of that. It will become the most powerful tool for understanding what matters most to your employees, as you’re listening to them on their terms. You are not asking them to rate you 1-10, or whether they “Strongly Agree” or “Disagree” with predefined statements. You’re actually letting them express themselves as they normally would.
It means you can uncover things previously hidden. For example, you may read from many different employees about:
- annoying early meetings
- breakfast only being served till 9am
- beer fridays being great for team building
- the fantastic new company branding
With text analytics, you can connect up seemingly disparate comments – and see that the problem might be a horror commute, possibly solved by a later start to the day.
2. The ability to link up data sets
Your ability to link up data points from across the employee lifecycle is going to become even more essential. It will become a real differentiator in your ability to create a strong employer brand – a way of demonstrating you’re a brand that cares about its employees from pre-hire to exit, understanding them as people on a journey, not just resources to be checked on annually.
It will mean you have the ability to personalize the employee experience, based on what you know about your people. What you learned about the employee during the onboarding experience can be used to tailor their development program; a role change or someone coming back from maternity or paternity leave can trigger off a whole series of HR actions, with the right information and support delivered at the right time. Plus, you can see how all of this has an impact on engagement when you run your annual survey.
It will also mean you’re able to build a much more detailed picture of the efficacy of your training programs. For example, linking 360 Feedback to leadership development programs helps you see whether high potentials are actually benefiting from the courses. Are their peers, direct reports and managers seeing a difference?
3. Mobile feedback
At many companies, employees are able to do most of their job on a mobile device – you may be one of them. So the idea employees often cannot give feedback on their cell phone is a gap in most employee engagement programs. In 2019, modern HR teams will need to give employees a chance to give feedback wherever and whenever they want. For brands, this will mean gathering more robust, real-time sentiment.
And it’s not just the ability to give feedback – it is the ability to review and act on that feedback as well. The modern HR team will be able to monitor real-time sentiment from anywhere in the organization on mobile devices. This will enable them to act on issues quickly and be proactive about driving up employee satisfaction.
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