New trends in HR management and how to adapt them

Like sharks that must keep swimming to survive, HR professionals must continue evolving to succeed in these fast-moving times. Here are eight key workplace trends in HR management to plan for in 2019, according to David Hassell, CEO of performance management firm 15Five:

1. Regular coaching replaces reviews. If employees have to wait until a formal review to hear how they’re doing, they’ll be gone by that first review. More companies will abandon annual (or even quarterly) reviews in favor of continuous feedback. This generation demands it. A TriNet survey says 74% of millennial workers feel “in the dark” about their work performance.

2. Employees want flextime, not foosball tables. A Harvard Business Review study says 96% of people want flexibility in their jobs, but only 47% have the flex they need. The gap is even worse for women (only 34%). In this hyper-competitive labor market, offering remote work options, flexible hours and paid time off are essential for recruiting and retaining.

3. Employee ‘engagement’ gives way to employee ‘experience.’ A full 83% of HR leaders believe “employee experience” is important to their organization’s success, says a Future Workplace survey. In fact, 56% are investing more in training, 51% in improving work spaces and 47% in more rewards. The tight job market requires more focus on employee experience.

4. Technology will augment (not replace) HR management. HR will embrace everything from mobile open enrollment to recruiting bots to productivity tools like Slack and Zoom. But tech can’t replace the human connection. To fill the space created by these tech tools, improve your chops as a coach and mentor.

5. Employee self-evaluations gain steam and mature. More organizations are making it safe for employees to share candid feedback. That encourages workers to be honest, as well as ask pointed questions that encourage their own growth.

6. Training is out, career growth is in. A Gallup poll says 87% of millennials cite access to professional development and career growth opportunities as an important factor in a job. Traditional training doesn’t cut it. Micro-learning opportunities, which are short, informal, self-directed and mobile-optimized on single topics will pick-up in 2019. Delivery tools will vary from videos, webinars, podcasts, or even games.

7. Diversity and inclusion aren’t just buzzwords. Companies that ignore 2018’s hot-button issues (#MeToo, gender pay gaps, etc.) will face legal and PR peril in 2019. As the workforce becomes more diverse (ethnically and generationally), fostering a culture of openness and inclusion starts from the top. And research shows that diverse teams perform better.

8. More paid leave for more productivity. As more states mandate paid sick leave, a new Glassdoor report says most people who receive paid time off only take about half (54%) of their allotment each year. Expect to see a rise in the number of companies forcing workers to take a minimum amount of paid leave each year.

5 tips for proposing change

Like any idea, any of these HR management trends could die on the vine – not because they didn’t have enough merit, but because their presentation was poor. We become fired up to pitch something, change a process or improve a function, but forget how to state it clearly and powerfully.

Here are some guidelines to keep in mind to add punch to a written proposal—whether it’s about one of these ideas above, changing a meeting time, attending a conference and more:

1. Get to the point. A solid tip is that bullet points are your best friend here. Get them onto your front page or high up in your email. The sight of them tells the reader that you’re prepared, organized and considerate of their time. In addition, strip down your introduction as much as you can and convey the benefits of your plan within the first two sentences.

2. Combine text and graphics. Describing a project entirely with text, or relying only on diagrams, are both bad ways to deliver your points. Mix them up to show you’ve thought out the best way to express every piece of information and to offer a visually attractive package.

3. Know what your audience knows. If you know more about the subject than the reviewer, state that quickly to gain trust as an authority. Explain key concepts and review relevant, recent developments.

4. Define your terms. Place critical definitions near the start, then continue to define words as new concepts are introduced. That makes it easy to bring your boss or co-workers up to speed.

5. Anticipate and answer. Think of three questions the reader might have about your proposal, and answer them before they’re asked. You might even use an FAQ format to set those questions apart.