What HR trends we can expect in 2019

Analysis

What HR trends we can expect in 2019

2018 was been a big year. From domestic violence leave changes, code of conduct concerns as a result of the Royal Commissions, to casual conversion rights and obligations - business owners and HR Managers need to be vigilant now more than ever and have to adapt to an ever-changing HR landscape. So what are the work trends we can look out for 2019?

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2018 was been a big year. From domestic violence leave changes, code of conduct concerns as a result of the Royal Commissions, to casual conversion rights and obligations - business owners and HR Managers need to be vigilant now more than ever and have to adapt to an ever-changing HR landscape.
 
So what are the work trends we can look out for 2019?
 

Change in government


At a macro level, there is still a lot of political uncertainly. At some point this year, likely the first half, we will have an Australian Federal Election and it is predictied that it will be a win for Labor. So this will affect the way we work in some shape or form. For instance, Labor has said they will try to clarify the position of permanent casual workers as a result of the Workpac vs Skene case and reverse the reduction in penalty rates for hospitality and retail workers.
 

Flexible working arrangements


Flexible working will continue to be a focus. Employers need to keep in mind that this often results in a 24/7 schedule with employees constantly attached virtually to the office through their mobile devices.

And because of this, it is easy to feel always ‘switched on’ in this age of digital disruption.

It can feel overwhelming for some so employers will also need to play a greater focus on mental health and wellbeing.
 

Greater need for emotional intelligence


But while the world is now 24/7, soft skills are still important. Recently, the World Economic Forum reports the ten skills needed to thrive for 2020.
 
  • Complex problem solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Creativity
  • People management
  • Coordinating with others
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Judgement and decision making
  • Service orientation
  • Negotiation
  • Cognitive flexibility

Agile working and artificial intelligence are the fastest growing workforce segments. This causes angst amongst many in the belief that robots would replace humans.

Leaders need to reassure that automation and artificial intelligence is replacing mundane routine-based human tasks and is far from replacing humans in the workforce.

As routine jobs become more automated and we move toward a digital-human workforce, people will need to specialise in key soft skills that robots lack such as conflict management, emotional intelligence, and storytelling - something robots can never replace!
 

Data-driven decision making


Understanding  data analytics will be increasingly important. Business leaders have barely scratched the surface when it comes to making data-driven decisions relating to their people.

Data holds insights into many aspects such as workplace culture, retention, especially employees high at risk.

Proactive recruiting and hiring combined with the intelligence behind data will help HR teams make better and faster hiring decisions in 2019.
 

Domestic violence leave

Domestic and family violence (DFV) )was been high on the agenda last year and will continue to be front of mind in this year.

In October last year, Australia was forced to open its eyes to a national crisis when six women in just five days were murdered. The horrifying statistics was an urgent call for employers to take action to support their employees experiencing DFV.

Employers should ensure they have a DFV policy in place in response to recent legislative change on 12 December 2018 which entitles all employees under the National Employee Standards to five days of unpaid DFV leave.

But unpaid leave is not enough. Businesses like Westpac and Aldi have introduced paid leave domestic violence leave for their people and it will be positive to see whether businesses will follow this lead.
 

Embrace & encourage diversity of thought


In 2019, HR and business leaders should take a closer, honest look the HR processes to ensure they are taking steps to identify and address unconscious bias in the workplace.

Every employer knows the importance of hiring for culture fit, but this can prove limiting. HR should expand its diversity and inclusion initiative to include 'culture add', with the goal of looking beyond the current working culture and hiring those who bring a true diversity of thought to the company that it does not currently possess.

The 'diversity agenda' has traditionally been focused on gender equality but leaders should also be focusing on ways to leverage the skills and capabilities of 5 generations in the workplace, employees that identify as LBGTQI, and culturally diverse employees.

After all, bringing together wide-ranging perspectives is a key ingredient in innovation and can help drive better business decision-making.
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