Three HR Tech Trends for 2020
Brought to you by WBR Insights
Digital transformation has been a hot buzzword for a while now, with brands the world over bringing the latest Industry 4.0 technology into the fold and using it to streamline processes, automate day-to-day tasks, and provide customers with next-generation experiences.
However, this incredible technology can also be deployed to back-office departments and help the administrative side of all businesses. From accounts and marketing to sales and human resources, Industry 4.0 tech is making the running of retail brands easier than ever.
Huma resources departments have arguably been somewhat slow on the uptake when it comes to digital transformation - perhaps because so much of their responsibility is focused on dealing directly with humans - but 2020 is looking like the year all that is set to change.
With that in mind, here are three tech trends set to take off in human resources during the coming year.
#1 Remote Working
As we discussed in our previous article in this series, the ability to work remotely is becoming a seriously sought-after perk for many employees. With the changing dynamic of the family unit, it is often necessary for people to be able to work from home so they can attend to domestic responsibilities simultaneously.
Offering remote working roles is good for companies as well as employees. By not requiring staff to come to a single location each day, brands open up their talent pool on a global scale. Being able to recruit staff from anywhere on the planet means human resources departments can ensure they are getting the very best people they need, rather than the best in a twenty-mile radius.
Thankfully, technology is making it easier than ever for people to collaborate and work remotely. Work organization and project collaboration become a breeze thanks to digital whiteboard applications such as Trello. Communication between teams can be facilitated through platforms like Slack.
Future developments include using virtual reality technology to create virtual workspaces which can help people collaborate better, fight procrastination (which can be rife when working from home), and help fight loneliness and generally make remote working a more social affair.
#2 Employee Wellness
With manual labor type jobs becoming less prevalent and office-based work becoming ever more popular, concerns are naturally emerging regarding the health of employees.
An increasingly sedentary workforce is contributing to the countrywide obesity crises - something which has found its way to the other side of the Atlantic as well - and almost certainly forms part of the reason for life expectancy rates to have not risen since 2010, with many fearing they may be on the decline.
This is leading many HR departments to place an increased focus on the health of their employees. Healthy employees are more productive, perform better as part of a team, and take fewer days off sick. Therefore, there is a tangible benefit - beyond simple altruism - for HR to prioritize employee wellness.
Many companies are now giving their employees wearable fitness technology to help them adopt a healthier lifestyle and offering incentives through gamification methods to keep them on track. They can accrue additional time off or special privileges for riding a bike to work, completing a certain number of steps each day, choosing healthy lunches, and more.
With one in five people also suffering from mental health conditions, brands are deploying technology-based solutions designed to help them manage their illnesses, such as with digital cognitive-behavioral therapy tools. Expect to see all these technologies become more ubiquitous in 2020.
#3 Ongoing Training
As the workforce becomes more remote, there is a need for ongoing training and assessment to also move into the digital realm.
We are already seeing brands such as Walmart using virtual reality technology to train new staff on a range of store procedures without the need to place them physically on the sales floor. Walmart is also using the technology to assess existing employees who are seeking promotion to managerial positions.
Digital training and assessment tools mean that HR departments can easily craft personalized career pathways for their employees and make it so they can be completed from any connected device, anywhere in the world. The data generated by these tools can also identify strengths and weaknesses in individual employees, allowing them to be selected for the job roles which best suit them. Gamification elements can also help keep employees on target when it comes to completing training modules.
With digital technology playing an ever-greater role in HR, we can expect to see it becoming ever more intertwined in the future. Technology has the power to connect us all and we can only expect this pattern to continue through 2020.