Key HR Trends to look out for in 2018

by John Hilton12 Jan 2018
After a busy year in HR in 2017, employees can expect to see three key trends, according to the lead researcher of global HR think-tank Reventure, Dr Lindsay McMillan.

“The main themes for 2018 will be across three pillars: health and wellbeing, new technologies, and purpose and meaning at work,” said Dr McMillan.

“In 2018, workplaces should focus on making meaningful, proven changes, rather than implementing passing fads, in order to shape healthier, happier and more productive workplaces.”

Reventure outlined the following key trends and recurring themes that will shape HR in Australian workplaces in 2018:

Increased focus on health and wellbeing
According to Reventure’s report, Workplace Wellbeing, 25 per cent of Australian workers would sacrifice company perks for better wellbeing in their workplace.

74 per cent of workers also believe that workplace wellbeing programs, which cover everything from flexible hours to fitness programs, are worth the time and money.

Technology overhaul
The prevalence of artificial intelligence and automated systems to streamline processes will continue to rise. More workplaces can expect to see change management activities such as workshops and feedback exercises to help guide implementation of new technologies.

More than just a job
More employees are looking to their job to provide a sense of purpose – 44 per cent of Australian workers said a sense of meaning was important to ensuring a high level of personal wellbeing.

Further, 77 per cent of millennials said that they were looking for purpose and meaning in their work.

“Workplace culture has dominated the agenda this year and a lot of the issues impacting employees and employers must be addressed in 2018,” said Dr McMillan.

“Many issues highlighted in 2017 have demonstrated the need for renewal so that organisations are prioritising employee purpose and wellbeing and driving positive workplace outcomes.”

Moreover, 2017 saw the focus on five key areas, including:

Employee expectations
Reventure research has shown that a massive 85 per cent of Australian workers believe that the onus is on employers to create an environment that proactively addresses stress in the workplace.
More workers are looking for meaning in their jobs and it is one of the most common reasons employees leave their current workplace.

Flexible working
These expectations have seen the rise of flexible work arrangements such as working remotely, however this can often result in a 24/7 schedule with workers constantly attached to the office through their devices.

Dispersed workforces will be much more common and the challenges that come with this will be more pronounced in the next five years.

Workplace culture
One of the most prominent stories this year concerned sexual harassment in the workplace.

Finally, many businesses are now recognising and addressing toxic workplace cultures.

Paid parental leave
This year, Reventure supported calls from the Stillbirth Foundation Australia for more organisations to review their policies to remove any doubt that parents of stillborn children will get their entitlement.

This gives them the choice of how to deal with their loss, which might be taking paid parental leave, or it might be returning to work early.

Worker wellbeing
Over the past year, our research has found one-quarter of Australian workers believe their workplace’s focus on wellbeing has increased and three-quarters think workplace wellbeing programs are worth the time and money.


Related stories:
The changing world of HR technology
The staff retention challenge in the digital age
Top six talent management trends for 2018 and beyond
 

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