The labor market in general and the HR market, in particular, have been facing the biggest challenges ever since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. According to a report of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the US unemployment rates increased sharply from 3.9% in Feb 2020 to 14.1% in May 2020, equivalent to nearly 21 million people of American workforce having lost their jobs due to the pandemic. As the global workforce market has slightly recovered since June 2020, it is important for HR to get ready to deal with great challenges in this situation.
In this blog, we will share with you 5 emerging HR trends that have been adopted during the pandemic to provide you with essential tools to adapt to the new normalcy.
Top 5 Emerging HR Trends in 2020
Working Remotely - A Predicted Future Trend
The outbreak of COVID 19 has changed permanently the way we work, especially the concept of “work from home”. Many tech giants such as Google, Microsoft, etc., decided to let their employees work remotely for the long term. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said over the next 5 to 10 years, about 50% of Facebook employees could be working remotely, and Twitter even informed its employees that they could work remotely forever.
The benefits of working from home can be huge for the business. For instance, they can save a huge amount of money investing in office facilities and get access to a large talent pool without geographic limitations. However, it also raises many issues at home that HR leaders and professionals have to take into serious consideration such as reinforcing the company’s culture virtually, paid time off/FMLA, pay equity, and other HR management policies. Therefore, it is time for HR leaders to develop new policies to balance the pros and cons of working from home to leverage employees’ performance effectively.
Adopting Modern Technology
The Coronavirus has pushed business nearer into the age of digital transformation. In a recent survey by LeapPulse, over 83% of employees stated that their companies had concentrated on digital technology during COVID-19. Moreover, according to Globant’s recent survey, 33% of employees claim the top reason affecting their proficiency and effectiveness is the challenges in accessing necessary tools and resources. Therefore, using technology for work is a must for every business to boost their employees’ productivity.
In the pandemic context, HR executives often find it difficult to manage their job schedule or recruitment processes, etc. As a result, using more automated solutions can be much helpful to increase recruiters’ efficiency . One of the noticeable solutions is Rakuna software which is a recruiting operation & marketing platform with a lot of recent enhanced virtual recruiting support features to help recruiters still manage their recruiting process efficiently during social distancing.
Focusing on the Emotional Wellbeing Programs
According to the data from Fidelity and Business Group on Health ( BGH), employees’ emotional and mental health programs have been brought into the company wellbeing platform by 95% of employers. Since the pandemic situation, many people have to face various types of stress and concerns such as household and childcare responsibilities as well as financial burden. 69% of respondents even said this is the most stressful time of their professional careers - even more than major events like 9/11 and the 2008 Great Recession.
In recent months, many businesses have taken actions to help their employees address their stress at work and life. One of the typical examples is the coffee chain - Starbucks, in January 2020, they established Headspace, a daily meditation and mindfulness app, which aims to increase the mental benefits for employees. Moreover, mental health training will be also available next week in accordance with their latest announcement.
This is a positive trend that HR leaders should apply for their business to bolster the employees’ health in both physical and mental ways.
Embracing Diversity in the Workplace
The killing of George Floyd has raised massive protests among Americans. This incident has once again stirred up the fighting back against racism of non-white people on the labor market.
In a McKinsey report in 2015: “Companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians”. Moreover, a 2020 article by Gemma McCall - CEO of Culture Shift revealed that up to 46% of the UK workforce demand more actions regarding diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Thus, it is time for HR managers to take stronger action to review your company’s current policy to address potential racisms and inequalities issues in the workplace.
Reinforcing the Employer and Employee Relationships Virtually
The pandemic not only changed the ways people work but also the way we communicate with others. Instead of face-to-face communications, interviews, discussions or meetings are now running on online platforms such as Zoom, Google Meets, Microsoft Teams, etc. and in-person touchpoints are very limited. Hence, virtual activities to maintain teamwork spirit and reinforce the relationships among employers and employees to maintain the workforce morale are very important.
Let’s see how PwC improved their mutual relationships during COVID 19. By establishing a video to celebrate LGBTQ Pride Month, PwC has made meaningful activities to reinforce their company culture and increase the chances to embrace the diverse talent pools.
Besides, the shift to virtual Pride celebrations is also an increasing trend for other companies this year. Nearly 73% of the employers i4cp polled have celebrated the virtual Pride events this year for employees and more than half are taking part in more virtual events organized by external or community groups.
As the Covid 19 pandemic situation has been very complex and unpredicted, HR leaders and executives still have to face many challenges. Keeping up with news and trends is the best way to overcome this situation with minimum loss. Therefore, we hope that our 5 emerging HR trends mentioned above would be an effective source of information for you to leverage, and if you have any ideas, don’t hesitate to write into the comment section to share with us!