As we enter into 2017, I’ve been thinking about what my resolutions for this year should be and how HR professionals can use the New Year to help refresh attitudes and inspire excellent work. While I’m sure everyone has been revitalised by the winter break, it is worth taking a few minutes to consider some priorities for the coming year, to help make 2017 our best one yet.
With that in mind, below are the top three resolutions that I think HR professionals should stick to in 2017.
Stay ahead of technology
It is strange to think that just decades ago email wasn’t widely used in the workplace. There are fears surrounding the ongoing evolution of technology – with almost half (45%) of employees concerned that improvements in technology and automation will replace their roles. However, technology can make our jobs easier, and our processes more effective. [i]
In HR, it is highly important that we stay ahead of workplace technology trends, offering multiple methods of communication, while streamlining basic HR tasks to free up the time of an employee for other value-adding tasks. As we go into 2017, technology will advance in leaps and bounds. It is important that we both monitor and embrace this progress so employees are assisted, not alarmed, by changes to workplace technology.
Become a more human HR
There are many ways to make sure that employees feel valued within the workplace, and one huge part of this is catering to the human side of HR. Employee wellbeing is now top of the agenda for many organisations. Enhancing working environments, giving employees increased opportunities to improve their health, and providing continuous support are critical steps in ensuring that the workforce remains happy and productive. By starting now, organisations can thrive with a dynamic and talented workforce, get a greater return on investment and achieve business success. Flexible working is just one of the many ways to do this. It is beneficial to both the individual by enabling them to feel in control and understood, and to the company by increasing the bottom line.
As technology advances, companies globalise and the ‘gig’ economy gains popularity, it is easy for a worker to feel left behind or isolated. Ensuring that the wellbeing, needs, and desires of employees are taken into consideration by HR makes room for the human in the workplace. This is something that should constantly be at the forefront for HR professionals. A new year is an opportunity to ensure that this really becomes a daily priority.
Plan for the future
While thinking about 2017, it is important to note that we should also be thinking 5, 10 and 15 years ahead. It is easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day of work, but it is important to keep the big picture in mind: 77% of European employees are optimistic about the future of work, and this is a big success story for HR.[ii] To ensure that this trust is well placed, and to boost those numbers even higher as we move forwards, now is the time to start putting strategies in place for key issues in a competitive market. Examples include talent attraction and retention, a health and wellbeing focus, and methods to ease intergenerational conflict as millennials work alongside baby boomers.
Sticking to these resolutions throughout 2017 will help to ensure excellent practice within HR, and I’m truly excited to see how ADP’s ideas, policies and practices evolve over the coming year and beyond.