5 key trends in HR management right now

5 key trends in HR management right now

HR management continues to be one of the driving forces of success in almost every workplace. Since the HR department interacts with every employee, it's wise to learn how to best serve all the different employees when you work in HR. As technology advances and more companies turn to automation and remote or hybrid work environments, it's as important as ever to update HR processes to ensure employees get the best help possible.

Best practices in HR management are continuously evolving. This is because the goal of an HR department is to ensure the development, care, and satisfaction of an organization's employees, and the needs of a workforce can change rapidly over time. Many trends in HR management center on the use of new technology, as innovative tools and software can help automate standard HR practices, making them much easier. Here are five of the most common trends in HR management that are happening right now.

Prioritizing diversity and inclusion

With more people understanding social justice in recent years, there's been a massive trend in prioritizing diversity and inclusion during the hiring process and throughout a person's employment. This includes initiatives such as adopting hiring practices that don't discriminate against identities that have historically found it more challenging to secure employment. Many companies also use studies to identify bias in their hiring processes so they can take action to reduce it and ensure all candidates get a fair shot when applying for an open role.

The reach of the HR department spans beyond hiring as well, meaning many companies are implementing policies that promote diversity and inclusion in a celebratory and informative way. For example, it's common now for organizations to host training programs in the workplace that educate employees about being conscious of diversity and inclusion. This helps make the workplace a welcoming and comfortable environment for people of all identities. Companies can also release diversity reports that show their progress toward creating an inclusive workplace.

"Best practices in HR management are continuously evolving. This is because the goal of an HR department is to ensure the development, care, and satisfaction of an organization's employees, and the needs of a workforce can change rapidly over time."

Implementing flexible work policies

Another top trend in HR management is the use of flexible work policies. Since the start of COVID-19, countless businesses have implemented remote working policies that allow employees to work from home. These policies have successfully kept employees physically safe and prioritized mental health over physical appearance in the office. Some companies also use hybrid models that allow employees to work some days in the office and some at home. Remote or hybrid work usually involves using programs and software that facilitate digital interaction, keeping the team engaged no matter where they are.

Aside from remote or hybrid work, you can also implement policies that give employees flexibility in their work days or hours. This can be incredibly helpful for employees with other responsibilities besides their jobs, such as child care, home maintenance, pet care, and other situations. For example, you may allow employees to choose their work hours, meaning they can usually start and finish whenever as long as they complete their work. Some companies also allow employees to work for a reduced number of weekdays if their work allows.

Fostering career development

As many employees constantly think about how they can advance their careers, HR departments have adjusted their efforts to support this. By implementing career development strategies, HR managers can ensure their employees receive the training and encouragement they need to develop their desired skills and knowledge. An HR department can foster career development by coaching employees individually, providing networking opportunities, and offering skills training in specialized abilities. Most of these efforts are typically led by an HR manager or another company manager who frequently interacts with employees.

Another popular trend in career development that HR departments typically help with is career pathing. This process helps employees identify specific objectives they can strive for while working toward a particular role or career goal. For example, if an employee expresses to their HR manager that they want to work in management, the HR manager may help them determine which roles at their company they can pursue and which skills they can develop to enhance their leadership abilities.

Adjusting employee benefits

With the changing social climate and varying effectiveness of responses to the pandemic, many HR departments are spending more time choosing employee benefits. One of the most popular reasons for adjusting benefits is rising health care costs. Due to this trend and more widespread knowledge about public health, it's become common for HR managers to take extra care when choosing health coverage for employees. Currently, some of HR departments' most effective policies include telemedicine options for convenience, cost-sharing arrangements to reduce out-of-pocket costs, and health care analytics to support results.

There's also a large trend in HR of increasing employees' options for voluntary benefits. Employers have not always offered these benefits. For example, many HR departments are finding ways to provide additional benefits, such as pet insurance, life insurance, and accident insurance, that offer even more peace of mind to employees that they're taken care of in the case of emergencies.

While not every company offers it, there's also been an increase in including student loan repayment assistance as a voluntary benefit. HR departments can organize this to provide extra relief to employees with outstanding student loan debt. This can be especially helpful for employees who are new graduates or who have held student loan debt for long periods of time and want to reduce the amount of money they pay out-of-pocket to lenders.

Preventing burnout

Burnout is a feeling of stress and tiredness that permeates employees during and after work. Employees with significantly repetitive job duties can find it hard to navigate burnout while remaining productive at work. Therefore, HR managers are showing an increased care in finding ways to help employees avoid burnout. When burnout occurs, it can affect an employee's ability to succeed at their job and can also impact their mental and physical health. 

To combat this, HR managers can implement policies to fight burnout and offer ways to relieve the stress burnout causes. For example, HR managers can host employee meetings to discuss specific solutions for their burnout, such as trying new job duties or taking part in a new training program. HR departments can also create opportunities for career development and employee engagement that provide breaks in employees' days to avoid their chances of developing burnout from working on the same task for too long.

Professionals in HR management everywhere can benefit from learning about key industry trends. This can help them implement new strategies that benefit both their employees and the organization. Consider trying one of these trends in your HR department to offer an updated and effective HR experience for all staff members. If you're currently looking to revamp your HR department or recruiting process, CareerBuilder can help you streamline your process.

More tips about working in HR management:

If you're looking to hire diverse employees, learn more about how to do it.

Ready to try a flexible environment? Read more about hybrid and remote work.

If you're interested in keeping your staff happy, learn about employee satisfaction.

Want to provide some extra relief to employees? Read about common post-pandemic perks.

Hoping to learn more about HR? Learn about more popular HR trends.

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