Trending Issues for 2016

Julie Shenkman
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One of the best things about working in the human resources field is that things change rapidly. If you don't like a particular trend, you just have to wait a few years for a new trend to come along and shake things up. In 2016, industry professionals need to find ways to engage millennials and give employees the flexibility they crave. Keep an eye on these HR trends throughout the year.

1. Employee Engagement

Just a few decades ago, employer-employee relationships tended to last for years at a time. Many employees went to work for one employer and stayed with that employer until retirement. These long-term relationships are no longer the norm. Instead, employees are ready for new opportunities just a year or two after signing on with their employers. If you work in human resources, you need to come up with ways to retain valuable employees and prevent turnover costs from skyrocketing.

2. Generational Shift

Millennials have different attitudes and work styles than members of other generations. They also want different things from their employers. Some baby boomers were happy to work long hours in exchange for more money, but millennials are more worried about work-life balance and job satisfaction. Human resources professionals need to come up with innovative ways to retain millenials and keep workers happy.

3. Desire for Flexibility

Your human resources department should be prepared to address the desire for flexibility in the workplace. If your company doesn't have a telecommuting program, consider implementing one to reduce commuting costs and improve employee retention rates. You may also want to consider offering unusual perks to your top performers. If human resources professionals don't address the desire for flexibility, employees are likely to leave in search of jobs that have better work-life balance.

4. Improved MIS Capabilities

Gone are the days when you had to hunt through hundreds of files to find the data you needed to compile HR reports. Human resources professionals now have access to robust information systems that do everything from screen applications to prepare EEO compliance reports. If you rely on one of these systems, however, you need to be aware of the potential for problems. Make sure everyone in the human resources department understands the importance of entering data correctly and running regular backups.

5. Changing Space Requirements

The traditional office may soon be a thing of the past. Many employees travel for business or move around the building throughout the day, eliminating the need for cubicles and standard offices. Your company may benefit from using movable furniture or allowing employees to reconfigure their work areas.

Working in human resources gives you an opportunity to retain good employees and reduce costs for your company. One way to improve the success of your department is to track HR trends and implement the ones that make the most sense for your organization.

Photo courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee at



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