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Human Resource New Idea

When it comes to building a strong company culture, the human resources (HR) department remains the undisputed champion of employee relations. This department is tasked with listening to and reacting to team member demands, while simultaneously deploying new systems that’ll better employee lives. That’s not a small undertaking.

If you’re responsible for any aspect of HR in your business, one way to ensure you’re cultivating an attractive and competitive work environment is to keep a pulse on emerging trends. Here are three trends you should pay attention to.

1. Faster processes

We’re living in a world where consumers expect instant gratification. Smartphones let you place orders for doughnuts before you even talk to a representative at Dunkin’ Donuts. You can buy replacement light bulbs on Amazon, and, in some markets, have them delivered by drones to your doorstep. Life today is fast-paced, and this is all thanks to technology.

The same expectations and market demands translate to the HR industry, too. Gone are the days when employees could wait patiently for information about their jobs, such as their work schedule or benefit options. Today, more HR departments are deploying technology that will let employees access their job-related information quickly and efficiently.  

2. Employee analytics

Tech giants have adopted a profound new HR strategy. Google calls it People Analytics; Amazon calls it Connections. No matter what your business calls it, here’s the premise: You regularly solicit feedback from your employees with a goal of gathering data that will let you have a deeper understanding of your staff’s feelings about your business.

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At Google, the People Operations team (known at other companies as HR) take surveys to gather qualitative and quantitative feedback, and then uses that data to deploy new initiatives, such as the company’s Project Oxygen that deemed managers unnecessary, based on employee feedback. For Amazon, this means that every employee must answer a question before starting work each day. Questions can range from opinions on the bathroom’s cleanliness, to opinions about their direct superiors.

The point is more HR managers are seeing the benefit of using anonymous survey tools to gather information from their employees. This data enables HR departments to develop new initiatives that bolster company culture.

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3. Employees become brand advocates

Guess what? Consumers aren’t the only ones with a loud voice these days. Employees have just as loud of a voice, yet many employees choose not to use it when talking about their company. Or, if they do, they’re sometimes spreading the wrong message about your business.

Today, more employers are asking their staff to share company content, talk up their brand, and be brand advocates. This strategy isn’t easy to do since not every employee is willing to amplify their voice for the good of the company. For HR departments, this means you have to prompt your team members and let the natural, empathetic brand ambassadors share to their heart’s content.

One way to do this is to give employees first dibs on new products. Starbucks does this well, letting its employees try new drinks before launching them to the public. It gets people buzzing and lets employees feel a unique sense of buy-in with the brand.

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You’ll know lasting trends when you see them

Trends like these are popular, but more importantly, they’re anticipated to be long-lasting because they make sense—for your business and for your team members alike. With a win-win like that, that’s hard to ignore. 

RELATED: How to Stay on Top of the Latest Marketing Trends

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