Here we are, the end of 2018! The year has flown by. Before we enter 2019, Astron will share our predictions on some HR trends and hot topics for the coming new year. Some of these topics are certainly not new, but the conversations surrounding them have grown. We look forward to seeing possible progress in 2019!
The midterm elections are finally over, and the dust appears to be settling. A previous Astronology® noted that a Democratic House of Representatives and a Republican Senate & White House could result in more friction or an outright halt in new legislation. Despite this, there may be some labor issues that could become hot topics in 2019:
- Compulsory Arbitration Clauses
- Paid Sick Time
- Paid Family Leave
Additionally, the legalization of marijuana also is becoming an increasing workplace topic of interest. An XpertHR survey of over 800 human resources professionals indicated that 41% of respondents found “managing the conflict of federal and state marijuana laws a challenge.” Maintaining a drug free workplace due to the changing laws is becoming a challenge for 34% of the respondents. This will remain a challenge for human resource professionals as more states continue to legalize marijuana for medical or recreational usage. Organizations may have to review and seek legal help to craft policies that are compliant with the laws and keep the workplace safe.
Shortened Workweeks and Remote Work
Perpetual Gardens, a company in New Zealand, made headlines by announcing the success of a two month trial of a four day workweek. The trial resulted in staff stress levels lowering to 7% and an increase from 54% to 78% of employees being able to manage work-life balance. There was no indication that performance suffered, and team engagement increased. What does that mean for us? The report reignited the debate on shorter workweeks. An Observer online article pointed out that the American workweek used to be six days a week, with full Sundays taken off for Christian worship. A factory owner in 1908 began offering Jewish workers two day weekends in order for them to observe Saturday Sabbath and not offend Christian workers by making up work on Sunday. Later, the owner extended the two day weekend to all workers and other employers began to do the same. The article later highlights that even if an organization were to reduce the number of work days, bosses will still insist on the same amount of hours and productivity, whether the work is completed in four or five days. This “longer hours, but shorter days” concept seems to be an area of concern for workers. Will the additional hours in one day with the benefit of having one day off during the week balance well for workers here in the United States? Perhaps we will have answers in 2019.
Another trend in Human Resources we may see in 2019 is advancing technology. Areas such as how big data can be used when creating hiring strategies and increasing employee retention have been discussed in recent times, and continue to be a growing trend. Automation is becoming the norm for certain human resource capacities such as talent management, onboarding, and e-learning tools. Where will technology take us in HR in 2019? Gartner listed in its Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2019 press release that a growing concern is digital ethics and privacy. Smart spaces, or the digital workplace, also is becoming an increasing topic. How “digital” your workplace can become will depend on the type of work an organization does…and of course, its culture.
Are there any other HR trends or topics you think will impact 2019? Share in our comments section below!