2017 Mid-Year HR TrendsJuly 31, 2017 - By: Matt Thomas
With an industry like HR, which is constantly evolving and has a direct effect on the state of a business, staying on top of trends is important in order to plan for a successful future workplace.
As we head into the second half of 2017, we’ve taken a look back at trends that have gained traction in the HR world so far this year and what employers can learn from each.
The new generation entering the workforce: Gen Z
With the oldest members of Generation Z – born between the mid-1990s and early 2000s – entering the workforce in 2017, there are a few things we’ve already learned about Gen Z’s work life preferences midway through the year:
• Money and job security are a priority for Gen Zers, compared to Millennials’ need for finding a purpose at work.
• A fast track to advancement is a necessity for this generation, whereas Millennials are focused on being coached by their management team.
• Gen Zers tend to be highly competitive against others’ work, compared to Millennials’ collaborative mentality.
As they recently did with Millennials, management teams will do well to learn the ins and outs of the 79 million individuals from this new generation entering the workforce.
Status of the annual performance review
Another hot topic during the first half of 2017 has been the annual performance review: is it outdated or still useful? A recent study of more than 1,000 managers and employees found that ultimately, annual performance reviews are no longer the norm. The study also concluded that introducing peer-to-peer feedback into the performance evaluation reduced employee anxiety, the weekly informal “check-in” tactic is a helpful tool, and focusing on personal development and performance goals during the evaluation is most effective.
Management would do well to rethink their performance review process and make it a bit more informal and focused on individuals’ professional development and place in the company.
Job perks: How flexible is too flexible?
The concept of remote work kicked off with a bang at the beginning of 2017 following IBM’s telecommuting announcement that revenue loss across several consecutive quarters had led them to pull their remote work option for many employees. This was a major change for the 40 percent of IBM’s nearly 400,000 employees worldwide that had been opting for this job perk to date. The 2017 State of Telecommuting in the U.S. Employee Workforce report found that telecommuting grew by 115% between 2005 and 2015 – a job perk that many employees value and that the companies they work for are willing to provide.
But, the trend may be hitting a breaking point as companies like IBM are starting to be concerned about the effect telecommuting is ultimately having on productivity levels. Where does this trend currently stand? Remote work has become a point of compromise between employers and their staff. Employees still value remote work as a job perk, and companies are starting to pull back on full-time telecommuting options. When it comes to offering remote work options to employees, companies still need to do what works best for them, but should also take into consideration the importance employees place on this perk.
A little over halfway into 2017, and already so much has shifted. Employers that stay informed of the HR trends that could affect their company will be well set up for a successful future.