Top 5 HR trends from 2017 that will continue to dominate in 2018


As 2018 dawns, I’ve put down my observations on HR Trends after the writings, presentations and social media trend analysis.

Highlighting five key HR Trends which seem to have dominated the discourse:
1. Leveraging Technology (Analytics/ML/Deep Learning/AI) in HR – 
These HR Trends have gained immense popularity. Various industry verticals are adopting and leveraging these technologies. Since there is a realization that technology can help to drive cost reduction. It can also make processes more effective. This, therefore, enables greater predictability of results.
2. Managing Diversity (across dimensions of cultures, generations, gender) – 
The more diverse the organization is, the better it can manage the unstable and volatile environment. Diversity includes dimensions of cultures, generations, gender, and education among others. Hence, greater the diversity, larger will be the variance in needs and behavior. As a result, organizations need to understand and aspire to meet the varying aspirations. In conclusion, traditional methods of policy administration and rule based approach will not work.
3. Organization design (flexible, platforms) – 
What will organizations look like? We follow a hierarchical model in which skills are linearly arranged. We will be moving towards networked platforms. In this case, skills can be leveraged across project groups. Also, organizations will rely and capitalize on the gig economy. In conclusion, this is where skills can be in-sourced.
4. Capabilities for Future –
What are the capabilities that we need for future? How to develop these? While there are different capabilities being talked about, there are some HR Trends which are emerging as a ‘must have’. Two of which are most noteworthy:
o   Learning orientation
o   Agility
This is in line with the thought that organizations of the future will be unstable. Consequently, individuals will need to get comfortable with working in ambiguity.
5. Employee Wellness –
We are facing and will continue to face an era of disruption. There will be a lot of focus on maintaining physical and mental wellness of employees. While I believe each individual as well as the organization needs to take care of this.
Furthermore, there’s a constant need of HR to come up with ways to value add to the rapidly changing business environment. It is important that we understand the above in context of – organizations and reality that we are a part of.
About the author: 
Dr. D. Prasanth Nair, holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Calicut University. He also holds a doctorate from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. His doctorate thesis was on the organizational and HR issues in M&As.
Currently, he is the Managing Partner and Country Head of Inhelm Leadership Solutions. InHelm is an HR firm specializing in Executive search, Consulting and Training. It also works with the Small and Medium Enterprises in the people dimension space. Additionally, Dr. Nair is a Principal Consultant in Catallysts Constellations. It is a strategic management consulting firm. He heads HR for and is also a Director on the Board of Medicca Press Limited.

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