People management and human resource predictions for 2019

03 January 2019 Consultancy.uk

With 2019 having just kicked-off, most HR directors will be looking ahead to a new year of goal setting, reviewing and predicting trends. Kirsten Cluer, owner of Cluer HR, a Tewkesbury-based consultancy that supports small and medium sized businesses across the Gloucestershire region, reflects on the topics set to dominate the HR agenda in the coming twelve months. 

Predicting the future can be difficult, especially for those in human resources as trends often fluctuate unexpectedly. 2018, for example, saw workers’ rights in the gig economy come to the fore, which is still very much a relevant topic with employment tribunals between firms and their contractors set to continue in 2019.

A new year does not necessarily bring new trends, but rather sees more of a shift in certain areas. Looking back at the HR patterns of 2018, there are several areas that are expected to be a topic of interest in 2019. One of which will no doubt be the impact Brexit has on HR in regards to the mobility of UK workforces. Following the outcome of Brexit in March, employee changes will become apparent as some individuals are expected to leave the UK, creating gaps in certain areas of the market. Obviously, this will lead to skills shortages in those sectors and it will be interesting to see how and if those gaps will be plugged. 

Another unsurprising trend for 2019 will be technology. As it has done in the last decade, advancements will reach new and pioneering levels, which will naturally benefit the HR systems of businesses. The improvements will give managers greater access to key data and responsibility, while managing and supporting staff in a range of areas will become much more transparent. 

People and human resources predictions for 2019

The continued rise in technological advancements will also provide cost-effective ways for businesses to train staff. Online learning and remote access to training and development will enable staff to gain skills without having to travel to courses to be in the same location as fellow participants. This will take the pressure off travel times, reduce costs and from an environmental point, lower carbon footprints.

A greater awareness of wellbeing and mental health in the workplace is also on the rise, meaning businesses need to pay careful attention to their health and wellbeing policies. This includes supporting employees’ physical health with greater exercise and nutrition support. 2019 should see more employers step up in promoting mental health awareness, as well as providing better support in building resilience in employees and how they handle pressure and stress. 

It is the responsibility of all employers to ensure a culture with good leadership is created. This, in turn, will maximise performances and build a healthier work/life balance amongst workforces. 

Overall, HR is set to experience another eventful year in 2019, whether that be through utilising new technology or continuing to monitor and improve the working rights of millions of UK workers.


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