Skip to content

What SHRM's Future Insights Report Means for Engagement and HR

SHRM released its Future Insights Report on the Top Trends for HR according to SHRM’s HR Subject Matter panel.  This report highlights key HR-related topics and trends, as seen by subject matter experts from SHRM’s Special Expertise Panels. These trends are a valuable resource for any HR professional interested in seeing what issues HR subject matter experts believe will have the biggest impact on the workplace today and in the years ahead.

The report is broken down into key categories for HR, with each area having about 10 top trends. The trends indicate a promising revolution to the traditional role of  HR in the organization and how organizations interact with employees and HR’s important role in this change. Of note, however, is the distressing (but not all that  surprising to read) insight that technology and social media are seen as becoming more of a negative influence on workplace civility, manners, company information, privacy, business writing and etiquette. And their use is seen as increasing opportunities and avenues for harassment.

The full report is available here.

Here are some highlights from other key categories:

Employee Engagement

  • HR is seeing the importance of being high-touch in a high-tech world and is increasing efforts to maintain and enhance employee engagement.
  • As companies and workplaces change with economic, social, technological and other demographic shifts, HR is becoming more instrumental in facilitating effective change management and integrating culture as a regular duty as opposed to a special project.
  • HR has seen the need to increase efforts in building trust between employees and the company, especially when lack of trust is not based on one specific incident or a situation specific to the employee. Companies have forgotten that employees matter.
Technology and social media are seen as becoming more of a negative influence on workplace civility, manners, company information, privacy, business writing and etiquette.

Employee Relations

  • Effective employee relations practices are becoming essential to business continuity in the context of possible natural or other unforeseen disasters.
  • HR continues to develop an acute sensitivity to the impact of the external environment on the workforce and the business as a whole. In that context, effective employee relations practices are becoming increasingly important as companies observe the link between employee engagement/satisfaction and productivity. Recognizing the importance of embedding effective employee relations practices in all HR disciplines will make HR more effective as a business and strategic partner.
  • HR is increasing efforts toward workforce readiness now and in the future. As the economy changes, those currently in the workforce—especially the underemployed—are becoming more of a focus for HR. That is, HR is determin­ing whom their organizations can—or want to—retain once the economy has turned around while keeping an eye on the possible overall talent loss as international workforces expand.
  • Managing multiple generations in the workplace is not the issue some thought it would have been. Baby Boomers are not leaving in masses, and they have shown that they can work with Gen X and Gen Y; generations in the workplace isn’t an area where HR professionals are spending their time.
Human Management / Technology
Are you working on a social intranet strategy? These trends are important considerations as to become more of a digital / social workplace that meets employee needs.
  • User experience and ease of use are becoming significantly more important to employees when it comes to HR technology solutions.
  • One-size-fits-all solutions are decreasing in popularity and effectiveness, given the increasing diversity and complexity of issues affecting HR departments.
  • Employees are increasingly expecting a more integrated digital experience when it comes to their interactions with HR (e.g. single sign-on, one-stop shopping).
  • Employees are increasingly expecting their HR departments to provide mobile access to core HR functions.
  • Social media tools are increasingly becoming an integral component of virtually all HR functions, including employee relations, benefits management, and training and development.
  • HR less frequently views its role in social media as a policing function and more as a means of helping its organizations leverage social media for maximum employee engagement.
  • HR departments are gaining more autonomy and flexibility in making technology decisions that affect their work.
  •  HR departments are increasing their reliance on video conferencing as well as helping their organizations adopt this technology in appropriate ways.
  • Software as a service as well as cloud-based software solutions are increasingly becoming the preferred direction for HR technology.
  •  HRIS solutions are increasingly offering integration with social media tools such as LinkedIn.

About the Special Expertise Panels’ Trends

As part of the thought leadership pillar within the SHRM strategic plan, Special Expertise Panel members act as thought leaders whose input creates pathways for SHRM’s thought leadership within the profession and among a wider business audience. The lists of key trends the panels produce make use of these experts’ insights to uncover a wide range of HR-related trends. These lists assist SHRM in creating forward-looking information and content for our members in forums such as the online HR Focus Areas, research articles, reports and surveys, and through media and outreach efforts.

20 thoughts on “What SHRM's Future Insights Report Means for Engagement and HR”

  1. Re: “generations in the workplace isn’t an area where HR professionals are spending their time”

    I offer this excerpt from a recent Fast Company article as a possible indication that some branches of HR may have more to think about than others.

    …”It’s where executives would go after dinner to have a drink,” Peters explains. “We’re gutting it, replacing it with a university-like all-day coffeehouse. Some colleagues who’ve been here for 20, 30 years, they tell me, ‘This is terrible.’ I tell them, ‘You are not our target demographic.'” So much for nostalgia. At this year’s meeting of GE’s top executives, presentation materials will be available only via iPads. “Some are scrambling to learn how to turn one on,” Peters says. “They just have to do it. There’s a natural tendency for some people to pull back when change comes. We’re not going to wave a magic wand and make everyone different. But with the right team, the right coaching, we can get them to see things differently.”

Comments are closed.

Contact Us