The COVID-19 pandemic has stirred world’s largest transformation of work culture across continents. Right from basic processes like new employee on boarding, training and induction to core areas, such as sales, operations, marketing or values and philosophies of running the business, everything possible has changed forever.

This has obviously trickled down to each and every department of an organization, and Human Resources Management is no exception. With higher dependency on data and platforms, growth of gig economy & a volatile world, increased diversity, artificial learning and machine learning, here are some of the upcoming HR trends to watch out for.

1. Gamification

Gamification is when we use game principles and techniques in a non-game environment. This is becoming increasingly popular among leading MNCs and mid-size firms. Gamification in Human Resource management has the potential to make areas like learning and development, on-boarding, engagement programs and giving office/ campus tours a lot more enjoyable and creative.

Organizations like CISCO and Delloitte even offer certifications in Gamification for its employees. Gamification of any process or work, is not a one-time activity. It requires constant innovations and updates, of course while monitoring the outcome. So with ample investment of time, efforts and money, this is sure to take your process efficiency and effectiveness to a whole new level.

2. Employee Experience

With more and more employees working from home, employee experience becomes just as important as customer experience. You cannot afford to go wrong. This brings in the need for HR Managers to think creatively and engage with employees in non-traditional ways.

Coming up with tools, platforms and processes which enhance, not limit their daily work – needs to be the focus. Since classroom learning is not a possibility at the moment, why not think about virtual classrooms? Or Bite-size learning modules? Enhance your Employee value proposition and make it more relevant? Engagement programs over video calls?

You gotta THINK. THINK. THINK.

3. Artificial Intelligence

The powers of Artificial intelligence and Machine learning have been a hot topic for a few years now. Gone are the days when a recruiter or HR Manager would sit with bundles of resumes, flipping through each one and finding out suitable candidates.

Today-neither do they have the time or mental bandwidth for a tedious activity like this. It is time to have smart platforms that run algorithms in the existing database of candidates based on open positions and the most suitable candidate’s profile shows up a recommendation.

This is just one example of how artificial intelligence can make our lives easier. But it is becoming increasingly necessary for HR Professionals to know and understand how it works.

4. Robotic Process Automation

Robotic process automation is the part that encompasses robotic skills such as chatbots, virtual assistants, machine learning and natural language processing. It allows users to find the right data at the drop of the hat, without losing time and efforts.

Chatbots are already the frontrunners in most organizations. These help a lot in answering as many general employee queries as possible – allowing the HR Managers to focus on activities which are more complex and need their absolute attention.

RPA – with a wide of application is certainly a trend we see picking up across organizations around the world. Right from managing payroll, time and attendance, answering employee queries to employee on boarding and inductions – there is little that RPA can not do.

5. Remote Working & Work from home Policies

Another trend that has gained momentum, especially in times of a pandemic is the acceptance of remote working culture. Even the companies which traditionally didn’t encourage working from home, are forced to empty their offices and request employees to support from home – making sure none of their employees catch the deadly COVID-19.

Studies have shown employees are much more productive when working from the comfortable confines of their homes. So why not use it to your benefit – and have employee friendly work from home policies with benefits which are hard to refuse?

This will require the companies to invest further in building stable and secure platforms – in order to monitor employee deliverables and daily tasks. Moreover with the business environment having been so unpredictable with uncertain sales in Quarter 4 of 2019, it only makes sense it reduce your fixed overhead costs by encouraging people to work from home.

6. Data Analytics in HR Transformations

Someone has rightly said, “Data is the new oil”. And analytics is like a loop of endless possibilities to come up with different permutation and combinations. Companies could very well use data analytics to predict which employee is likely to put down their papers – much before they actually do, figure out happy and unhappy employees, run productivity analysis, study the trend of absenteeism, engagement level and much more.

So these are some of the trends which have already gained momentum and promise to take Human resources management to the next level in the coming times.

However, when it comes to choosing the next step for your organization- it is recommended to not follow the trends blindly. Some may work for you, some may not. An organization’s leadership and HR’s must study the trends for themselves before taking a decision.