6 predicted workforce trends for 2019

The Workforce Institute has reported what board members expect to see in the world of work this year.

Human capital management and workforce management solutions company Kronos has shared its predicted trends for the global workforce in 2019. Through its Workforce Institute, the company lists findings of questions to board members around the world on what they think will be the most important workplace trends in the coming year. Here are the six trends that the global HR landscape can expect in the coming year.

1 Organisations will begin to make better use of workforce data

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning will finally be woven into workforce management practices, revealing a treasure trove of data organisations have been collecting, but not using, for decades. With insight into their workforce data trendsk managers will be able to address potential issues, like absenteeism, before they arise. 

2 Increased focus on leadership development 

Sourcing great candidates will be more difficult and retention will become an all-out dogfight. While an employer’s brand, innovative hiring technologies and proactive recruiting practices are more important than ever, it’s the organisations with the best people managers that will ultimately prevail. Organisations will, therefore, have to place an increased focus on leadership development as a retention strategy, especially as Millennials assume middle management positions.

3 The changing face of education will redefine hiring practices.  

The rise of certificate and micro-credential programmes has meant that competencies that once required a degree – such as coding, robotics, and data analytics – are being redefined as skilled trades. And, with tertiary education ever the expensive pursuit, tomorrow’s best employees may take an unconventional path to employment. As yesterday’s jobs become augmented by automation, new skills will be required for traditionally “blue-collar” roles. Employers will, therefore, have to revamp their hiring profiles and recruiting practices to tap into this new pool of qualified candidates who will staff the shop floor, store floor, hospital floor, and top floor of the future. Millennial parents may thus urge their school-aged children to take an alternative educational path for a brighter financial future.

4 Further fracturing of employment laws will strain organisations. 

Locally, the introduction of a national minimum wage is a reflection of the ever-changing regulations around the world that will put increased strain on organisations to avoid sanctions, fines, class action lawsuits, and reputation-damaging headlines. From minimum wage to sick pay, to fair scheduling proposals to the right to disconnect, governments around the world will continue to evolve employment laws, and organisations will have to adjust their people strategies accordingly.

5 The rise of flexibility 

All employees – salaried, hourly, and gig – crave control over when, where, and how they work. However, while many employers have put more focus on flexibility and alternative work schedules, most have been slow to re-engineer processes and take advantage of tools which allow employees to work from anywhere outside their employer’s premises. The gig economy and emergence of the “occasional-time worker” will force organisations to replace traditional hiring and scheduling processes with systems that enable workers to choose when, where, and how long they work. 

6 Greater emphasis on disaster preparedness. 

Disasters large and small, natural and man-made, have unfortunately become the norm. Locally, the Listeriosis outbreak where Tiger Brands was implicated and Grant Thornton's sexual harassment scandal are stand out events from 2018, which reflected the need for more preparedness for disaster management. Organisations worldwide have been challenged to respond effectively to increasingly frequent crises, with HR, operations, and payroll forced to take centre stage in the lives of affected employees. There more emphasis on company culture, caring, and “doing what’s right” and companies will be watched closely for how they respond to both their own scandals and external catastrophes.