In 2018, one word said it all: engagement. With the rise of a millennial-driven workforce and the push for greater transparency that’s being made possible by HR digitization, an enjoyable work experience is no longer a bonus: it’s a must-have. In 2019, engagement will evolve and expand into employee experience. In the year ahead, robust and effective HR teams are likely to be those that successfully fuse engagement, culture and talent management into a workplace that chronic job hoppers will never want to leave. Here’s what your HR team can do to create the ultimate employee experience for your best and brightest:

1. Dive into data: An HR team that uses the latest HCM solutions in 2019 will be better able to drill down and pull up important insights about an organization’s primary asset, its people. Everything to do with the employee lifecycle – turnover rates and reasons for leaving, performance, unconscious bias in hiring and promoting – can be quickly identified and acted on by a proactive HR department. In 2019, timely data will become even more important to HR. A report by the Economist Intelligence Unit found that 82% of organizations planned to either begin or increase their use of big data in HR before the end of 2018.

2. Embrace change: Another step HR can take to ensure that an organization’s most valued men and women don’t jump ship is to reskill and upskill them as the need arises. But according to one report by the World Economic Forum, HR and business leaders haven’t done nearly enough to prepare their people for the future of work. The report asserts that the “fourth Industrial Revolution is interacting with other socio-economic and demographic factors to create a perfect storm of business model change in all industries, resulting in major disruptions to labour markets.” In 2019, as new jobs categories rapidly replace others, HR will need to be on the front lines of keeping their people’s skills relevant.

3. No more ‘9 to 5’: HR experts predict that in 2019 more companies will offer flexibility in terms of days and hours worked. There’s a good reason for this trend: recent research found that 71% of employees think their work interferes with their personal life. Fortunately for HR, collaboration platforms are getting better all the time. And while tech companies have been the trailblazers when it comes to developing atypical working solutions, more traditional industries are starting to catch up. With a bit of creativity, HR can enhance the employee experience by developing remote project delivery mechanisms that enable their people to strike the perfect balance between work and life.

4. Help them be well: Shocking but true: 94% of workers are stressed out at work and a third report that their level of stress is high to unsustainably high. Initiatives to encourage workplace wellness range from mental health support to financial or physical rewards for performance. Research suggests that such schemes can boost retention rates, reduce absenteeism and increase productivity. Employees with a poor work-life balance tend to be more disengaged with life in general than the average person, with those aged 25 to 34 particularly at risk. The good news is that the same research indicates that happier employees are likely to perform with nine times better intensity.

5. Listen constantly: Data is driving decision making more and more. Because of this, there’s been a dramatic rise in the use of real-time feedback tools and performance management processes. In 2019, reliance on instant feedback will only grow. When your team members and team leaders communicate constantly, they’re much more likely to understand one another’s decisions and actions. Regular two-way feedback improves the employee experience since it clarifies each worker’s contribution to an organization’s overall performance. This kind of data-driven knowledge is a powerful way to keep your people engaged and focused on achieving specific goals.

So, are you giving your employees an unforgettable experience? In conclusion, employee experience combines the different aspects of how an employee feels about each workday. In this talent-driven economy, employee experience is everything. Organizations that can create a loyal and committed workforce will gain a competitive advantage over those that don’t. In 2019, forward-thinking HR teams are expected to start putting employee experience at the top of their agenda. Will you?

2019: Where HR’s Going, and Where You Need to Be - pic-1.jpg

From Danielle Mizrachi

Danielle is a Marketing Manager at Hibob. She studied Business and Psychology and believes in the power of utilising behavioral insights to form great companies. She enjoys discovering what the future of work might look like, listening to podcasts, traveling, and hiking.