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4 HR trends that will keep you ahead of the curve in 2016


While no one can totally predict what will happen in HR in 2016, recent trends and issues give us a pretty good idea of what to expect. Here are four factors that are likely to shape HR this year:

1. Mobile HR

Mobile HR rose by 92% in 2015, according to 2015-2016 Sierra-Cedar HR Systems Survey. Their research also predicts a 47% adoption in 2016 and reports that mobile is starting to have more of an impact than just ‘this is cool.’ Vendors are considering bringing benefits, performance, wellness and education solutions to mobile platforms for HR.

2. Millennials Moving Into Management Positions

A 2015 Workplace Trends survey reports that 91% of millennials aspire to be leaders and for some, that will happen in 2016. With more than 3.6 million baby boomers retiring in 2016, more than one-fourth of millennial workers will become managers. HR professionals will need to focus on millennial management next year, recognizing and prioritizing their different wants and needs. The Workforce Trends report points out that millennials are transformation leaders, whereas boomers are autocratic leaders. Some of the resulting implications are that companies need to offer regular feedback rather than annual performance reviews, and virtual learning instead of printed manuals.

3. Family Leave Benefits

Much is being said about family leave either for new parents or for a sick family member. It’s already being addressed by Presidential candidates. And when Mark Zuckerberg announced that he was taking two months of paternity leave at the birth of his daughter, family leave policies rose to front and center as well. Zuckerberg cited studies that show when working parents take time to be with their newborns, outcomes are better for children and families. He also pointed out that even when companies do the right thing by providing employees paid leave, very few of them actually take it. SHRM's 2015 Employee Benefits Survey reveals paid leave for new parents is provided by less than one-fourth of employers – 21% provide paid maternity leave beyond short-term disability or whatever state law requires; 17% provide paternity leave. HR should expect more attention to this topic in 2016.

4. Wearables

Wearables integrated into wellness programs are proving to be the shot in the arm that many corporate wellness programs need for greater employee engagement. Companies are assisting employees in purchasing wearables and even allowing payroll deduction to cover the cost. This is one of the 2016 voluntary benefit trends HR is likely to adopt this year.