Human Resource Management and Its Current Trends

Subject: Employee Management
Pages: 6
Words: 1680
Reading time:
7 min
Study level: College

Introduction

The human resources (HR) manager is responsible for staffing: searching and selecting people who are fit to become a company’s new employees. Thus, they create a strategy for staffing and search employees based on it. In addition, HRs manage existing company’s human resources, for example, the employee’s benefit-providing systems. These functions are changing according to the modern world trends and external influences, such as the recent COVID-19 pandemic, social movements, and technological progress.

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The COVID-2019 pandemic, which caused thousands of millions of coronavirus disease cases worldwide, became a global burden in 2020 and 2021 years. Still, it also had a positive influence on workplace transformation processes. As employees were forced to work remotely in order to avoid the spread of the disease, the workflow began to change (Ross, 2021). HR managers should learn to organize the people who work from their homes using various online services and motivate them.

Most of the people forced to work from home feel comfortable there and are unwilling to return to an office. Along with the transfer to home-based work, many workers decided to ultimately leave their job (Morgan, 2021). Such decisions were partly motivated by the American Rescue Plan, developed in 2021 to help people cope with the pandemic’s consequences. It is a set of measures aimed at supporting the unemployed during the pandemic, with additional help for those who are directly suffering from coronavirus and unable to work (Lindley, 2021). This governmental program, along with all other pandemic consequences, profoundly influences HR management trends.

One of the most prominent modern trends in staffing is remote work in various areas. While work from office was actual for most of past decades, with the growth of modern technologies, more and more people choose the work from home. After the pandemic’s start, this trend was accelerated by mandatory social distancing: employers were forced to transfer their employees to remote jobs (Ross, 2021). Even those positions which are usually considered as purely office job, such as managers and support workers, started to work remotely. HR managers create a strategy of personnel searching based on the internal need of the company (Mondy & Martocchio, 2016, Chapter 4). In that way, they should be aware of all possibilities of remote work organization and provide them to the company’s employees.

Workplace transformation itself is a hot topic in HR management, which is greatly accelerated by COVID-19. Remote work becomes widespread, and this tendency will probably continue after the pandemic. People are happy to work from home, as they feel comfortable there; thus, they need to coordinate their work using various Internet services (Meister, 2021). The first responsibility of an HR manager is employee selection, and they should clearly understand the workplace transformation process, to select them properly (Mondy & Martocchio, 2016, Chapter 6). Thus, a competitive advantage for a manager is awareness of those transformation processes and the ability to cope with them.

Another global trend is diversity: as the world becomes united, it is now often that people with various cultural backgrounds are working together. The equal opportunities principle means that HR managers should evaluate all work candidates based only on their skills, abilities, and values and not on their cultural, national backgrounds, sex, or orientation (Mondy & Martocchio, 2016, Chapter 3). In addition, people with disabilities should also have equal rights, as their skills may be no worse than those of healthy ones (Molko, 2021). Inclusion is an essential part of the modern civilized world, and those HR managers who adopt this principle in their work have another competitive advantage.

Corporate ethics and responsibility principles are another critical trend deeply connected with the values each business brings to society. They are intended to ensure that the company serves not only itself but is also helpful and not harmful for both society and the environment (Mondy & Martocchio, 2016, Chapter 2). It makes the company sustainable: it will work longer if not exhausting or polluting the environment, and its employees and customers will be happy. This trend is interconnected with the previous one, as both diversity and corporate ethics aim to ensure employees’ well-being and the firm’s sustainability.

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Last but not least, rapid technological progress transforms the principles of HR management, and more and more managers start to use those new technologies in their work. For example, virtual reality (VR) is actively used to simulate processes necessary for corporate learning (Meister, 2021). Examples are simulations of conflicts to teach sales managers to resolve them. One of the HR manager’s responsibilities is directing the employee training and development, and thus, the usage of VR technologies is valuable for them (Mondy & Martocchio, 2016, Chapter 8). Strategic planning is another task for the manager, and the artificial intelligence (AI) technologies help them make necessary calculations based on large amounts of data (Mondy & Martocchio, 2016, Chapter 4). For example, AI tools help analyze employment dynamics and understand why employees are leaving the job or which elements of their work are the most attractive for them (Meister, 2021). In that way, HR managers adopt various technologies for their work, increasing the efficiency of their companies.

Benefits for employees are those facilities provided for the company’s staff for their work: those are usually divided into direct and indirect compensations. Employment benefits are usually classified as indirect compensation: all rewards which are not included in direct financial payments (Mondy & Martocchio, 2016, Chapter 10). These include all salaries, extras, and bonuses, which are paid to workers regularly (Mondy & Martocchio, 2016, Chapter 9). On the contrary, benefits are not included in salary and usually include such facilities as medical insurance or free lunches. The American Rescue Plan offers help for those unemployed due to the pandemic, and it became a motivating force for employers to care more for their employees (Lindley, 2021). Thus, as the workplaces are transforming, companies provide various benefits programs to increase the well-being of their employees.

Another popular trend in benefit programs is retirement plans with compound percent. Retirement plans are based on money savings during the work process, deposited under a specific growth rate. That means each additional year in the company adds the larger and larger amount of money that will be available after retirement (Trujillo, 2021). Compound percent means that each subsequent year will add more to the savings than the previous year, motivating people to continue their work in the company that provides such a retirement plan. As nowadays employees tend to leave their workplaces often, as mentioned, such a benefit will motivate them to remain at their positions.

Student debt repayment options are also becoming popular nowadays, as there are many young specialists who are alumni of various universities. Such personnel are valuable for a company: they have much knowledge acquired during their study. In that way, they already have a large competence in the subject of work, and a good potential to become the most effective employees. However, they are often burdened by large student loans to pay for the costly American higher education (Trujillo, 2021). Companies that may help students pay for this burden will be much more attractive for such valuable young specialists.

Mental health becomes another trend as the public becomes more aware of mental issues and such work problems as burning out. This problem has been actual before the pandemic and has become critical in recent years, as more than sixty percent of employees reported some symptoms of burning out (Meister, 2021). This problem often catches the best workers, as they tend to overwork; it also reduces their creativity and thus the ability to solve daily business problems. From an HR point of view, this is an indirect work compensation, meaning that employees obtain benefits in visiting a psychotherapist to improve their mental health (Mondy & Martocchio, 2016, Chapter 10). Thus, ensuring that employees have good mental and emotional health is an essential current challenge for an HR manager.

In general, the companies’ politics have become more people-centered and oriented toward the well-being of their employees. The reason for that is that providing opportunities for employees to be happy and fulfilled make them much less prone to work inefficiently or leave their job (Meister, 2021). A good HR manager is engaged in performance monitoring and should ensure that all employees do their job right and efficiently (Mondy & Martocchio, 2016, Chapter 6). The best way to do that is to organize clear and concise communication between employees and their managers, which will lead everyone to understand what they need to do and what they will obtain in reward.

Conclusion

As one can see, there are various fields in staffing and benefit programs that are subjects of change and modification. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated existing changes and became the reason for implementing new, such as the governmental American Rescue Plan (Lindley, 2021). By forcing the social distancing, remote work, and the growing necessity for medical insurance, it stimulated the development of new staffing methods and work benefit programs. Such programs as retirement plans with compound percent and student loan compensations aim to attract and retain employees. The increased care about mental health and employees’ well-being is the positive result of raised awareness toward mental and emotional issues. Changes in the staffing process aim at modern technologies usage to meet current challenges and make the work process more comfortable for all parties.

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Overall, the current trends in HR management aim at a company’s survival and development in the global and interconnected world. The widespread of the Internet resulted in the popularity of remote work, and the pandemic accelerated this process highly. Modern technologies and the tendency of interconnection resulted in the increased diversity in companies when the staff is selected based only on people’s skills and not their cultural or other backgrounds. All mentioned changes in staffing and benefit programs, which are responsibilities of an HR manager, are connected with the workplace transformation process and make the company fit the modern world.

References

Lindley, G. A. (2021). What employers need to understand about the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. HRProfessionalsMagazine. Web.

Meister, J. (2021). 10 HR trends for the next normal of work. Forbes. Web.

Molko, R. (2021). Diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Forbes. Web.

Mondy, W. R., & Martocchio, J. (2016). Human resource management (14th ed.). Pearson.

Morgan, K. (2021). The great resignation: How employers drove workers to quit. BBC Worklife. Web.

Ross, T. (2021). Remote but not alone – Maintaining a positive work-from-home culture. HRProfessionalsMagazine. Web.

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Trujillo, J. (2021). Employee focused retirement plans. HRProfessionalsMagazine. Web.