HR & Management

Hot off the press: HR trends for businesses in 2019

5 min read

03 January 2019

Reporter, Real Business

Wellness and self-care dominated workplace discussions last year, but what are the HR policies you need to be integrating into your business in 2019?

What do employees want? – That’s the perpetual question business owners ask themselves on a daily basis.

But instead of engaging in this rhetorical dialogue, bosses must discover what their employees need from them to fulfil their job roles to the best of their abilities.

2019 is as good a time as any for business owners to figure out what new HR policies need to be implemented in their offices.

So what are the new trends this year?

Lucky for us, the folks at employee experience platform Perkbox have produced a low-down of the HR trends business owners need to know about in 2019, let’s take a closer look:

More impactful HR practices for 2019

2018 did see a number of HR teams embrace ’employee first’ policies such as flexible working and unlimited holidays, but more has to be done to encourage employee well-being and productivity for the long term, says Perkbox co-founder Chieu Cao:

“It’s been great to see workplace culture finally given the attention it deserves over the past year. However, acting is as important as speaking. We must act upon our promises this 2019 and look after our employees like we have promised. Only then will we be entitled to ask them to look after our business in return.” –  Chieu Cao, Perkbox

Here are the four main areas your HR team needs to be addressing this year to encourage a more happy and productive workplace.

The battle against presenteeism

Presenteeism occurs in a workplace where it is expected that employees should come into the office despite feeling unwell.

Perkbox predicts that this will be the main HR issue office teams will be tackling this year. But why are businesses only now taking this issue seriously?

Because presenteeism is costing the UK business economy money (some £77bn pounds), as sick employees spread illnesses within offices, decrease collective productivity, and burn out as a result.

To combat this issue HR teams and senior staff must ensure strict adherence to company working hours which shouldn’t be exceeded.

Additionally to this, they should introduce more flexible working conditions, including the option to work from home if an employee is unwell.

The rise of the eco-workplace

Green electricity, paperless offices and green-minded company values are just a few examples of the way offices are set to go greener this year.

The introduction of these policies shouldn’t be a surprise considering the environmentally ‘woke’ general public, and the need for companies to provide impactful and socially conscious corporate social responsibility records to meet these new expectations.

Having a green agenda will  stimulate the wellbeing, motivation and loyalty of employees seeking fufilment by working for a company that strives for impact beyond the commercial world.

2018 saw big businesses such as Wetherspoons banning the use of plastic straws as well as supermarket behemoth Iceland declaring its intention to be “plastic free” by 2023.

Evidently, having a ‘green conscience’ is swiftly becoming a powerful tool to sell the personality of a business. So there’s little doubt that others will follow the environmentally conscious path to avoid being left behind.

Establishing a culture of psychological safety

According to Perkbox, creating a psychological ‘safe space’ in offices will also be a priority for savvy HR teams this year.

Part of the issue includes the drive to combat the rise of imposter syndrome, which is something that negatively affected the lives of up to 62% of UK employees last year.

Imposter syndrome can be experienced when successful employees feel like a fraud in their roles.

Imposter syndrome is largely a self-esteem issue. Employees who experience these emotions often feel a sense of inadequacy in their role despite demonstrated ability and success in the position.

To combat this trend, HR teams should ensure staff have regular meetings with their line managers, where they can discuss the professional and emotional challenges they face in their role.

Investing in mental health initiatives

Other HR initiatives on the horizon include the incorporation of mental health first aiders and counselling within offices in 2019, says Perkbox.

The idea is that employees will be encouraged to vent and share their concerns in a healthy and private way.

This allows for their working lives to be as harmonious as possible, and for their work to be the order of the day in the office, instead of their mental health struggles.