A Look Back: Innovations in the HR Industry in 2017

December 27, 2017 | 1,153 views

A Look Back: Innovations in the HR Industry in 2017

A Look Back: Innovations in the HR Industry in 2017

In July, we did a mid-year analysis of the biggest changes taking place in the HR industry. And as 2017 comes to a close, it’s time to do another look back to see how the biggest innovations in the HR industry have panned out throughout the year.


What will this mean for the coming New Year? What will these changes mean for your business? Let’s dive in.  


An Increased Focus on Employee Experience

Yes, you read that right. Although customer experience used to take the top priority, employee experience continues to play a critical role in the overall health of a business. And it makes sense why. If employees aren’t happy, chances are customers aren’t happy either.


In 2014, Richard Branson made some waves in the HR industry by talking about putting employees first. His main point was that if one employee wasn’t happy on the job, chances were that numerous customers weren’t happy working with that employee (and thus working with the brand) either. Since his outspoken stance on the issue came to the forefront, many large and small businesses alike have followed suit.


This year has been no exception. Brands continue to empower their employees with more flexibility, more work/life balance opportunities, and more benefits. This empowerment often takes shape in a small format, such as by enabling employees to have more control over their schedule. Other times, it’s more apparent with lavish vacations as rewards or unlimited vacation time.


No matter how your organization improves the lives of your employees, one thing is certain: It works to improve your brand overall. The HR industry is far from done finding new ways to make employees fall in love with work again.


A Stronger Focus on Equality in the Workplace

One aspect of improving the employee experience is to make everyone from all walks of life feel welcome. This lends itself to a more harmonious workforce.


This year, equality has come to the forefront in the news. Now more than ever, all eyes are on how we treat each other as humans rather than how we treat each other based on color, gender, or sexual orientation. 2017 has been a transformative year for moving the needle ahead on overall equality in the workforce and this has spilled into other areas of business too.


One example of how equality is taking a front seat this year (and likely next) is with sick leave. How do we treat people when they’re ill? Paternity and maternity leave have also been a hot button topic as of late.


In the world of Human Resources, it’s important to have an overarching focus on embracing the collective whole. Do this and your employees will feel more empowered and free to be themselves while working for your company, tying back into the importance of improving your employee’s experience.



The Emergence of Generation Z

For better or for worse, Millennials have had the spotlight for years now. But, in 2017, we saw a new generation start to emerge in the workforce – generation Z. This generation includes anyone born after 1995 and they already have a reputation.


Bias that Generation Z is less focused with higher expectations than Millennials are just one of the ways this generation is making waves. However, Generation Z is also known for being more frugal (which could be great if you want to cut costs) and more eager to jump into work.


If you’re starting to employ some of the many Generation Zers who are diving head first into the workforce, take note that this generation values individuality. They’re seeking equality and an exceptional experience wherever they’re employed. Keep this in mind and you’ll be off to a great start in 2018.


Quick Recap

2017 has been all about improving businesses from the inside out. From building better employee experiences to embracing individuality and equality in the workplace, 2017 has transformed where we’ve been and where we’re going.


Now, with 2018 knocking on our door, it’s time to embrace these inevitable changes and use them to continue building your people and your business in the year (and years) ahead.



Author Profile Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Atlas Business Solutions was named as one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies in 2004 through 2007 and again in 2010, 2013 and 2014.

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