human resourcesWith a new year comes new trends. From clothing to apps to the workplace, this upcoming year will bring with it a variety of changes. So, what does this mean for those entering the workforce? It means that the workplace is a rapidly changing environment, but it’s changing in a positive way. It’s changing because employers are going to greater lengths to accommodate employee needs. Trends that came about as recently as five years ago have already come and gone1, and human resources experts are now saying the future is all about the employee.

Here are three employee-focused trends expected to take center stage in HR departments across the nation:

1. Continuous Reviews Instead of Annual Reviews

In a digital age, the instant gratification people desire through electronics, high-speed internet and social networks has spilled over into the work place, as well. In the past, performance reviews typically happened once a year. However, being provided with praise or constructive criticism from employers one time per year is not necessarily considered sufficient for employees who crave consistent feedback. According to a report from one of the world’s leading staffing services, Robert Half, 25 percent of employees do not find annual reviews useful in improving their performance even though 79 percent of HR managers report they schedule performance reviews annually.2

2017 is changing this, though, as companies continue to adopt regular feedback as a normal part of the work routine.

2. Corporate Perks Will Change

At one point, a ping-pong table and free snacks would have been exciting perks for employees — and probably still are. However, perks like this aren’t enough to compete with the perks progressive human resources departments will bring to the table in 2017.

According to the Federal Reserve, as of March 2015, America faces over one trillion dollars in student loan debt.3 With many recent graduates looking for a steady entry-level position with the looming thought of inevitable student loan payments, employers are, instead, offering perks to alleviate some of the stress in hopes of recruiting dedicated talent to the company.

The popular online textbook rental company, Chegg, contributes $1,000 per year to employees who face student loan debt because, according to Usher Lieberman, vice president of communications, “This benefit is evidence that we are willing to put our money where our values are, and we certainly hope that many more companies offer this benefit — because with more than $1.2 trillion in outstanding student debt, this is not a problem that can fix itself.”4

3. Employee Experience

A 2016 national Workplace Trends study revealed a shift occurring for active job seekers: a desire to move away from big companies. At 65 percent, well over half of all job seekers prefer to seek job opportunities at small to medium-sized companies with fewer than 1,000 employees. Fifty eight percent of Millennials want to work for a small or medium-sized company, and at an even higher percentage, 63 percent of Gen X and 71 percent of Baby Boomers reportedly claimed they would prefer it. However, only a small percentage of Millennials, at 13 percent, want to work at a very large or global company with 10,000 or more employees.5

The desire to work at a large global company is becoming less of a priority as employee experience becomes more important. With a smaller company and dedicated human resources department, active job seekers may feel more confident in their ability to receive individualized attention and consistent feedback from employers.

Will You Become a Part of the Changing Human Resources Industry?

Do you want to become part of a field that is rapidly changing to better suit the needs of employees? The Human Resources Management Bachelor of Business Administration degree program is designed to help you pursue a career in human resources management, and because these professionals and the skills they bring to the table are necessary in nearly every industry, including private and public sectors, you could have career opportunities almost anywhere. Contact us today to get started!

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