The world was a very different place 10 years ago. The original iPhone was just a few months old, the world was reeling from a global stock market crash, and Facebook was still a social network used primarily by university students.
As the wider world has changed, so too has the HR space. Some of those changes have been minor, while others have been massive. As those changes happened, it wasn’t always easy to figure out which was which. Over the course of time, however, it’s become a bit clearer.
With that in mind, here are some of the biggest ways HR has changed over the past decade.
An evolving approach to social
Many companies were blindsided by the rapid rise of social networks, led by Facebook, in the late 2000s. They simply weren’t sure how to deal with this new-fangled thing that their employees were spending so much time on.
Some simply tried to implement blanket bans. This often backfired spectacularly.
Over time, however, HR departments realised that social media could be a useful communications channel between the organisation and employees. As a result, some companies started building internal social networks for companies with Yammer probably the most well-known.
Indeed, Facebook itself now has its own tool for companies, in the shape of Workplace. Not bad for something whose usage HR departments once had to monitor and restrain.
It’s all about the experience
HR is much less about process and implementation than it used to be. While that was also true in 2008, things have accelerated considerably in the intervening years.
HR today is much more about creating great employee experiences.
It makes sense too. Your employees can be your company’s best ambassadors, but only if they if they really enjoy working for you.
Realising this, companies have started to look at how they can improve on everything they do, from recruitment and onboarding all the way through to exit interviews.
Some companies, such as Airbnb, have even gone so far as to hire dedicated employee experience officers.
The remote work reality
Over the past decade, it’s become easier than ever for companies to allow employees to work remotely. While it’s difficult to get an accurate gauge on global numbers, the fact that some 37% of Americans have worked remotely at some point is instructive.
While the rise of remote work comes with plenty of benefits for employees (flexibility, lower stress levels, increased productivity) and companies (reduced operating costs, the ability to employ global expertise), it does present some challenges for HR.
Different metrics, for example, have to be taken into account when it comes to evaluating employee performance. It’s also more difficult for HR professionals to provide that vital human touch to a fully remote workforce.
How they get around this may determine which companies have successful remote work programmes and which ones don’t.
The personalisation of everything
It should hardly be surprising that, in a world where people increasingly seek out customised experiences, that HR is also expected to take a more personalised approach.
Perhaps the area where personalisation is most evident is employee benefits. A decade ago, most companies will have offered health and retirement as basic benefits.
While those basics are still there, companies have had to take a more personalised approach in order to attract and retain top talent.
These can include educational, health, and childcare benefits, among others. It’s all about taking the time to understand what your employees actually want and need.
Digital tools can also help here, with tools like Rewardz allowing companies to give their employees a choice of instant rewards and benefits.
What have been some of the biggest HR changes you’ve noticed in the past decade? Let us know in the comments section below.