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6 Recent Trends in Human Capital World With a new generation of workforce that brings with it innovative ideas, the world of human capital is set to undergo a massive wave of change.

By Swapnil Kamat

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The way we manage, lead, collaborate, and organize ourselves at work has been undergoing radical change. Over the last few years, leadership, organization culture, employee engagement and work simplification are some of the top concerns that have emerged in the human capital world.

As the business world continuously evolves and becomes more global in nature, HR will not be about just HR anymore. With a new generation of workforce that brings with it innovative ideas, the world of human capital is set to undergo a massive wave of change.

In the next couple of paragraphs, I will be highlighting some of the recent trends in HR in the year gone by and what to expect in 2016.

1) Leadership

Developing leaders across levels has been and will remain a major concern for HR across sectors. It is time for companies to build leaders from their Millennial workforce.

The need of the hour is of leaders who can engage their employees, drive innovation and push forward a strategy of growth. For this to happen, companies must invest in robust leadership development programs, and increase their focus on coaching and mentoring young leaders to prepare them for bigger roles.

2) Culture and Engagement

The second biggest challenge for companies is in terms of the prevalent culture of their organizations and how it affects employee engagement and in turn, retention. Business and HR leaders alike must work hard towards building a workplace culture that focuses on meaningful work, employee engagement, and strong leadership. Companies that can engage employees tend to attract better talent and have a lower attrition rate.

This, in turn, helps them see better financial performance as well. This year will also see companies paying more attention to 360-degree feedback systems for a holistic employee engagement.

3) Learning & Development

Learning & development, like leadership, has been an area of concern over the years and 2016 is set to see companies go all out to build their employees' skill set. The more organizations focus on improving their L&D initiatives, the better they will be at engaging and retaining capable workforce.

It is a critical business priority where organizations must revamp their employees' learning experience, and invest more time and budget on an emerging digital trend in this sphere.

Companies should prioritize on digital transformation, while also focusing equally on open peer-to-peer learning. Coaching and mentoring initiatives will also go a long way in helping employees grow and make use of their potential.

4) Work simplification

Deloitte's annual report on Human Capital trends for 2015 had flagged the importance of simplifying work in response to employees becoming overwhelmed by increasing organizational complexity, growing information overload, and a stressful 24/7 work environment.

The trend is set to continue this year, with organizations trying their best to simplify work for their employees by investing more on technology that makes work simpler and more integrated in nature.

An important HR task will be process simplification and doing away with complex processes that serve no good, and building an organizational culture that actively helps employees to focus on what really matters. Many companies are also set to bring in policies that encourage work-life balance.

5) Digitalization of HR

This year is sure to see the arrival of digital HR that will include modern tools and technology, design thinking, video-based learning, and major dependence on analytical tools. Dated HR technology is moving towards redundancy and a new range of cloud-based platforms is going to take its place, right from performance management to payroll to learning to employee engagement and wellness.

6) Performance Management

This is one area that is going to see a complete overhaul. Old performance management systems that have been in place for years have not been of much use in employee engagement and development.

To bring about real change in the coming time, companies are on their way to reinvent their performance management process. There is a big move towards doing away with traditional ratings and instead, bringing about a change in the way employees are assessed.

According to Josh Bersin of Bersin by Deloitte, we will see "a profound change in thinking, forcing us to rethink our culture, rewards, the role of managers, and how we direct and align people in the organization."

Swapnil Kamat

Founder & CEO, Work Better Training

Swapnil Kamat is widely considered as one of India's best Corporate trainers. He realised his calling in the field of Training & People Development at a very early stage in his career. Ever since, he has managed to challenge the way corporate training has been looked at by focussing on behavioural and soft -skills.

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