38 HR Magazine August 2017
he world of work has changed dramatically in the
past decade, shaped by factors that include a brutal
recession, technological advances and a new gen-
eration of workers with very different ideas of what
employment should look like.
Ten years ago, companies surveyed by the SHRM
Foundation said their top future challenges were succession planning and providing leaders with the skills needed
to be successful. Today, employers say the increasing competition for skilled workers is a top concern. As a result, the
workplace is much more employee-focused and individualized. That’s pushing employers to, among other things,
provide flexible schedules to people with family obligations or give tuition help to entry-level workers so that they
can get a new job — somewhere else.
“I would say [HR is] moving from processing paper to
making sure individuals feel valued in the organization,”
says Kate Bischoff, SHRM-SCP, an employment attorney
at tHRive Law & Consulting LLC, which is based in the
Minneapolis-St. Paul area. The work is “much more per-
sonalized than it has ever been before.”
The trend toward an employee-tailored workplace is
likely to continue, and you may need to adjust quickly if
you haven’t already started. “We’re going to now see this
shift to employee value, and this is critical. It’s the deficit
we see today in HR,” says Rusty Lindquist, vice president
of human capital management strategy and intellectual
property at HR software company BambooHR, which
is based near Salt Lake City. HR’s traditional emphasis
on payroll, benefits and procedures will need to broaden.
“The HR of the next decade has to be more focused on
performance and productivity. And that’s going to require
a seismic shift in thinking.”
So what has changed over the past decade, and how will
those trends evolve in the years to come?
6 trends that have shaped
the workplace—and HR—
over the past decade.
By Susan Milligan