With the holidays behind us and our feet firmly planted in 2018, it’s that time when we share with you PeopleDoc's predictions for HR service delivery, employee experience and digitization in the new year. What will be the top priorities for HR and what will take a back seat? Will this be the year AI finally takes off? What about RPA? Similar tolast year, we’ve put together 6 predictions for HR in 2018.
1. GDPR, GDPR, GDPR
Top of everyone’s mind right now is the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), going into effect May 25, 2018. As organizations begin to prepare, HR leaders must think through how they will comply with the regulation and protect sensitive employee data. 2018 will be a learning year for HR as the regulation goes into effect. A major endeavor for the first half of the year, HR will need to ask questions of their technology vendors and re-examine internal processes. But GDPR shouldn’t be viewed as just a challenge; it’s also an opportunity.
2.HR Service Delivery will take a front seat
One of the biggest HR Technology trends of the past few years has been upgrading your HRIS. But then HR leaders often wonder “what’s next?” What’s the next initiative that will drive HR agility and improve the employee experience? HR Service Delivery technology is leading the way, helping organizations deliver better services to employees, more efficiently. The past year has seen tremendous growth in this software category, and in 2018, we’ll see HR Service Delivery as one of the major initiatives for HR. (Get Gartner’s point of view in their Market Guide for Integrated HR Service Delivery Solutions.)
3. User experience will inform employee experience
In the digital workplace, much of the employee experience is actually user experience. In other words, what are the tools I need to do my job and how effective are they? Think of all the enterprise tools you use today and how that experience compares to consumer technology. Why is it so hard to get simple stuff done?
We’ve spent years discussing employee experience, and 2018 will be the year that the emphasis moves to user experience. It’s not just about giving employees a great experience when they interact with HR; it’s also about giving HR a great user experience so that they can serve employees more easily.
4. The year of AI experiments
Last year, I wrote about how 2017 would NOT be the year for AI. I think my prediction was fairly accurate. It was a topic we talked about a lot in the HR community, but no one is really adopting it at a widespread level. I don’t think 2018 is the year for AI either, but we will enter the next phase of this technology. I predict we’ll start to see organizations actually experimenting with how AI can impact HR. There’s a lot of cool emerging tech that leverages AI, and I think HR will begin to run small pilot projects to test the benefits.
5. RPA goes mainstream
Unlike AI, 2018 will be the year for Robotic Process Automation (RPA). This is another big tech trend that might still be fuzzy for you today, but it will drastically change your HR Tech ecosystem in the next year. RPA is the use of bots to help systems talk to one another. For example, instead of receiving a notification in one system that you need to change something in another system, the bot can enact that change on its own. This will drastically reduce manual work for HR and help HR professionals deliver services more efficiently for employees—and you’re going to start to see it everywhere.
6. Employee experience mapping will become fundamental
As HR takes more and more learnings from customer experience, one critical activity that I believe most HR organizations will adopt in 2018 is employee experience mapping. This process maps out the employee journey through your organization and the touchpoints that HR has with the employee. This allows you to identify the best ways to engage with employees at each step in their journey with your company. As HR teams continue to invest in designing great employee experiences, they will begin to start with the step of creating an employee experience map.
Do you agree with our predictions for 2018? Are there any we forgot? Let us know in the comments!
Nicole Lindenbaum is the Director of Product Marketing at PeopleDoc by Ultimate Software. Nicole leads the global messaging strategy for PeopleDoc by translating technology into business benefits HR can actually understand. With significant experience in HR technology, Nicole writes and speaks about HR service delivery, employee experience, digital transformation, and the future of work. Nicole holds a BFA from Syracuse University and an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.