Top 10 Key HR Technology trends in 2020

2020 is a year of transformation for many business especially with the outbreak of COVID-19 there has been a paradigm shift in the adoption of digital technologies.  Many more organisations will go through digital transformation or fast track their digital transformation journey in 2020 and early 2021. Remote working and digital workspace will be the 'new normal' post COVID-19 and this will have a long lasting impact on business operations in the coming years.

Here are the top 10 HR technologies trend to watch out in 2020 for all HR leaders, these may be classified into 5 key themes as shown below
  1. Digital  
  2. Social
  3. Employee Experience
  4. Data
  5. Wellness

Digital HR services using virtual agents and digital signature

We will see fast tracked adoption of digital HR services including self services using virtual agents and digital signatures to move away from paper form using cloud based technologies. There are 3 main components here, 1) move to cloud HCM and HR service delivery technologies to ensure employees can access HR system outside of the company firewall if not already moved 2) use of smart forms , document generation tools and digitial signatures to completely stop the need for paper based forms requiring scanning, printing, etc. 3) use of virtual agents like chatbot to respond to employee queries 24/7 as many organisation will be encouraging flexible work timing, so 9 to 5 support model may not work well.

Digital adoption technologies

Use of digital adoption technologies to fast track digital transformation of all employees including HR professional and line managers to succeed in the 'new normal' work environment. These tools will significantly reduce the adoption time and reduce the amount of support tickets for HR and IT. Organisation will also need to start thinking about building capabilities of HR and Line managers to win in this fast tracked digitially transformed corporate world.

 Workplace Collaboration technologies

We will see fast tracked adoption of workplace collaboration technologies to drive internal employee collaboration and better employee communication. Technologies like Yammer, Chatter, Facebook Workplace and MicroSoft teams have been here for sometime, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, we will see an increase in the adoption & implementation of these tools 

Social enabled HR technologies to drive better engagement 

In a world where we will have limited face to face interactions, the main challenge for HR would be ensure how we can keep the same level of engagement within teams. Technologies with strong social component (gamification, commenting, sharing features with facebook like interfaces) to enhance employee engagement with in the business will be used heavily especially for social learning/recognition.  We will also see social features used outside of organisation to improve employer value proposition and win talent war by encouraging employees to share great inspiring stories outside of the organisation (sharing employee stories from internal portal or may be features for employees to share stories with appropriate permission in facebook, linkedin etc. will be in the rise) .  

Redesigned HR processes with employee experience in mind

Organisations already started thinking about how to enhance employee experience, this means redesign of HR processes  (those focussed mainly on automation with HR professional in mind) with a redefined employee experience/ moments that matters in mind. Employee experience in a virtual work environment to be considered when redesigning HR processes to be fit for purpose with the 'new normal' post COVID-19.

Employee engagement solutions

Wider use of employee engagement solutions to gain feedback on key HR processes and new working condition will become a new norm to drive continuous improvement of HR processes based on the employee experience

 RPA and Embedded Artificial Intelligence

RPA and Embedded Artitical Intelligence to drive better automations within HR processes and services with employee and candidate experience in mind. Recruitment will be an area where we will see more artificial intelligence investment and innovations. 

People analytics solution with effective use of 'big data' 

People analytics and the need to drive data driven people decision has been in the agenda for almost all HR leaders for sometime now. In 2020, we will see more use of big data and data warehouse (or data lake) to consolidate data from HCM, payroll, engaement surveys, health and well being solutions, etc. 

Data privacy rethink 

Rise in remote workers will lead to the rethink of enhanced data privacy framework especially when dealing with sensitive people data. Companies will be looking to keep an eye on COVID effected employees in order to ensure they get appropriate support - how we deal with these type of medical data by meeting the regulatory and data privacy requirement of all countries will be great challenge for both HR and IT.

Health and well being solutions

Strong focus on health and well being solutions to ensure mental and physical wellbeing of remote workforce. We have already seen use of wearable technologies like fitbit to encourage gamification within employees to create physical wellbeing awareness. More tools will be deployed to avoid notification and meeting fatigues as more and more employees start working from home.


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