Top 10 HR Trends in 2020 Workplace

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When you have the right people in the right seats with the right attitude on your team, success is easily achieved.  And yet your workplace is so much more than that.  Human Resources departments are tasked with employee engagement, maintaining a desirable employee culture, and doing their best to ensure employee satisfaction, amongst a variety of other things.  HR trends are important to follow, and Jeanne Meister shares the top 10 HR trends she feels matters the most for 2020 in her recent article on

Her first trend, “Focus on Worker Wellbeing,” uses an example from PwC (PriceWaterhouseCoopers) who defined worker wellbeing in a holistic way (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual lenses) which was then transferred into a technology platform called “Be Well, Work Well.”

One of the most interesting trends, “Prepare for Humans + Bots as The New Blended Workforce” is #2.  According to Meister, “Knowing how to orient, develop, engage, and work side by side with a bot will be the newest skill set for 2020, as human and bot teams will work together and, in many cases, outperform either humans or bots working on their own!”

AI (artificial intelligence) continues to be utilized more and more in different facets of the workplace, and HR is finding new ways to use it for talent acquisition and career development.  Meister’s third trend is “Look for New Use Cases of AI 4 HR.”  Andrew Saidy, VP of talent digitization for Schneider Electric, believes that “AI-powered career development is now the expectation of candidates as they assess career growth and mobility opportunities at a prospective employer.”

With any rise of technology use, “Focusing on Building Ethical AI” is an absolute which is why Meister includes this as her 4th trend.  She declares, “AI vendors and companies using AI platforms may be subjected to requirements similar to safety checks now conducted on automobiles. Conducting AI audits and testing for unequal outcomes across gender, race, and age will start to be commonplace.”

“Consider Soft Skills to Be Power Skills In 2020” (#5) is essential because those skills are much harder to develop than hard skills. Ravi Kumar, President of Infosys, has been focusing on recruiting for technical talent and then training them in hard skills to be successful in their roles.  Kumar states, “We are focusing on recruiting individuals with learnability and aptitude to operate at the intersection of design, technology, and industry, and not just recruiting them for their current credentials.”

Another unique trend is #6, “Audit Your Workplace Environment for Physical, Emotional, and Environmental Attributes.”  A survey across 1601 workers across North America found that “employees want the basics first: better air quality, access to natural light, and the ability to personalize their workspace. Half of the employees we surveyed said poor air quality makes them sleepier during the day, and more than a third reported up to an hour in lost productivity as a result.”

“Explore Virtual Reality for Corporate Training” (#7) and “Re-Define Blended Learning to Include On Demand Coaching” (#8) are new ways of approaching employee development.  Derek Belsch, CEO of Striver, feels “VR is ideally suited for this because it delivers higher knowledge retention, increase engagement, and allows for practice before being in the situation.”  Mars Incorporated reinvented their employee development program by launching a fully virtual program which “combines digitally delivered content supported by on-demand, personalized coaching” to keep in step with the changing demographics of their workforce.

The last two trends provide additional opportunities to hire and retain employees: “Recruit for Skills Rather Than College Pedigree” (#9) brings a bit of “old-school” back into the mix by valuing and hiring non-traditional workers who have a great depth of experience but may not have a college education to back it up.  “Make Your Workplace Experience A Top Priority” (#10) is about treating your employees like your best customers by creating an employee experience that mirrors how you want your customers to feel as they work with you.

Meister includes many more examples and detail for each trend in her Forbes article. To read it click here.


If this article was helpful and prompted you with an increased desire to improve your effectiveness as a leader so you can take your team to the next level, contact us to learn more about our Aepiphanni Ascend Leadership Development program.  Fill out the form below and we’ll be happy to schedule a Coffee & Consult to chat in more detail about how we can help.

Kris Cavanaugh Castro is the People Development Coach at Aepiphanni, a Business Consultancy that provides Management Consulting, Implementation and Managed Services to business leaders and entrepreneurs seeking to improve or expand operations. We are the trusted advisor for business leaders who are seeking forward-thinking solutions to help them plan for and navigate through the challenges of business growth.  Kris has over 25 years of coaching, training and mentoring leaders to greater success; and she periodically writes about leadership development and facilitates change management conversations.

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