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June 4, 2020
Brad Jamison

4 tips for developing a solid people management strategy in 2020

Developing a solid people management strategy is the one thing employers of all sizes can’t afford to overlook. After all, you want the best employees to stick around, right? Here are the top human resources trends you should look out for in 2020, and how you can utilize them for a stronger team. 

Whether you manage a tech team of four people or are on your way to hitting triple digits, making sure you have the right people to keep everything running smoothly is a no-brainer—but what about people who manage those people’s work and wellbeing? We’re talking, of course, about a people management strategy that enables your employees to thrive. 

Or, the practices your company puts in place for finding the right talent for the right roles, optimizing the employee experience, retaining them, and continuing to support them during their time at your company. They’re members of your HR team, and they’re super important to your employees’ experience. 

Let’s take a look at the top human resources trends happening in 2020 that help you create a solid people management strategy:

People management strategy tip #1: prioritizing wellbeing

This may sound like a no-brainer, but ‘worker wellbeing’ means different things to different people. In this case, we’re talking about employees’ mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing. 

The good news is that you have many options for optimizing your employees’ wellbeing—and they don’t have to involve team-building exercises.

Get active

Many people hit the gym for a workout to relieve stress, get in better shape, and improve their mental health. But with the current COVID-19 pandemic, going to the gym is not a good idea or even an option. 

The good news is that many gyms, yoga, and dance studios are offering online classes so your employees can stay in shape when working from home. You can make it super simple for your employees to choose from these classes with an employee perks program. This gives them the option to choose which online classes they want to attend—and they won’t even have to pay for it.

Download our free report on workplace wellness.

It’s a win-win for you and your remote team members. Once they’re back in the office, you can keep that perk rolling. Maybe even explore a group improv class to build camaraderie and support your local theater at the same time.

People management strategy tip #2: develop “soft skills”

When your team is hiring, you have a set of criteria you look for in each candidate. What are their qualifications? Does their experience meet your needs? Are they teachable?

Each role has a different need. But in 2020, people management pros are looking deeper into which “soft skills” candidates bring to the table. Traits like creative thinking, time management, networking, leadership, and communication—skills that are essential when sheer knowledge needs a boost.

Create awesome job descriptions Zestful’s job description template. 

Look beyond technical know-how

HR teams are seeing the importance of identifying these skills as part of a candidate’s complete profile and how integral they are to developing existing “hard skills” and learning new ones. Soft skills apply at all levels.

Just how important are soft skills? LinkedIn revealed in 2019 that 92% of survey respondents said soft skills are more important than technical skill, with 89% saying that bad hires often lacked the soft skills needed for their role. 

So, if you’re hiring for the long haul, take into consideration how a candidate’s soft skills support their technical prowess.

People management strategy tip #3: skills > college degree

The importance of education can’t be overstated. But as college tuition rates rise and younger adults pass on graduating with tens of thousands of dollars in debt, you can expect more and more candidates without college degrees—but with the same skill and experience as some college degree holders—to apply for your open roles.

Glassdoor recently reported that a number of major international businesses no longer require degrees, signaling that they care as much or more about talent and potential than a degree. You may have heard of a few, like Google, Apple, and IBM, among others. Freelance site, UpWork, revealed that 20 of the fastest-growing degrees on its Skills Index do not require a degree

Experience means more than a degree

But it’s not just forgoing degrees. Businesses are looking at non-traditional education events like boot camps, hackathons, community partnerships, and apprenticeships for the next employee to help them grow their business. 

Insurance company The Hartford manages an apprenticeship program in partnership with two colleges and the Connecticut Department of Labor to create an auto insurance-specific curriculum that includes paid training. The goal is to prepare students for essential customer-facing positions at the company’s claims operation.

People management strategy tip #4: focus on company culture

This one may be nothing new, but hear us out. Investing in company culture is one of the things you can’t ignore. After all, it should be a major deciding factor in why people want to work with you, and what separates you from your challengers. 

Read more: 3 signs it’s time for a company culture change

Above all, though, you get to decide what your company culture looks like. Of course, your employees shape it, but it’s ultimately of your design. 

Communicate your culture

You can’t cultivate the culture you crave if you don’t communicate it to your hiring personnel. That said, you and your hiring teams should be aligned on what you’re looking for (we’re talking hard skills, soft skills, and culture fit) and what you’re willing to compromise on if a candidate excels in one area and could use some development in another. 

That’s what your people management team is there for. 

Your people management team can focus on helping new hires and senior team members alike develop needed technical and soft skills, nurture existing ones, and ensure they have the resources needed to keep their mental, physical, and emotional health in order.

Read more: How stress at work hurts employee mental health—and how recognition and rewards can help

At the end of the day, most employees work for more than a paycheck. Your people management strategy helps ensure they get the most out of their time at your company—and put in the effort to help push your business forward.

Using people management strategy to help your employees grow in 2020 and beyond

You know your business is unique. But besides your product or service, what sets it apart? (that’s rhetorical; it’s your people). 😏

No matter how talented and skilled your employees are, they need continued support to grow into and beyond their roles. Not only does this help them develop skills professionally, but it helps ensure they want to stay with your company for as long as possible. 

Provide your employees with top people management to help them succeed, whether that’s implementing a workplace wellness program, offering employee perks, or implementing feedback from your employee engagement surveys.

At the end of the day, employees make your business happen. Invest in them, and watch your company (and your culture) grow beyond what you thought possible.

Zestful: recognize and reward your employees—minus the admin work.

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