Compensation aspects of HR trends for 2012

Future Insights is a recently published report looking into “the top trends for 2012 according to SHRM’s HR subject matter expert panels”. Even though SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management, is an HR trade association based mostly in the USA, I found some of the trends to be interesting also at an international level.

Among other topics, the report covers Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability, Ethics, Global HR, Human Capital Measurement/HR Metrics, Technology and HR Management, Total Rewards/Compensation and Benefits and Workplace Diversity and Inclusion.

As per the report, some overlapping trends touch on :

  • the impact of the global crisis on budgets, HR strategy and hiring,
  • an emphasis on measurement of results and the development and standardization of key HR metrics to justify HR budgets and expenditures
  • and globalization and market interdependence leading to greater volatility.

Here are some aspects relevant for Compensation managers in the GCC :

The development of performance management approaches, with a focus on implementing continuous cycles of goal setting, performance feedback and evaluation throughout the year.

Consequently, pay-for-performance approaches also develop, especially as they help recognise and retain the best employees and control costs, still a very important aspect of managing organisations in today’s “jobless recovery” and still uncertain financial future.

Companies also increasingly pay attention to the non-cash elements of their total rewards, especially career development and recognition schemes, as they help to retain the best employees and maintain or restore engagement levels of the staff. This is material given that the crisis and its layoffs, followed by “more work with fewer resources” for the survivors, have induced high levels of discontent amongst the workforce and productivity and success are therefore threatened.

HR Systems and business intelligence become more and more expected in order to help drive the business and make informed, relevant decisions about people allocation and the value of the company’s human capital.

This has an impact on the skills required of the HR population, which needs to become more technology-savvy and to demonstrate improved business acumen and quantitative skills.

The other aspect of HR System focuses on measuring more accurately the results and value of HR through good analytics. These KPIs and tracking abilities also apply in the decision-making process related to HR budgets and funding requests.

While some sections of the report are clearly focused on the USA and their domestic trends, the full report is a quick and easy read that emphasizes many interesting aspects of what HR in general will face in 2012 and the coming years. I recommend you read it and try to evaluate how some of these trends could apply to you and your organisation.


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