3 HR Trends We Thought We’d Hear About in 2019 That We Didn’t

The world of work is changing– and so are the HR trends to accomodate that flexibility. Here are 3 trends we thought we would hear about in 2019 but didnt.


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Virtual reality HR trends

HR trends are often adaptive and flexible to meet the needs of a work culture that is ever-evolving. In fact, businesses are finding themselves revamping or even cutting out certain trends that just haven’t gained the traction anticipated. Here are 3 HR trends that have not been as prevalent as projected in 2019.

Activity-Based Wellness Programs

While the idea is great, wellness programs which focus on activities alone tend to achieve fewer results than they are projected to. Many companies who adopted these HR trends in 2018 have revamped them a bit for the current year.

The problem seems to be that while activity-based programs are fun and engaging, they tend to be less organized than their counterparts and deliver less accurate and measurable results. These types of wellness programs tend to have more emphasis on the actual activities rather than the health outcomes. While they can be enjoyable and helpful for team-building, it’s difficult to measure the return on investment.

The point of wellness programs is to lower healthcare costs for companies and spark better employee productivity with less sick days. These are the goals to keep at the forefront when designing programs.

Outcome-based wellness programs, on the other hand, are centered around the idea of documenting their ROI. They should be easy to understand and follow with clear guidelines, goals, and rewards. Biometrics screenings should be quick and easily accessible to employees. Registration for events and programs should be seamless. Utilizing a mobile app for employees to participate on the go and track their progress is vital.  

VR For Sexual Harassment Training

This HR trend is extremely young, and a highly-discussed topic in 2019. Though this option is not widely used yet, it is one to watch for going forward. However, some companies are refusing the idea completely.

Tremendous buzz has been created about the idea of immersing employees in an experience which allows them to see first hand the discomforts of workplace harassment. Expectedly there has been a mixture of interest and push back on this trend. This is one of those trends that may not come to fruition as widely as anticipated or could take HR by storm somewhere down the road. 

Tremendous buzz has been created about the idea of immersing employees in an experience which allows them to see first hand the discomforts of workplace harassment.

Strict Drug Testing

We are in the midst of a major culture shift regarding marijuana use. Marijuana legalization is sweeping the country, complicating regulations around drug testing. While marijuana use and possession are still unlawful under federal law, many states have legalized its use. In fact, medical marijuana is now legal in 33 states as of March 2019.

What does this mean for companies who have always adhered to strict drug testing? It’s hard to say for sure but it seems new policies and procedures on the handling of marijuana use may need to be implemented to allow for the joining of the up and coming workforce.

Though drug testing has definitely not flopped this year, it is beginning to be one of the more flexible topics when it comes to HR trends. Read more about how to approach this complex topic here.

Note that this article does not reflect changes in the law after its publishing date.


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