A new report from the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, sets out the key trends that will have an impact on the future of the world of work and how people professionals can help to shape and drive change in their organisations.

The People Profession 2030: a collective view of future trends report shares the findings of research in collaboration with hundreds of people professionals from around the world to create a collective understanding of the future of the profession. It combines findings from the CIPD’s People Profession 2020 Hackathon and roundtables with senior leaders that took place earlier this year.

By identifying external drivers of change and how this will impact the ever-changing world of work, the report explores what these trends mean for the skills and capabilities of people professionals and people teams going forward. It also considers where the profession can add value to shape future workplaces that put people at the heart of business.

The five key trends influencing the people profession over the next decade have been identified as:

  • Internal change: evolving organisational models, structures and processes. The modern workplace will require agile, adaptable business models and managers and employers will need support to thrive in a changing world.

  • Digital transformation. People professionals will need to understand how to support people to be part of the digital transformation and ensure there are no inequalities between those who are tech-savvy and those who are not. The profession will also need to harness digitalisation and automation for processes where appropriate, for example using data and analytics for increased strategic impact.

  • Changing demographics and D&I strategy. Inclusion should be a key element of organisational strategies going forward and people professionals will be important drivers of debate and improvement for areas of diversity, inclusion and equality in their organisations.

  • Diversifying employment relationships. People professionals will play a crucial role in supporting line managers to manage hybrid teams or those with multiple employment relationships such as part-time or portfolio careers, or zero-hours.

  • Sustainability, purpose and responsible business. There is increased demand from employees, customers and consumers for a more values-based, purpose-driven approach. People professionals can be at the heart of organisational purpose and responsible people management practices.

Peter Cheese, Chief Executive of the CIPD, comments:

'2020 has been a monumental year for the people profession and for many organisations it has highlighted the importance of these teams. The demands placed on our profession since the pandemic began have never been greater and we have seen many teams and individuals rise to the challenge. There will be many urgent priorities for HR teams in the short-term, not least wellbeing, skills and diversity and inclusion.'

'The key trends identified by the People Profession 2030 report help us to look towards longer-term priorities.’

Highlighting this important work that was co-created with people professionals around the world, including Asia, Kenneth Low, Regional Director of the CIPD Asia, added:

'The lively debates and high level of engagement by people professionals all across Asia, contributing their voice, thoughts, ideas and perspectives over the two-week Hackathon that delivers this report, means we have been able to identify key trends to help drive and shape the future of the profession over the next decade.'

'By gaining this understanding, it also means that the CIPD will be able to equip people professionals with the tools and resources they need to thrive, in Asia and around the world.'

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At the CIPD, we champion better work and working lives. We help organisations to thrive by focusing on their people, supporting economies and society for the future. We lead debate as the voice for everyone wanting a better world of work.