Technology is taking businesses across the world by surprise - making some of them obsolete and creating new businesses elsewhere. The power of cloud computing combined with the connectivity of new age internet devices is changing the way we work altogether. While the workforce is becoming more mobile, work schedules are becoming more flexible and teams are becoming more virtual.
As I reflect upon the various discussions I had with members of the HR Professionals LinkedIn group in 2017, I see a few eminent trends emerging for HR in 2018 and the years to come.
Adapting New Technologies - The exponential rate of change of technology poses a unique challenge for team HR to make their organizations ready to adapt to new technologies which are emerging in their area of business. Constantly evolving technology means more pressure on team HR to ensure their workforce is future ready, all the time. This involves more than just continuous learning through online Learning Management Software. It involves changing mindsets and making the employees ready to embrace new technologies. Because, if they don't constantly reinvent the way they do business, they will soon become obsolete.
Up-skilling Team HR to use Technology - While this applies to the whole organization, it applies to team HR as well. At a recent 'HR World' debate, the guests agreed that before HR embraces disruptive technologies and capitalizes on big data and analytics, it needs new employees who understand how best to utilize them. Brian Sommer, former Senior Director at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture), recently said that "giving powerful analytic tools to many HR folks today (who lack awareness or skills in these technologies and disciplines), is like giving a chainsaw to a 4-year old". We need to Up-skill, NOW !!
Employee Engagement - As most transactional tasks will be either automated or outsourced, the focus for the smaller, more focused team HR will be to deliver value back to business. And the only way to do so would be by employee engagement. Understanding the millennial mindset of here and now, HR will have to find innovative ways to meet their expectation of continuous feedback, constant recognition and frequent role hops while ensuring that organization goals are delivered too.
Collaboration, Communication & Caring - In doing so, team HR will have to break their internal silos and collaborate as one single team HR so that various HR initiatives are in sync with each other. There is also a need for HR to collaborate with the Internal Marketing and Communications team to have constant messaging and communication with the new age employee using a medium of their choice - a mobile phone app. While AI and Bots assist HR in listening to employee queries and feedback, team HR will have to embark on the journey of caring for the overall wellbeing of the new generation of employees.
Customized Career Opportunities - Companies will need to offer tailored benefits and customized career opportunities at an individual level. This will contribute to building a positive employer brand and help attract and retain the right talent - a mix of internal and external (contract) resources working together on common goals. Aligning individual career aspirations of the millennial workforce to the larger company goals will be the challenge for team HR.
It is clear that team HR is beginning to react and prepare itself for the challenges, but when it's time to leap frog into the future, we can't be changing at a snail's pace. Team HR - Let's Up-skill immediately and learn to use technology to achieve our goals for 2018.