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5 Hot HR Strategy Trends


“Sometimes we need to stop analyzing the past and start planning the future.” 

We are busy sourcing, acquiring, performance managing, leadership developing, and workplace disruption wrangling. Forward-thinking HR and business leaders know to keep one eye (if not both) on the future. 

Technological, economic and competitive developments can run us over if we are not planning for it. If we can identify opportunities early and harness them strategically, organizations can ultimately leap forward competitively. 

While reading these hot trends imagine for a moment that you can do anything with it. You have the ability reimagine, re-engineer, or create anything you want. What would your business, department or role look like if you could harness any new technology development or workforce trend? What could you accomplish? 

Our purpose of sharing this special report is to not only report on five hot HR strategy trends but to inspire you to reimagine, harness change and achieve more. 

The sky is the limit. 

Open this gift, jump in and go for it!

Top HR Strategy Trends

“It takes real planning to organize this kind of chaos.” Mel Odom

Our first stop in our journey of exploring trends is with the Deloitte Human Capital Trends 2015 study. This study was provided to us by our friends from Oracle. After surveying and interviewing more than 3,300 business and HR leaders from 106 countries, the findings of this study are very interesting.

"Imagine with all your mind. Believe with all your heart. Achieve with all your might."

1) Culture and Engagement

Workplace culture and engagement persists as a common focus year after year. According to Deloitte” Human Capital Trends 2016 study, “culture and engagement was rated the most important issue overall.”

“You won’t get anything unless you have the vision to imagine it.” John Lennon

Maintaining employee engagement continues to be a challenge especially after the onset of the great recession in 2008 and 2009. The need to understand and leverage workplace culture and engagement remains to be a top strategic focus.

Here is why.

Aon Hewitt’s 2014 Engagement Report found:

  • Organizations in the top quartile for engagement (where more than 7 in 10 employees are engaged) saw a 4% increase in sales growth compared to an average company. By contrast, bottom quartile engagement companies were down 1%.

  • Operating margin was also affected; top quartile companies saw 2% increase, versus a 3% decrease for bottom quartile companies.

  • As for total shareholder return, top quartile companies saw a 4% increase, while bottom quartiles were down 8% compared to average companies.

These statistics leave us with one question.

If executives recognize employee engagement as one of the top business results drivers why does it continue to be a challenge?

Research indicates there are numerous barriers to effective employee engagement. A lack of formal engagement programs with goals and accountability, global multicultural communication barriers, multigenerational communication barriers, and leadership with only top-down or dysfunctional mindsets are chief barriers.

The hero of the day will be leadership who can address those challenges and ultimately leverage employee engagement to achieve objectives.

2) Reinventing HR

“Opportunities don’t happen. You create them.” Chris Grosser

A common theme that is increasing in popularity is need to reinvent (or re-skill) HR. Businesses have found critical importance in having a HR function rise above just having a compliance role and muddling by. CEO's seeking to achieve a competitive advantage in a new economy require HR to
deliver value at a rapid pace.

However, according to the Deloitte Human Capital Trends 2015 study, “While CEO’s and top business leaders rate talent as a key priority, only 5 percent of survey respondents rate their organization’s HR performance as excellent.

This year, HR’s self-assessment showed virtually no improvement over last year’s.”

HR capabilities on high demand include being agile, business integrated, data-driven and effectively skilled in attracting, retaining and development talent.

To get started three areas to look at are the function’s structure design (consultant model with smart service delivery a priority), infrastructure (optimized systems and processes) and developed
talent (invest in HR skills development).

There is a golden opportunity for Human Resources leaders that can assess and reinvent the function to rise to the plate of business demand.

3) The Gig Economy

“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” Walt Disney

The invisible workforce is fueled by a rising “gig” or “on demand” economy. The gig economy is an outcome of gig the great recession leaving us with fewer corporate jobs and many long term unemployed. While traditional jobs are fewer, many have become entrepreneurs in their own right creating opportunity until something else comes along.

This trend is showing strong growth. According to a new study by MBO Partners and Emergent Research there are 30.2 million independent workers in the U.S. economy. That number is expected to rise to $40 million by 2019.

Studies indicate that those that are independent workers are enjoying their autonomy and flexibility. The MBO Partners research reports “63% rate their satisfaction as very high (8-10 on a 10-point scale), another 19% say they are satisfied (7 on a 10- point scale) and 1 in 5 actually assign a top score of 10.”

It makes perfect sense to use the services of an independent contractor. Companies rely on the contingent worker to deal with temporary influxes of business volume, address specific projects that have a start and stop point and so on. It can enable companies to be agile in an otherwise uncertain economic reality.

However, HR professionals or business leaders should pay real close attention to regulatory requirements regarding the independent contractor.

The Department of Labor has increased its scrutiny on the independent contractor relationship exponentially.

4) Cognitive Technologies

Another key trend to keep on eye on if not learn how to embrace is the use of cognitive technologies (or artificial intelligence). According to the Deloitte Human Capital Trends 2016 study, “The increasing power of computers and software to perform cognitive tasks is challenging organizations to rethink the design of work and the capabilities their employees need to succeed.”

Examples of how the technology is impacting the world of work include:

  • Amazon is increasingly using robots which is redesigned the warehouse worker job.
  • Dominos introduced the ability for customers to place orders by voice through its mobile app.
  • Associated Press (AP) has implemented natural language generation software that automatically writes corporate earnings stories.
Google has been working on the development of driver less cars. The commercialization of the product has happened yet, but can you imagine what that means for taxicab companies?

To get started in leveraging this technology trend learn all you can in how cognitive technologies can impact your business, jobs and productivity. Consider piloting solutions and evaluate what works and what doesn’t.

5) Work Flexibility

“All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.“ Michael John Bobak

The need to find innovative ways to engage employees many feel that the demand for work flexibility will be on the rise. Remote jobs are predicted to increase. The stationary cubicle is becoming a dinosaur.

The idea of a flexible work life balance has been around for a while. But advancements technology has enabled concepts such as telework with accountability, compressed workweeks, and flex time much easier to manage.
5 Hot HR Strategy Trends 5 Hot HR Strategy Trends Reviewed by Amit Derasari on June 19, 2017 Rating: 5

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