I recently attended a presentation on HR and the 4th Industrial Revolution and was delighted to hear, HR professionals speaking, for the first time, about the importance of predictive analytics. Whilst HR’s compatriots in marketing have long since had to embrace and adopt technology, data and analytics, HR professionals are now taking up the challenge and opportunity they provide.
I see the profession transforming in several ways in the months and years to come but perhaps the biggest shift taking place is within the HR professional themselves. I’ve increasingly observed a number of our own clients and other HR Executives shifting away from the lesser viewed policy makers of the organisation to becoming truly strategic members of the executive. As we embrace the onset and onslaught of changes upon us, it’s this internal change in perception that immediately shifts us to the future, enabling the delivery and successful implementation of the trends outlined below.
Adopting Change-Agility as a way of being will enables future-fit HR professions to help truly transform their organisations and their wider systems. Whilst I’d like to state that the trends listed below are what I see for the future of HR, actually they are already here.
High performing teams
Harvard Business Review reports “Teaming great talent together acts as a force multiplier; increasing productivity geometrically. Teaming people with different skills and perspectives together almost always produces more output than the sum of those individuals acting alone… A five-member team, comprised entirely of A-players, can produce 16 times as much output – or the same output in one-sixteenth the time – as the sum of five average players working individually.”
It’s for this reason that our predominant approach is that of Systemic Team Coaching. It takes the power of high performing leadership teams, itself greater than the sum of its parts, to deliver on the strategy of tomorrow. The role of HR is not only to be this within its various cross-functional teams but to take the initiative in creating them. Gartner calls this change from traditional hierarchical structures to high performing teams, “We-Working”; work that revolves around portfolios of diversified roles.
“Today, technology is bringing a level of intelligence to HR that really thrusts HR into a compelling consultancy role.” ~ Fran Katsoudas
HR analytics is the data-driven approach to strategic planning by the Human Resources function. By collecting data and analysing it for the purpose of improving business operations, leaders are able to turn HR data into information that adds strategic value to the organisation.
Data empowers the HR Executive in a number of ways not limited to real time feedback, improved turnover, improved hiring processes, talent forecasting and risk management. With many organisations adopting cross-border workforces, data and predictive analytics will become an increasingly essential tool in managing performance.
The New Face of Learning
The digital age doesn’t only demand new skills of those at the forefront of technology but throughout the organisation, and it isn’t just technical skills that are in and will continue to be in demand. Creativity, critical thinking and constant upskilling are required for complex problem solving. This means that the pace of learning needs to be faster than the pace of change. Learning in all its forms are being disrupted.
For heads of recruitment, this means a growing proportion of jobs will require more than postgraduate education. HR will have to experiment with boot camps, consumerised learning, competitions and hackathons so that employees constantly learn and relearn.
Once again HR Professionals are taking a leaf out of their marketing colleagues’ books as the learning experience becomes tantamount to, if not more important than, content – hence the new Netflix-style platforms offered in a mobile first approach.
HR Executives committed to the adoption of a growth mindset are, and will be, well committed to the adoption of new ways of working, those mentioned above – and those destined still to come. Additionally, the future-fit HR Executive is ready to deliver on the strategic needs of the disruptive organisation looking to deliver on tomorrow’s strategy. The future (of the profession) is already here, all we need do is to embrace it, learn and adapt.