Posted by Melissa Meunier on Tue, Mar 01, 2016 @ 11:30 AM

The world is changing and so is how we work. When it comes to the field of HR, leaders and professionals need to be on the cutting edge of what is happening in today’s workplace, not to mention being flexible to that change.

The HR of today is not about just being human resource people - it means having the skills of a marketer, brand manager, IT, finance and more under your belt. SHRM released their HR trends to watch for this year and while it may not be new information, it is a guide to being successful in HR. 

SHRM asked nine of the top business and HR thought leaders to provide advice for 2016 on the trends and events taking place in HR and the workplace this past year.

Here is a summary of their insights: 

Leading Teams - Getting the right tools to the right people is what Marcus Buckingham, founder TMBC, sees as essential. Many leaders would say people are the most valuable asset of any organization. Moreover, what department touches every part of the organization the most? Human Resources, that’s who. Marcus sheds light on four ways HR can assess how productive and engaged teams are while building the culture around them: 

  • Serving team leaders: This is HR’s opportunity to build an engaged and productive culture through strong relationships with team leaders. It is not about touching base once a year after an annual survey; it is about having a connection and conversation throughout the year and knowing the pulse of the organization.
  • Dynamic team engagement: the tools an organization uses should reflect the unique teams they employ. Today’s employees are not necessarily in it for the long haul and having the flexibility to keep up with them using tools that reflect teams in real-time is the most relevant.
  • Metrics: Performance assessments are in need of an overhaul. With many engagement surveys, there appears to be a disconnect because the questions do not seem to connect to retention or improved performance. Including questions that will drive the outcomes your organization is looking for will be better for comparison. 
  • Smart systems: On the rise - applications that learn the rating patterns of individuals will reduce bias and help leaders build high-functioning teams. Applying algorithms that measure strengths and weakness will ultimately make training and coaching as unique as the individual. 

Flexibility – People are not just resources or capital, believes Ellen Galinsky, president and co-founder of the Families and Work Institute in NYC. To attract and retain the best talent, leaders must look at employees as people. Flexibility is no longer a nice to have, it’s becoming part of the engagement strategy – and a smart move by companies that want to leverage their talent. From parental leave to travel options, a flexible workplace is critical to employees and to employers who are looking for an efficient and productive workplace.

Change – With the new regulatory rules from the U.S Dept. of Labor, how do you prepare your business? Paul DeCamp, a shareholder of Jackson Lewis P.C., sees HR professionals who master a consultative approach by guiding the organization on what to expect can navigate through the change, especially if they focus on three priorities:

  • Scope – how it will affect your organization
  • Strategy – how the changes with happen
  • Communication – keep moral positive and share developments

Expertise – HR expertise that is. John Boudreau, a professor at Marshall School of Business, suggests that evolving HR and changing the way people view the field is critical. He shares five forces that are shaping the future of work and how HR needs to address them:

  • Technology Advancements: being equipped to manage flexible and transient workforces that adapt to change.
  • Social Changes: as traditional hierarchies are shifting to a more balanced organization, HR needs to hire and engage in diverse work arrangements – like part-time, contractor, freelance, and crowd-sourced workers.
  • A Connected World: from mobile devices to the cloud, work can be done anywhere and at any time. How HR leaders manage these new global talent systems will be of importance.
  • All-inclusive Global Talent Market: HR will need to lead their organization and assign tasks to the best talent, regardless of where they work. They will also need to address cultural preferences in policies, work design, pay, and benefits. 
  • Robots vs. Humans: sounds like a new movie, but with the advances in analytics and automation to improve performance and decision-making, leaders will be challenged to find the best human/machine balance.

We’ve only covered half the trends, and that is a lot to take in! As these trends start to become a reality, there is an underlining factor - many of these skills, roles and even the type of thought process required, are not associated with today’s HR. Whether HR professionals choose to look past their “old” ways of doing things and become part of the HR evolution is up to them.

Next week I will conclude this post by covering the last five HR trends from SHRM’s HR Magazine.


Topics: HR Trends

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