2015 is shaping up to be a watershed year for HR professionals as long established and frequently outdated ways of doing things are finally being surpassed by emergent methods and business philosophies. It sure has been coming a while, and the progress that many companies who were earlier adapters to these trends have been picked up on throughout the sector. This article intends to showcase what all HR experts should be aware of this year, and give a little food for thought how they may be of benefit to your organisation.
Before we list what we can specifically expect to see, it’s worthwhile touching upon the ethos of what is determining this change. Quite simply put, this is occurring because the way that we perform our overall business is shifting from hierarchical, traditional business model to a far more organic shape. Companies increasingly expect their workforce to be imaginative, open-minded and experimental rather than a list of names on a payroll with a rigidly determined role and responsibilities. To an extent this is a generational shift and for sure a consequence of technology opening up global opportunities, for which HR is also going to need to evolve.
Performance reviews are old hat
Decades of time consuming and resource heavy performance reviews have concluded that they quite simply aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. So simplistic is the grading method that it’s reminiscent of a 1950’s school report – poor, average, good, excellent. These grades tell us nothing specific about how the employee is performing or progressing, with any detail being provided in a line managers’ report that is barely ever read, let alone acted upon by senior management. Expect this year to see increasing numbers of companies ridding themselves of scheduled performance reviews, focussing instead on constant performance analysis in which evolving HR software systems will play a large part.
The org chart is slipping away
Companies looking to recruit are taking less explicit focus upon a graduate’s skill set and are instead adopting a more emotive approach in sensing how they may ‘fit’ into the ethos of the business. After all, people with the right mind set can be trained – and will be enthusiastic learners – if they share principles and motivations. Flexibility and a mixed skill set looks likely to continue to be what employers look for in their workforce.
Following a tough few years, many companies are looking to maximise the potential of their space and assets. Efficiency is going to be a major trend in coming years, expect companies to start sharing expensive resources (office space, vehicle pools etc.) to lower costs.
HR on the move
Any forward thinking organisation ought to have a fully integrated HR system accessible by smartphone, as this is nowadays as important as a Filofax was a couple of decades ago. Employees will expect to be able to stay connected with ‘base’ while out on the move, and have information and assets available wherever they may be.
Succession management in the now
For too long succession management has been an ineffective, longwinded and, as a consequence, limited means of seeking out the best ‘connectors’. Technology is set to change this by carrying out real time analysis of personnel and monitoring patterns to identify those most suited towards such roles.
Automation at a senior level
With intelligent HR software and systems comes a huge amount of data that can, quite simply, be used to carry out an impartial assessment of where problems lie in the organisation separated from any emotive aspect. Hard headed decisions will become more the norm as the data supplies the evidence of what, where – and who – could use improvement or development.
Imagination will come to the fore during presentations
Sure PowerPoint was a revolution when it burst onto the scene, but nowadays it is old hat. Some junior members of the team most likely experienced it while they were in primary school, and it has become so ubiquitous with business presentations that it almost gives a license for the audience to switch off. Expect to see much more hands-on audience involvement within these kinds of presentations in the near future, keeping them attentive, alert and interested in order to maximise the value of what is being relayed.
From these points the clear trend is leaning itself towards the increasing importance of acting upon collated data specific to the business, that in turn is becoming more imaginative – and demanding – of its employees. Easy to use HR software will be leading the changes we can expect to see throughout 2015 and beyond.