As the financial year draws to a close in Australia, it’s a good time to pause and reflect on the first 6 months of 2015, and look ahead for the second half of the year and beyond. In Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends 2015 report, they highlight several HR trends in addition to the ones we mentioned in our Blog posts earlier in the year. Looking beyond the specifics of HR automation, L&D and small to medium business HR trends, the information in Deloitte’s report points to a more global HR shift across a few key areas. The report highlights ten trends which are ‘reshaping the nature of work and the ways HR Professionals, and the organisations they work for, approach talent management’.

The Perrenial Issue of Leadership

Deloitte’s report indicates that most organisations continue to struggle with leadership development at all levels. This has resulted in many employers exploring and investing in new and accelerated leadership models.

Creating inspiring and transformative leaders remains crucial in today’s business environment. The issue of leadership ranked the second most critical for HR in this year’s survey. Findings also indicate that organisations have stalled on this issue and have made little or no progress since last year. Therefore, the capability gap for developing leaders is widening across the globe.

Learning and Development Leading The Way

Deloitte’s research illustrates that organisations large and small will need to actively investigate and implement new approaches to learning and development. Businesses will need to become more agile in order to close the increasing level of skills gaps that current and potential employees have.

Transformation and acceleration of corporate learning ranked in Deloitte’s report as this year’s third most important challenge to HR. The number of organisations rating Learning and Development (L&D) as ‘very important’ to their success has tripled over the past year. However, HR’s readiness and capacity to handle this increase has weakened – with just 40% of respondents saying that their organisation is prepared for L&D needs in 2015, compared to 75% last year.

Culture and Engagement More Critical Than Ever

Organisations are continuing to recognise the increasing need to focus on culture, values and the alignment of these key elements with the personal drivers of employees, positions and KPIs to create a holistic and cohesive business model. The key to improving employee engagement (and thus avoid retention issues), lies in creating a culture where words and actions are aligned and employees are valued, as are customers.

Culture and engagement were rated the most important overall issues, for HR and for businesses as a whole, replacing leadership as the top priority. The obvious importance of laying the right foundations highlights the need for leaders to gain a clear understanding of their culture, and to make the effort to re-examine every HR and talent program as a way to engage and empower employees.

Are You Equipped to Manage A Workforce 'On Demand'?

The global nature of today’s workforce means that talent is being managed in a much more sophisticated manner than in the past. This includes the more fluid arrangements of the hourly, contingent and contract workforces within organisations.

Eighty per cent of respondents said workforce capability would be an important issue in 2015, indicating that the demand for skills will drive a trend towards greater use of hourly, contingent and contract workers. More than ever, it is important that employers who choose to employ a workforce via these methods, have the right processes, policies and tools in place. If you’re an HR Manager with the responsibility of sourcing, evaluating and rewarding non-traditional talent within your organisation, you need to have rock solid systems in place to make it work seamlessly.

The Secret Sauce : Performance Management

As discussed in our earlier Blogs, Performance Management is currently undergoing an intense evolutionary process to bring it in line with other HR practices.

According to Deloitte’s report, the need to rethink managing, evaluating and rewarding employees is one of the biggest necessities HR Professionals face. Agile Performance Management has arrived, and will become a core component in engagement, development and leadership strategies.

HR Needs To Lead By Example And Transform Itself

HR is being called on to transform themselves and their capabilities to drive innovation, and basically keep up with the warp-speed pace at which the world is constantly changing.

The need for HR itself to invest heavily in its own retraining, upskilling and change program weighed in as the fourth biggest issue in Deloitte’s report. Interestingly, the area of HR change also showed little shift or improvement from last year’s results.

HR’s performance was generally rated poorly by both HR themselves and business leaders. Business leaders rated HR’s performance at 20% lower than HR leaders rated themselves, showing how important it is to accelerate HR’s ability to deliver value.

Taking HR And People Analytics Up A Gear

According to the report, too few organisations are actively implementing talent analytics capabilities to address complex requirements for business and talent.

In 2015, it is evident that HR should make ‘serious investments’ in leveraging data when it comes to making people decisions. People analytics carries the potential to completely transform the way HR works. However, HR departments and organisations as a whole continue to be slow in developing the capacity to be able to harness the power of this potential.

Integration of Internal and External People Data

Deloitte’s report found that over the next 12 to 24 months, many organisations anticipate a requirement to expand their HR data strategies. The process for this expansion will focus on harnessing and integrating third party data about their people, mostly from social media platforms.

The people data available outside the workplace, has created a perceived need for assessing that data. Deloitte research makes it clear that ‘it is now urgent and valuable for companies to learn to view, manage, and take advantage of this data for better recruiting, hiring, retention and leadership development’.

Keeping It Simple

In response to the current ‘information overload’ that everyone is feeling, as well as the increasing system complexity, many companies are looking to simplify work environments and practices.

In last year’s report, the ‘overwhelmed employee’ was flagged an emerging trend. This year, the proportion of respondents who regard this as being of high importance rose to 24%. The report illustrates that the movement towards simplifying work will be a highly necessary long-term undertaking, which is just at its inception. Deloitte believes that this inception will commence in 2015 through the implementation of design thinking, as well as overhauling the work environment to help employees increase clarity and focus, as well as relieving stress.

They key takeaway is that we are entering an era of ‘doing less better,’ as opposed to ‘doing more with less.’

The Integration of Machines : A Focus on Collaboration

Cognitive computing, that is the use of machines to read, analyse, speak, and make decisions, is starting to have a significant impact on work at all levels. Some trend forecasters believe that many jobs will be eliminated. HR teams need to start thinking about how to redesign roles and processes as we all work in cooperation with computers in almost every role.

If you're an HR Professional, we would love to hear your thoughts about the changing HR environment. You can comment below, or reach out to us via Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn. We look forward to heairng from you!

Source: Subscribe-HR Blog
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