When I worked in an office environment, I tried to spend a lot of time walking around. It was a great opportunity to be visible and chat with employees. It also got me into the habit of always having a notebook with me. Employees would ask questions and I needed some way to remember.
Fast forward to today, I still carry a notebook with me to jot down ideas. The good news is that I ran across some notes from a presentation about the future of HR that I want to share with you. The not-so-good news is that I didn’t put in my notes the name of the event or the speaker. Totally my fault.
That being said, while I’ve been staring at these notes, it occurred to me that they’re really not about the future of HR as much as they are about the future of talent management, which impacts the entire organization. Given everything that’s going on right now, organizations have a real opportunity to review, reaffirm, or redefine their talent strategy. Here are seven things to consider:
- The digital transformation is contingent on a talent transformation. Lots of chatter these days about digital transformation and I’m all for it. But let’s not forget that digital transformation involves employees and their willingness to work with artificial intelligence and machine learning.
- Organizations will have to start thinking about work as “the thing you do” not “the place you go”. There are a couple of high-profile companies that are redefining the workplace in light of COVID-19. They’ve discovered that employees actually can be productive from home. This is going to change the way we think about the workplace and talent management.
- We must be receptive to the speed of change. While things might seem very slow in terms of getting back to normal, I think they’re actually moving quite rapidly. And as medical treatments and vaccines are discovered the pace will pick up. Organizations and individuals need to be prepared to react.
- Technology and artificial intelligence will continue to be important. But they are not a replacement for human interaction. Yes, use them for what they do well. I mentioned in point #1 about AI and machine learning. They are not a silver bullet for every challenge; but when used effectively, they can bring tremendous value.
- HR and business leaders will have to embrace a diverse workforce. We’re not only talking about gender, race, age, religion, etc. But full-time, part-time, and freelancer. The talent acquisition function should be prepared to do more than the traditional hiring process. I see them getting involved in supply chain and vendor management.
- While technology is important, employees will (still) want to be proud of their employer and have a clear purpose that aligns with the organization. This aligns with point #5. Not only do we need to be open to hiring a diverse workforce, we need to get really good at designing work. Employees will be thrilled to work for companies that have purposeful jobs.
- Organizations will need a new talent ecosystem. All of this leads to the realization that work is personal. When it comes to the employee experience, the goal will be to ensure employees are treated “beautifully”. Period. That includes their family and loved ones. That will be the new definition (is this the right word or is it description? Or maybe characterization?) of the employee experience = beautiful.
None of this is going to happen overnight. It’s a starting point for an internal conversation. As companies look at their goals for the next 12-18 months, they will want to have the right talent in place. That means having the right talent management strategy.
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby while exploring the streets of Las Vegas, NV15