Thursday, June 04, 2015

Current trends of Human capital

Today’s workforce is no longer a set of employees who come into the office or factory each morning or shift and go home each night. More and more of the workforce is composed of contingent employees working variable, often part-time hours or schedules, compensated hourly, operating remotely, or actually working for an external firm.
Think again about diversity

The power of diversity goes far beyond talent supply; it’s becoming widely accepted, for example, that an organisation is more likely to predict consumer preferences if it has a workforce that mirrors its customer base. And there’s evidence that workforce diversity brings greater innovation and creativity, a reduction in ‘group think’ and improved governance. But it’s important to understand that diversity comes in many forms. A recent report from the Center for Talent Innovation in New York identified ‘two-dimensional diversity’ – this distinguishes inherent or surface-level diversity (gender, race, age, religious background, socioeconomic background, sexual orientation, disability, nationality) from acquired diversity (cultural fluency, generational savvy, gender smarts, social media skills, cross-functional knowledge, work experience, a global mindset). Acquired diversity means, in essence, a proliferation of perspectives. Our work with Professor Roger Steare, Corporate Philosopher in Residence at Cass Business School, into the role of ethics in leadership and management has shown how differences – especially gender, age, religion and politics – influence ethical perspectives when making decisions. Organizations need to work with inherent diversity as they adapt their talent strategy in response to unprecedented demographic change, but they must cultivate acquired diversity if they are to realize the greatest value.

Culture and Engagement

Employees are now like customers; companies have to consider them volunteers, not just workers:
As the job market has heated up and new technologies have exploded, power has shifted from the employer to the employee. Websites like Glassdoor, LinkedIn, Facebook, and others not only increase transparency about a company’s workplace; they make it far easier for employees to learn about new job opportunities and gain intelligence about company cultures.
    Leaders lack an understanding of and models for culture:
Culture is driven from the top down. Yet most executives cannot even define their organization’s culture, much less figure out how to disseminate it through the company.
·   The new world of work changes the way we engage people:
The world of work is very different from and more complex than it was only a few years ago. Employees today work more hours and are nearly continuously connected to their jobs by pervasive mobile technologies. They work on demanding cross-functional teams that often bring new people together at a rapid rate. Flexibility, empowerment, development, and mobility all now play a big role in defining a company’s culture.
Employees’ motivations have changed
Today’s workers have a new focus on purpose, mission, and work-life integration. Research shows that a variety of complex factors contribute to strong employee engagement, including job design, management, work environment, development, and leadership. Today, more than twice as many employees are motivated by work passion than career ambition (12 percent vs. 5 percent), indicating a need for leadership to focus on making the work environment compelling and enjoyable for everyone.
Google, a highly rated “best place to work” in many studies, focuses heavily on culture. The company regularly measures dozens of factors to understand what makes people productive and happy. This research has shaped Google’s workplace culture in myriad ways— from the company’s open workplace design and unlimited vacation policy to the provision of free gourmet food and on-site laundry services for employees.
Although culture and engagement play such a critical role in business performance, most organizations do a poor job of measuring their achievements or shortcomings. Historically, companies have relied on annual engagement surveys, often costing hundreds of thousands of dollars and taking months to deploy. And very few companies have a process or tools to measure culture and learn where it is strong, weak, or inconsistent. At a time when corporate cultures are being continuously debated, shaped, and redefined on social networks, the once-a-year survey is perilously obsolete.
Fortunately, new tools are emerging to provide organizations with real-time sentiment and employee feedback. A new breed of vendors offers pulse survey tools, employee sentiment management tools, culture assessment tools, and real-time employee monitoring tools to help leaders and supervisors rapidly assess when engagement is high and when problems are arising. These new tools make it possible for organizations to monitor employee sentiment with the same level of rigor and speed as they measure customer sentiment.

Predictive analytics is here and now

 If HR is to prove itself as a strategic partner, it must make use of the tools at its disposal. The best HR functions are already showing that they can provide genuine insight that helps businesses make better decisions, through their use of predictive analytics. But this must be analytics to support the business, and not just data for data’s sake. Too many organizations are limiting their use of HR data to describe what has already happened (points 2 and 3 on the curve), rather than using analytics to predict what might happen and find ways to address the problem. The excuses often put forward by HR professionals who have moved slowly on analytics – such that HR is not mature enough for predictive analytics, or doesn’t capture enough data to do predictive modeling – no longer apply. Predictive modeling is about testing hypotheses with relevant historic data, and is about the quality of that data rather than its quantity. HR is relatively new to data analytics; as a function it lacks statisticians, analysts and data visualization experts. HR analytics is about telling the story, rather than focusing on the numbers – business leaders aren’t looking for a statement of fact, they need the ‘so what?’ We’ve warned repeatedly that HR needs to act if it is to become a true strategic partner – the window of opportunity for HR professionals is closing

A Makeover is Necessary
Several factors are converging that should make reinventing HR a critical priority for companies around the world.
• CEOs and other senior executives are more worried about talent than ever before. Eighty-seven percent of our respondents are deeply concerned about culture and employee engagement, 86 percent about their leadership pipeline, and 80 percent about workforce capabilities. At the same time, 80 percent of survey respondents believe their company’s HR skills—or lack of skills—are a significant issue.
• Many organizations are moving to a global business services model, and back-office functions and systems are transitioning to cloud technology. HR is often at the fore- front of this transition. As a result, the HR function has an opportunity to play a leading role in defining the scope of retained functional roles such as business partners and centers of excellence.
• The newer HR technology platforms now offer integrated systems and more access to data, including analytics and assessment science. Employee self-service is now a reality, all but eliminating the need for HR generalists. Yet HR continues to struggle to optimize analytics.
• A highly competitive global talent market has shifted power into the hands of employees, forcing HR to redesign programs in the face of a much more demanding workforce.
• Traditional HR practices such as performance management and leader-
ship and development are undergoing radical change, forcing HR to throw away the old playbook and deliver more innovative solutions.
It all starts with the Senior HR Leader
In this era of rapid business change, the role of the CHRO becomes radically different and more demanding than ever. Today’s CHRO must be innovative and business-savvy and be able to stand toe to toe with the CEO. At the same time, a CHRO must know how to bring the HR team together and help it evolve into a more distributed, business-integrated function. CHROs must also be comfortable adopting and embracing technology and analytics, which are integral to HR’s future success.
One sign that many organizations are expecting something fundamentally different from HR is that they are bringing in a fundamentally different kind of executive as CHRO. Research shows that nearly 40 percent of new CHROs now come from the business, not from HR. At Liberty Mutual, for instance, the chief talent and enterprise services officer, Melanie Foley, previously served as executive vice president of distribution at Liberty Personal Markets.