HR Trends and The Future of Work

Posted on by Leave a Comment

HR Trends are trending. Every week or so, another article or report is published with its version of where work and the workplace are going. Of course, HR technology plays a major role in almost every assessment, even more so in reports that attempt to predict the future based on current trends.

Captain Future comic illustrationCaptain Future, Wikimedia Commons

Constellation Research[1], for example, recently presented a webinar called 5 Social Business Trends Influencing the Future of Work[2]. The five trends they identified are:

Moving to the Cloud 

Key business functions and collaborative activities are shifting to the cloud at an accelerated rate. The question for most organizations is no longer whether they will move to the cloud, but when and how.

The intersection of productivity and analytics 

An increasing array of tools that mine accumulated data and identify predictive patterns are promising new levels of productivity.

Digital assistants 

A natural offshoot of enhanced predictive analytics is the rise of digital assistants that offer intelligent, analytics-driven suggestions for next steps and appropriate action in real time. Tools like Apple’s Siri and Google Now will evolve from simple voice-activated responders that provide information on request to interactive, always-on assistants that offer contextual suggestions spontaneously.

Lighter weight and micro apps 

While cloud-based platforms continue to grow in complexity, an abundance of micro apps designed for specific functions (group chat, web conferencing, task lists, etc.) are emerging in tandem. These lighter weight applications offer quicker access to frequently used tools.

Aggregation of content and people from multiple sources onto digital canvases 

With the proliferation of micro apps and the growing reliance on cloud-based technology, aggregation of information across platforms and activity streams is essential. In response, more digital canvases and dashboards are emerging to help people manage multiple sources of information in one place so they can function more efficiently.

The Future of Work is Not All Tech

Jacob Morgan, futurist, author and speaker, identifies a different set of trends shaping the future of work. Although technology plays a clear and definitive role in his vision, it’s only one of five major trends he sees shaping the direction of work and workplaces. In fact, four of the five following trends[3] Morgan identifies are less about technology and more about societal and behavioral changes.

Globalization 

More and more, people are operating in a world where boundaries don’t exist.

Mobility

Smart phones and the internet mean you can “connect to work” at any time and from virtually anywhere. As long as you have access to the web you can get your job done

New behaviors 

The internet, social media and ubiquitous connectivity have created new norms. People now live a public life. And they expect real-time feedback, collaboration and sharing.

Technology

Technology is now, and will continue to be, intrinsic to work and the workplace. Everything from big data, collaboration platforms and the internet of things; to robots, automation and wearables will continue to shape the future of work.

Millennials/demography 

Key demographic trends are converging on the workplace. Millennials will make up 50% of the workforce by 2020 and 75% by 2025. At the same time, older generations are retiring later and many are becoming freelancers after they retire.

People, Tech and HR: 3 Possible Futures

PWC goes a step further, offering not only their insight on trends already impacting the workplace, but extrapolating them into the year 2022 to give us their impression of what the world of work will look like seven years from now. Technology breakthroughs are cited as the greatest single driver of change, but are only one of many societal and demographic pressures seen as contributing to the evolution of work and the workplace. Based on interviews and surveys with 10,000 people in China, India, Germany, the UK and the US, they predict the following three distinct “worlds” of work in 2022.[4]

Blue World of Work

Corporate is King. Big company capitalism rules as organizations continue to grow bigger and individual preferences trump beliefs about social responsibility. Here, HR will be at the centre of a hugely influential, metric-driven strategy and performance function.

Green World of Work

Companies Care. Social responsibility dominates the corporate agenda with concerns about changes in climate and demographics, and embedding sustainability becoming the key drivers of business. In the Green World, HR’s role could be much more diffuse, helping employees to shape their work around their values and outside lives.

Orange World of Work  

Small is beautiful. Companies begin to break down into collaboration networks of smaller organizations; specialization dominates the world economy. In this world, HR will have a much narrower recruitment and tendering role, with many other aspects of the function outsourced.

Although these three future visions contain contradictory elements, PWC sees them as the natural evolution of existing trends and not mutually exclusive. Rather they suggest:

“Our three worlds can provide a starting point for judging the opportunities, risks and evolving demands on HR across different areas of your organization…no one model will prevail.”

Further they advise that knowing which of the three scenarios is most consistent with your organizational vision is your first step in preparing for your particular future of work.

Work and HR Will be Different

One thing is clear; whichever version of the future of work you expect or prefer: work and HR will be different. Too many new economic, demographic, societal, political and technological forces are converging for things to remain the same. And you can’t even fall back on the assumption that people are fundamentally immutable. New research in the areas of neuroplasticity[5] and natural selection[6] show that humans are changing too! But that’s a topic for another day.

 

Introduce best of breed HR technology to your world of work with NetSuite TribeHR.

 

Additional References

More from Jacob Morgan http://www.briansolis.com/2014/09/five-trends-shaping-future-work/ and http://www.computerweekly.com/opinion/The-five-trends-shaping-the-future-of-work

Megan Biro offers the following trends in HR Technology: http://www.forbes.com/sites/meghanbiro/2015/08/28/revamping-the-status-quo-in-2015-4-trends-in-hr-technology/


[1] An award-winning Silicon Valley-based research firm focused on technologies and business models that innovate, transform and disrupt established players.

[5] John Harris. How the internet is altering your mind http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2010/aug/20/internet-altering-your-mind

[6] Jennifer Welsh. Humans Are Still Evolving, Study Says. http://www.livescience.com/16358-human-evolution-natural-selection.html

ATS Recruiting Doesn’t Have to be Broken

Posted on by Leave a Comment

In a recent blog on Forbes, Liz Ryan stated that the recruiting process is “broken beyond repair” and laid the blame squarely on the widespread adoption of automated applicant tracking systems (ATS). You might be surprised to hear that we (for the most part) agree with her. Except the problem isn’t ATS technology itself; rather, it’s the way the technology is being used. Most professionals who build and purchase applicant tracking systems are treating the process of gathering and sorting through applications as a filtering problem. They start with the assumption that you have …

A Diverse Team Counters Complacency

Posted on by Leave a Comment

A colleague handed me a book the other day. The cover looked like a children’s book and the title did little to dispel that impression: A Peacock in the Land of Penguins.  Like many business books in recent years, the authors (B.J Gallagher and Warren H. Schmidt) decided to create a fable[1]  to illustrate their point and share an important business lesson. It was a very fast read: large print, short pages, and plenty of illustrations. In fact, the book was deceptively simple. It was an entertaining light read with a heavy, even vital, message …

Effective Co-Workers not BFFs

Posted on by Leave a Comment

During the recent evaluation and debrief of a year-long leadership development program, which involved teams working together to solve problems for community organizations, we learned a few things. One of the most obvious was: it’s not easy for randomly selected groups of strangers to gel into functional teams. In spite of workshops on group dynamics, coaching and a library of resources; most of the teams faced group process challenges, ranging from minor personality clashes to all-out war. A couple of teams were notable exceptions. These two teams seemed immune to the dysfunction that plagued the others. When …

How to Hit a Moving Target

Posted on by Leave a Comment

Organizations used to develop five and ten year strategic plans. Some actually followed them. It took over thirty years for the idea of using radio waves to detect metallic objects (first theorized in 1904) to become a usable form of radar. Confused by Felipe Ibazeta, Wikimedia Commons In 1937, Bulgarian physicist Georgi Nadjakov discovered the photoelectric effect. Within one year, Chester Carlson applied to patent the process later known as “photocopying;” but it took another 11 years for Xerox to introduce its first copier. Can you even imagine a world that forgiving? Can you imagine a work environment that offered you …

4 Steps to Make Your HR Tactics Strategic

Posted on by Leave a Comment

In his article Strategic vs. Tactical Thinking: Empowering the HR Professional, Hebe Lugo differentiates between the two as follows: “doing things right” is tactical thinking, while “doing the right things” is strategic thinking. The challenge for HR professionals is that success relies on “doing the right things right!” Milan Mikuláštík - Chessball/Wikimedia Commons In other words, focusing purely on strategy without ensuring effective implementation is just as potentially damaging as ignoring strategy in favor of exemplary tactics.   Even more challenging is ensuring the use of effective strategy …

Sitting is BAD for Your Health!

Posted on by Leave a Comment

You may have seen news stories recently proclaiming that “Sitting is KILLING You!” or “Sitting is DANGEROUS”.  I’ve seen articles about sitting and poor health in the papers, on TV, in blogs and I’ve heard about it on the radio. It seems to be everywhere. It occurred to me that I better find out more about this if I’m going to be able to lead my clients to live healthier, fitter, more productive lives. Human Dystopia, from passivelysedentary, Youtube Like many active people, I assumed that by …

Leading Workplace Tribes

Posted on by Leave a Comment

An Executive, who had watched her organization grow from a tight-knit team of 35 to a global workforce of over 5,000 people, shared this observation: “I used to know everyone personally— without even trying. When we reached 60 people, I had to work at it. When we hit 150, forget it! I had to accept that most new hires would be strangers.” When pushed on it, she couldn’t really identify the exact point when she realized that maintaining a personal relationship with everyone in the company was no longer possible.  But her gut said it was around the 150 …

How to Shake Off a Slump

Posted on by Leave a Comment

The Urban Dictionary defines a slump as “A period of time during which a person goes without an object or action.” When I think about what it feels like to be in a slump, the geological definition seems so much more apt: “a form of mass wasting that occurs when a coherent mass of loosely consolidated materials or rock layers moves a short distance down a slope.” Yes, that pretty much describes the slump sensation—an inexorable slide down the productivity slope of life and work.   Photo by Tambako The Jaguar, Flickr Sometimes a …

The Power of a Leader’s Appreciation

Posted on by Leave a Comment

It’s always refreshing to watch a leader demonstrate the principles he advocates; showing, by example, how those principles translate into action. Last week, we celebrated the official opening of our new NetSuite Waterloo location (home of TribeHR), in Kitchener, Ontario. True to the spirit of celebration, the event reflected a carnival theme, complete with midway games, popcorn and funnel cake cupcakes (yes, there were cupcakes with funnel cakes on top – you had to be there!) The space was packed with employees, customers, suppliers, friends, family and local dignitaries. Ceremony was minimal and fun was the order of …

Next Page

Experience TribeHR for Yourself
Contact us to schedule a demo of TribeHR.

Book A Demo
The Latest from Workplace Tribes
HR Trends and The Future of Work September 01, 2015
ATS Recruiting Doesn’t Have to be Broken August 27, 2015
A Diverse Team Counters Complacency August 25, 2015
Effective Co-Workers not BFFs August 20, 2015
How to Hit a Moving Target August 18, 2015
 
4 Steps to Make Your HR Tactics Strategic August 13, 2015
Sitting is BAD for Your Health! August 11, 2015
Leading Workplace Tribes July 30, 2015
How to Shake Off a Slump July 28, 2015
The Power of a Leader’s Appreciation July 23, 2015