2015's Top 10 Trends in HR, Talent and Learning Strategies—Part 1

January 19, 2015

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If you share our enthusiasm for the quickly changing work world, you will be keen to learn the trends this year in corporate HR, talent management and learning. This is the 11th year that Bersin by Deloitte has published their annual report and we couldn’t be more excited to summarize their insights for you. As the global economy continues to recover, technology continues to change and demographics continue to shift, Josh Bersin, Founder of Bersin by Deloitte, sheds light on the factors that will redefine the nature of work this year.  

1. Engagement, Retention, Culture and Inclusion

Of prime importance, the issue of attracting, engaging, and leading people in a rapidly changing world is top of mind for HR leaders. On a 5 point scale, the average score is three when employees are asked to rate their engagement or happiness levels at work. Engagement is low worldwide making it difficult for organizations to both attract and retain talent. To address issues of engagement, organizations are allocating more resources to culture training and ensuring that corporate culture is aligned across all business units. When culture is unified across an entire organization, it is easier to hire candidates who are the right fit.

Diversity and inclusion are also shifting to be on the forefront of HR leaders’ minds. With only 4.5% of Fortune 500 companies being led by female CEOs, and the fact that diverse teams have been proven to outperform non-diverse teams by 80%—HR leaders are keen to diversify leadership and line managers.

"Diverse teams have been proven to outperform non-diverse teams by 80%."

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2. Performance Management Overhaul Continues

Bersin by Deloitte’s research also found that in 2014, companies were working hard to redesign the performance management process due to over-complexity. Performance managers sought to make the process simpler with greater focus on development. Despite the progress, only 8% of global organizations thought their efforts actually improved the performance management process. The need to for improved performance management/appraisal systems is due to the following changes:

  • A younger and inexperienced workforce that is causing an increased need for coaching and development. These activities need to be managed and recorded in online and systems of record and learning.
  • Feedback needs to come from many people—manager led evaluations are becoming less common as teams are becoming more cross-functional.
  • Research has uncovered a drop in performance and engagement when evaluations are devoid of positive feedback—modern appraisals are now more positive and focus on employee development.
  • Social tools allow people to share goals and recognition more transparently making it easy for peers to provide feedback for one another. This has been proven to increase performance and innovation.

3. Simplifying Work for the Overwhelmed Employee

Deloitte’s research found that over two-thirds of worldwide organizations think that their employees are “overwhelmed”. In this day and age, employees feel they are connected 24/7 being inundated with too much information, too many meetings/phone calls/emails and an overwhelming amount of projects on the go. Bersin recommends that HR leaders take steps in 2015 to simplify the workplace so it is a more human and enjoyable place to be. Their research indicates that they best way to do this is by creating systems that reduce commute time by giving people the autonomy to work in places where they are most productive.

4. Corporate Learning Increases in Importance

Bersin readily notes that a key challenge for organizations is the scarcity of critical skills required for an information dense and technically advanced world. At this point in time it is integral that professionals consistently reskill themselves to keep up with changing requirements. One way organizations are finding success doing so is through organizational learning management systems (LMS). With over 600 LMS vendors worldwide, Bersin suggests a re-evaluation of your LMS platform in 2015 to ensure it is delivering a robust “digital learning experience” for employees. This entails a platform that allows users to easily and quickly find relevant content, experts and training for their particular position.

5. A New Way to Acquire Talent

Bersin by Deloitte’s research highlights the important shift from ‘traditional recruiting’ to ‘network recruiting. The days of sourcing candidates through recruiters or agencies are quickly changing and instead, candidates are being engaged whether they are looking or not, through employees’ and company networks. How will this happen? Based years of research, Deloitte found three important guidelines to follow for acquiring the right talent fast:

  • Work closely with hiring managers to coach them on best practices for assessing and selecting the right people. This can be one of the most difficult things to do so it is integral that hiring managers have ample support, guidance and training along the way.
  • Using university relations programs and professional groups, find ways to market your company culture to attract candidates that have an interest in you. Network recruiting entails continuous communication and engagement with candidates so they are interested in working for your organization before a position is available.
  • Market your employment brand just as you would your company brand. Bersin notes that today, employment brand is synonymous with employee engagement. To provide candidates with employment brand information they desire, ensure you communicate the values, culture and diversity unique to your organization.

We still have five more predications to share with you! Sign-up for our blog below to receive the Top 10 Key Trends in HR, Talent and Learning Strategies for 2015—Part 2, directly to your inbox.

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