One thing came out loud and clear from these discussions – change needs to happen and at a much quicker pace than it is currently. This is backed up by evidence. An international employee study from Oxford Economics found that only 34% believe that management is prepared to lead a diverse workforce, and just 47% think they can effectively lead global teams, something that is increasingly necessary as technology makes the world ‘smaller’ and more accessible.
But there are a number of ways leaders need to support existing workplace communities, while at the same time welcoming the new generation.
Mike Beesley, CEO of Resource Management’s parent group RSG, said: “Young people historically get a bad press from the older generation but it’s often unjustified and, in fact, can be quite a lazy reaction from leadership that just does not want to change the status quo of how things have always been done.
“Real leadership not only accepts that there will always be a ‘learning on the job’ element to their work but actually relishes this opportunity and makes this approach a cultural norm.
“Technology has no doubt formed a large part of how we need to grasp the nettle on new thinking and to ensure we as an industry are prepared to ‘skill up’, in particular understanding how technology and big data can help HR transform across the board into a highly analytical and anticipatory function.”
In general, becoming a more strategic arm of the business is also proven to give HR a ‘seat at the table’ and the ear of the board. Anticipatory HR departments are already 43% more likely to be involved in the long-term business planning process.
These types of companies are also over six times more likely to have exhibited strong financial performance, versus those in which HR’s planning process involvement is late or non-existent. In fact, a report by PWC found that with sufficient collaboration and strategic focus, we could see HR leaders evolve into a Chief People Officer (CPO) role, a powerful and influential component of business leadership.
Beesley concluded: “The flipside of this is that if HR remains transactional, then it risks being replaced by the technology itself and becomes simply an outsourced function. But if it is driven and delivered properly, the next few years can be HR’s time to shine. So, let’s put to use strategic analysis, proactive staffing and employee engagement policies and evolve to be ready for 2020 and beyond.”
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