1. Technology has removed the barrier between work and life.
Companies have to focus on culture, environment and simplification.
We are working all the time, emails and messages are streaming in 24/7, and information, conversations, and content is literally streaming at us wherever we go. The work "environment" we live in today is radically different: people work wherever they want, leading to a huge wave of open offices; over-work is a tremendous challenge, and people are not sure how to deal with the overwhelming amount of information they receive each day. Design thinking, simplification, and ease of use are the new mantras for corporate talent programs.
2. Employee engagement, culture, and leadership are lifeline issues.
Glassdoor data shows a split in companies. There are huge segment of companies who are "highly engaged" and a similarly large number of companies whos employees are "actively disengaged." The highly engaged companies are attracting the best people, delivering greater customer service, and innovating better. These companies are focused on mission, culture, and leadership - and they understand that people are not "talent," they are people - with their own personal needs and aspirations.
This focus on engagement has impacted everything we do, because ultimately employee engagement is all a business has. Companies have to rethink their coaching and development strategies, their career mobility strategies, and how they develop and select leaders. Today's leader focuses on "building a highly engaged team" not just "delivering on business results."
Unfortunately our research shows that the gaps in corporate leadership are wider than ever. Research by Deloitte and others (highlighted in the report) will show you how leadership development, assessment, and coaching has to be a top focus for 2015.
3. Learning, capabilities, and skills are the currency of success.
From both an individual and organizational standpoint, technical and professional capabilities are now the currency of success. If you can attract or develop better scientists, engineers, sales people, or functional experts you will beat your competition. And once you attract these people you must give them a compelling learning environment to stay current, as technology advances at an accelerating rate. L&D organizations and strategies have not kept up, and we are in an era where corporate learning is going through as much change is we witnessed in the early 2000s when e-learning hit the scene.
4. HR as a function is at a crossroads and must reinvent itself.
Underlying most of these issues is the need to reskill and re-energize HR. It's interesting that the US organizations SHRM and HCI are now competing to sell HR certifications. The problem is not one of certification, it's one of redefining what HR professionals do. Company after company I talk with is going through a restructure of their HR team, moving HR closer to the business, and reskilling generalists into finely tuned business consultants. I believe this is a decade-long transition taking place within the HR function.
5. Data is now integral to all decisions HR must make.
Finally, we are entering a talent world where people data is now central to every decision we make. Organizations that are investing in analytics teams, analytics tools, and analytics expertise are going to far outperform their peers. Who to hire, who to promote, how much to pay, how to develop, what next job to take - all these decisions are now "data enabled" and we expect HR technology, which is becoming more integrated every day, to become more and more like "instrumentation of your organization"- giving you data to improve organizational performance every day.