“THE COMPANIES THAT ARE MOST EFFECTIVE ARE THE ONES
WHO ARE WILLING TO PUT YOUNG PEOPLE IN LEADERSHIP
ROLES AS FAST AS NEEDED BASED ON CAPABILITIES.”
“The higher evolution of performance management is finding out
how to have a culture of ongoing performance conversations, with
ongoing feedback and still have the benefits of the old ratings system
to help identify high potentials and high performers,” said Benjamin.
INCLUSION AND CITIZENSHIP
Last year saw an increased focus on inclusion in the workforce.
“It used to be about creating diverse work environments, then in-clusion
came to the forefront in the last year, as well as what we’re
doing to help or hinder that, including unconscious bias as it relates
to hiring, promotion and workgroup composition,” said Benjamin.
“This isn’t an easy problem to solve and it’s not going away
overnight,” said Bersin. “We have research that shows that most
companies overstate their capabilities when it comes to inclusion,
but employees are demanding attention be paid to it, and it’s a sig-nificant
part of an employment brand.”
In 2018, he predicts a significant investment in tools to make
people more accountable for and transparent about their inclusion
practices. With social media and sites such as Glassdoor.com, the
inner workings of an organization become public domain in short
“Companies in denial and trying to push problems under the
rug are going to have to deal with them,” said Bersin.
WELLNESS AND MENTAL HEALTH
Many organizations reported an increased focus on employee
wellbeing this year.
“Bigger organizations, and even smaller ones, have to take re-sponsibility
for making sure the workplace is healthy, that people
with young children can take time off, that people have a place to
rest and have flexible schedules,” said Bersin. “It’s nice that we all
have electronic tools and can work 24 hours if we want to, but
there’s a downside to that. Now people are expecting their organi-zation
to have some wellbeing programs to go along with all these
productivity tools so workers can actually have a meaningful life-style
in addition to working hard and making a good income.”
There’s also been a growing attention paid to mental health in
the past year.
“There’s so much change affecting employees: acquisitions, divesti-tures
or even something as simple as changing the work environment
and moving to an open concept environment,” said Phillips. All that
change affects people and can have a negative impact on health.
“Employers are starting to realize they need to help their
workforce become more resilient in the face of that change,” said
Phillips. “The organizations that will be most successful will be the
ones that adapt best to change.”
There’s been a shift, says Benjamin, from simple awareness to
action when it comes to mental health.
“Now it’s about how can we actually be an employer that has ap-propriate
accommodations where necessary, supports managers in
spotting and addressing problems and has all this woven into the
fabric of the organization,” he said.
NEW MEASURES TO ATTRACT AND RETAIN TALENT
“The number one thing impacting HR last year was the de-mand
for skilled talent,” said Dianne Hunnam-Jones, a district
president for Robert Half. “The hiring market continued to be
extremely difficult and hiring and attracting that skilled tal-ent
for your organization probably took up more time this past
year than it did in previous years.”
Successful organizations found ways to proactively tap into the
passive candidate pool, mainly through social media.
“It’s the way of the world now, using social media to a greater
extent,” said Hunnam-Jones. “Those who use it well are tapping
into a pool of candidates that those who rely on just traditional re-cruiting
methods may not be reaching. It’s about figuring out the
kind of people you want to hire in your organization and creat-ing
a community of those people through many different methods.
That might include social media, internal referrals or your own da-tabase.
They key is that you’re creating a talent pool that might not
be ready to join you today, but you’re somehow communicating
with them and keeping your company name on their radar.”
Increasingly, Hunnam-Jones sees organizations taking more
care with their exit interviews, too.
“I see more organizations working to ensure that when employees
leave, they do so wanting to refer your company to other people,” said
Hunnam-Jones. At Robert Half, for example, she says the company
has changed employee departure surveys to measure the question:
“Would you refer your family and friends to work with Robert Half?”
“We’ve always advised employees not to burn bridges when they
exit, but now we’re telling employers not to burn your bridges dur-ing
exits because of the power of referral,” said Hunnam-Jones.
Whether it’s taking a new approach to retention, or mastering
a new platform for learning and development, the technicalities
of change are rarely the biggest challenge.
“The hard part is getting people to think differently about what
HR’s role is, to think differently about possibilities and to think
differently about some of the skill sets and capabilities involved,”
said Mallon. “It’s a big part of what sets the best performing orga-nizations
apart from the rest.” n
– JOSH BERSIN
20 ❚ DECEMBER 2017 ❚ HR PROFESSIONAL