The conversations around HR, recruitment, technology and the future of work move on to Docklands next Tuesday and Wednesday as HRTech Europe rolls in to Town. Always one of my favourite events, the mix of practitioners, theorists, commentators, suppliers and collaborators usually makes for some lively dialogue, great networking and thought provoking takeaways. And I’ll be part of an awesome (and I don’t use that word lightly) blog squad who will be helping to try and make sense of it all for everyone following online.
For those working in the people space, technology is posing some interesting problems and exciting possibilities. The recent Human Capital Global Trends report, along with other recent workforce overviews, have all flagged up findings such as:
- People analytics has the second highest HR capability gap
- Increasing investment in technology is not being matched by investment in the people and processes that would gain maximum benefit
- 70% employees say that technology has changed their role or career in the last year
- Using technology/new devices is ranked as the second highest training need by employees
- Identifying and implementing the right technology is only a priority for around 20% of HRDs
- Half of HRDs see their work environment as complex, and another 25% as very complex.
Are we being overwhelmed by an inexorable onslaught of automation and robotisation? Or do we just need to step back and take stock of the opportunities on offer?
I think there are a few strands here, most of which will be aired at HRTech next week by speakers as diverse as Peter Hinssen, Rachel Botsman, Lee Bryant, Nick Holley, Costas Markides and Euan Semple.
Some of the questions on my mind looking ahead to the event:
Should we be leveraging networks more? Peter Hinssen will be looking at networks of intelligence. Maybe customers and employees can provide some of the inspiration.
Is collaboration a choice or a necessity? I’ve been hearing about HR collaborations with IT and finance over analytics and data. I’m thinking this needs to become the norm not the exception.
How should we define performance? Most would agree that the yearly, school report style assessment of past performance isn’t fit for purpose, but what’s the replacement? Ongoing dialogue and continuous learning, with flexible goals, may be more relevant, with collective feedback. Do we have the culture, and leadership. to bring this about?
How do we define leadership? A culture? A collective mindset? Agile and flexible, future leaders need to be change agents comfortable with spearheading organisational change.
If responsibility for personal, professional and career development is now with the employee, what’s the future for the L&D function? I’ll be joined on the blog squad by some learning professionals, who will no doubt have a view!
How can we make work simple? Businesses may be facing increasing complexity but passing that on to the employee will reduce effectiveness and increase stress. Only just over half of companies have some kind of programme in place to help simplify work processes and practices – we clearly need to do more.
And then there’s the Millennial Mindset. I’ll be taking part in a panel discussion (along with Jo Dodds and Perry Timms) on ‘Employing the Millennial Mindset‘ chaired by Oracle’s Andy Campbell. It’s Tuesday at 3.30 on the main stage and we’ll be answering questions that you’ve all asked – you can start submitting them now through the hashtag #OracleAndyAsks. Come on, it’s about Millennials…you know I’ll have something to say!
One of the main concerns over technology is how intrusive it’s becoming. The 24/7/365 always-connected working environment, with more responsibility being shifted to the employee, can have a serious impact on wellbeing. I recently took part in a panel discussion for ADP on people and technology. here’s the video for the part of the debate on technology and wellbeing – I’m hoping to hear more about this on Tuesday and Wednesday…
HR Tech is coming to Town…are you ready??