As usual this time of year, everyone seems to be looking in their crystal balls and making predictions for the year ahead. I have looked at a few of the predictions and there seems to be consensus on the following five focus areas (amongst others) in HR and Talent Management:
A greater focus on personalised people management
Words like employee intimacy, customised talent management, employee experience, people first, one size does not fit all, personalised and consumer-like experiences, are used to describe this trend. Tom Haak from the HR Trend Institute states that this individualised focus is necessary to understand the wishes, needs and capabilities of employees to design relevant employee journeys. Personalised employee experiences and interactions are further made easier through the increased use of data and automation.
A greater focus on teams
In Bersin by Deloitte’s HR Technology Disruptions for 2018 trend report, Josh Bersin states that organisations are on the cusp of redefining talent management as part of a new category that he calls team management. Many of the predictions for 2018 included an emphasis on leveraging and developing the networks of people in the organisation. Linked to the focus on teams, several of the predictions also highlighted a greater focus on productivity and productivity tools.
A greater focus on on-demand skills development
Dan Schawbel in his predictions for 2018 at forbes.com mentioned that the half-life of a learned skill is a mere five years. He also stated that employees not only lack the right set of skills, but the ones that they currently have are becoming less relevant over time as almost half of all tasks people are paid to do every day are at risk of being automated. Dan predicted that employers will be investing more money in their training and development programs in 2018 to fill skills gaps and reach their full capacity. Digitisation, video and social media has changed the way employees access information. Employees are no longer dependent on the organisation and the Learning and Development function to access information when they need it to achieve their work goals. Organisations will put in more effort to create learning ecosystems that provide information and performance support tools to employees at the point of need.
A greater focus on using technology and analytics to create feedback-rich organisations to improve efficiencies and well-being
In addition to using technology and analytics to improve productivity and the employee experience, organisations are also starting to use it to improve employee well-being and engagement, as well as for performance management. Josh Bersin (HR Technology Disruptions for 2018) indicated that to do this effectively, organisations need a set of tools that facilitate continuous listening, which goes well beyond annual surveys. He has also written extensively about the explosion of new tools for feedback, including feedback apps. Performance management will increasingly focus on building in these tools to ensure continuous and targeted coaching and performance enablement. Steven Hunt from SAP at forbes.com predicted that in 2018, organisations will continue to make more well-being tools available to their employees, with successful organizations those who make such technologies accessible, enjoyable, and cultural for their employees.
Increased adoption of artificial intelligence (AI)
Almost all the predictions mentioned digitisation, artificial intelligence and automation. Jen Shroud at ServiceNow mentioned that as advancements in AI capabilities grow in the coming 12 months we will see an increase in digital transformations in HR and across the enterprise to prepare for the ability to fully leverage AI. Dave Rietsema at HR Payroll Systems said that HR software outfitted with artificial intelligence (AI) may begin to make recruitment less biased and more efficient. Robots are also mentioned as being increasingly used to streamline the most time-consuming tasks in HR and recruitment.
2018 seems an exciting time to be in HR and Talent Management!
The websites that I visited to identify the most common predictions for 2018 are: