The theme for International Human Resources Day on 20th May 2023, is "HR Shaping The New Future."
In recent years we’ve seen a shift in working practices and employee expectations leading to a more inclusive, supportive, and flexible culture. Such change can undoubtedly bring huge benefits to employees and the businesses they work in but ensuring that success requires careful management. Step forward HR, charged with marrying up this cultural shift with the potentially conflicting requirements of a busy, commercial organisation.
Whether it’s embracing hybrid working, removing probation periods, or revamping our policies to make them more relatable, we’ve been on our own journey here at activpayroll to reflect this brave new world.
But what is next for the future world of work? We asked our own inhouse team of HR professionals for their insights on the up-and-coming trends, moves and cultural shifts, and how as a profession, they saw their role in shaping and guiding these changes. This is what they told us…
· Claire Tocher – Talent Manager
“For me, the really interesting (and much welcomed) shift in trend is the increase of hiring talent based on skills, capability and potential over the traditional previous experience and work history. While there will always be roles which have some need for technical knowledge, there are plenty where attitude and aptitude are far more valuable – and those things are much harder to train than technical skills.
“We have definitely seen this in action in our global payroll teams, where we have some really diverse talent from lots of industries succeeding in bringing their customer service, problem solving and critical thinking skills into delivering a fantastic payroll experience for our customers. It’s something we are continuing to build on, using assessments and role-based hiring to help us uncover great new talent, so it’s exciting to think about how that will shape our organisation going forward. “
· Sam Horn – HR Projects Lead
“I see the generational shift in attitudes towards work, particularly with the younger ‘Gen Z’ entering or already entered the workplace, as playing a major role in the future world of work. “We are seeing a trend in the commercial space of the younger generation job hopping – they are constantly on the move looking for the next, or more importantly, better opportunity.
“Gen Z were hit hard with the pandemic as they had only just entered the workplace, and many had never worked in an office environment before. Now that the pandemic is over, they want to hold on to that home working approach.
“Gen Zs’ aren’t willing to settle for something they aren’t 100% happy with, they like the chance to be flexible with how, when and where they work and if the business doesn’t measure up to their morals, they are more likely than any other generation not to hang around. This means that businesses need to work hard and think strategically about their approach if they are to hold on to their talent.
“At activpayroll we are already taking big steps to change our approach and attitude as to how we work in light of these emerging trends. With the removal of probation periods (people want to be trusted), following a hybrid working model (people want that flexibility) and being as open and transparent as possible, I believe that these first steps stand us in good stead for the future.”
· David Deacon – Chief People Officer
“The future world of work will feature an increase in team working over all more trad hierarchical working models, with managers being given more autonomy to use resources widely dispersed across the company, to achieve client outcomes. The focus for organizing people and work will start with defining delivery, then getting the right abilities collected virtually, and then team leaders finding ways to get the best from that dispersed talent to create outcomes that deliver value. Employees will be members of multiple teams, leaders will lead many teams simultaneously and be expected to deliver multiple defined outcomes from their portfolio of teams, and people will shift from team to team - possibly several times during any given work period - depending on where their skills are most needed. With fewer boundaries between automation and people, successful outcomes delivered from the entire suite of resources (automated and human) will become the measures of success.
“This becomes possible because technology and human behaviour have stopped the need for workers and work to be co-located. Specialisms and skills will be the reasons for an employee to be selected into a delivery team regardless of geography, and as work gets increasingly defined as automated or human, the added value of humans will be from deploying their skills in situations where they are especially equipped to contribute.
“The role of the team leader will become more important because getting the best from this cocktail of resources will be a real skill and the flexibility and leadership skills to make it work will be prized. And employers who continuously increase the skills and learning of their people, will attract and keep the brightest people with the best attitudes.”
Many thanks to all our contributors. It’s good to know that our hardworking HR professionals are ready, and actively preparing for the coming changes to our world of work. With their knowledge, experience and sheer hard work they help us manage our most valuable asset – our people – now and into the future!
International HR Day takes place annually on 20 May, and is an initiative led by the European Association for People Management (EAPM) to recognise the important role of the HR profession.