From here on in, the world’s your oyster.

The PlanDo team recently attended the Global HR Technology Conference in Chicago along with several thousand other party goers.  At PlanDo, we’ve been tracking shifts in human capital for some time now. While in past years the Conference has presented trends in consumerising, mobile technology, innovation in talent acquisition, rewards and recognition and engagement, this year we witnessed a tectonic shift for HR practitioners, technology and the role it will play in the global workforce going forward. The themes were consistent – the pivotal shift in purpose and identity of HR itself, employee experience over straight up engagement and future of work.

Let’s look at how these 3 play out.

1.    New role of HR. Practitioners recognise the work of world is changing (before we’re presented with new work models and the science) and with it, so will our function. We were urged to consider ourselves as marketers, data scientists, coaches, and custodians of talent. Occasionally all of the above – whichever way we cut it, there’s a definite pivot opportunity. How it will play out particularly is less certain. In some ways we get to recreate our purpose and value.

2.    Engagement to employee experience. Identifying employees as consumers was the first step towards understanding the ‘customer experience’ matters to our people. It’s more than a measure of engagement – it’s about how every interaction plays out, and how we unlock the full potential and discretionary effort of every employee.

3.    Ditching performance management. Performance ‘events’ – recognizing that nobody enjoys the process or derives any benefit or value from it. Performance management has always had spurious productivity improvement claims. Constructive feedback and regular structured conversations drive better outcomes – avoiding surprises and acknowledging progress towards goals – checking in, getting the resources and support needed for success (read leader as facilitator)

4.    Changing models of work. This includes the demise of command and control, instead we’re looking to co-create success in agile work environments. It’s the death of paternalistic models and the rise of ‘leader as coach’. Think a whole new set of leadership skills – mentoring over managing, storytelling over directing, influencing over telling. We’ve been presenting some interesting facts on the topic too –

·     37% of the workplace are millennials – now the largest cohort, shifting to 50% by 2020

·     30% of all Fortune 500 employees are contractors – 50% by 2020

·     social networks matter when it comes to employee experience – go to trello, jira, Dropbox and slack to see where, what and how people work

As CEOs and leaders, we’re looking for technology that supports new organization design, that aligns self directing individuals within self organizing teams, with a clear line of sight to enterprise vision, mission, goals strategy and purpose. The long and the short of it, the world is up for grabs. Very little that’s held true, still holds – except of course performance and growth.

We came away from the Conference pretty excited about what we’re building at PlanDo – productivity and impact tools for the new work of world.


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