As we look to 2017 with a focus on the promise of ever-greater opportunity, it is important for Human Resource leaders to spend some time reflecting on what has been working well in their practice areas. It is also critical to reflect on how to evolve and improve in areas where the changes taking place provide opportunities for improvement. As we all know, failure to evolve with changing times can prevent growth and opportunity. In order to remain competitive in any industry – and specifically with regard to employees – Human Resource experts must re-examine the traditional ways of doing things and look to the start-up culture for innovative insight and ideas. Here is an inventory of some of those new ideas worth considering:
The flexible employer/employee structure is a trend on the upswing. Leveraging multi-organization workers and freelancers helps an organization focus on skill specialists to support unique roles versus generalist workers on major projects. Once shunned as impractical, Flex Schedules can yield benefits to the workforce including increased morale and engagement, reduction in employee turnover, increased loyalty (which supports continuity of critical business information among retained workforce) and reduced absenteeism/PTO.
Another idea worth considering is the monitoring of cyclical feedback loops in 2017. Consider revamping your traditional performance process: find the middle ground within the performance review process see-saw. While some argue formal reviews are non-productive, simply doing nothing leads to a lack of transparency. Find a solution that encourages employees while satisfying managers’ need for productivity and efficiency of process. Evolve the 360 concept – soliciting feedback from employees’ subordinates, colleagues, and supervisors, as well as a self-evaluation by the employees themselves – to be more inclusive and less cumbersome. More communication means less heartache!
Another good idea for 2017 involves retraining focus on the old university “Group Project.” Ensure performance is based on clearly defined initiatives utilizing skill specialist and move away from an individualized performance in favor of a collaboration focus. Focus business on well-prioritized initiatives and be sure to communicate to all levels on each initiative, progress achieved and performance attained.
Improve employee engagement from day one by recognizing that the employee experience starts from the resume. Forward thinking organizations incorporate team interviewing to ensure proper cultural fit among new hires. Focus on responsibility and relationship building by introducing mentoring programs, community outreach initiatives and by personalizing the business.
Focus on talent retention because the days of “churn and burn” are over. Emphasize the value of the intellectual property long-term employees bring to process and business evolution. If you can blend new talents with tenured talent you can build a sense of ownership and connection that will serve your workforce well.
Take the time to investigate these HR trends and others as 2016 winds to a close and field a stronger, more productive workforce in the New Year!