2017 has arrived with a vengeance and many of us are wondering what our future holds. In South Africa, 2016 left us stunned by the antics of our president and current political situation. We can only hope that the opposition party can hold individuals accountable and ensure the stability of our country.
From a corporate point of view, it was frightening to see the statistics reveal that last year; in general, company expenses are growing at a faster rate than our revenue. This boils down to staff’s lack of work ethic. I honestly believe that if all employees are not in sync with your company’s goals and culture, it will affect your business even more than the harsh environment we find ourselves trading in.
Our people could either be the weakest link or the strongest asset. It is thus of utmost importance that we ensure we are paying attention to who we hire. Below are the people trends that I believe we need to look out for in this new year:
- THE CHANGING HR ENVIRONMENT
Some industry commentators call the Human Resources function the last bastion of bureaucracy and it is seen in its traditional role – the department that merely hires and fires the staff needed to do the jobs. However, today, the HR role should according to Dr. Dave Ulrich, a professor at the University of Michegan, be seeing HR professionals leading their organizations in areas such as organization development, strategic utilization of employees to serve business goals, and talent management and development.
Today the HR professional is considered necessary by managers and executives and plays the role of a strategic partner, an employee advocate as well a change mentor.
The recruitment requirements for your HR executives have thus changed considerably and an increased need for the following skills has been noticed:
- Technology skills has increased and in many countries this HR skill is very much in demand
- Change management as more and more people are needing a flexible working environment
- The ability to foster culture and change the behaviour and work pattern of employees
- Consulting and coaching skills are often a requirement to help drive the team’s performance or to diagnose and resolve issues for a leader or a team
Global talent management expert, Josh Bershin, has said that in 2017 he believes that the best HR professionals will move out of a conventional HR role into that of a consultant in human performance and will no longer focus on managing employees but will own all employee issues and focus on ensuring individuals and teams performance.
He goes on to say that now is the time when businesses look ahead to the new year and start to plan and set priorities. If you want great results from your business, start with your people. After all, they are your greatest asset.
One of the greatest priorities I believe should be considered is Employee Relations and this should include the hiring, on boarding and exit of employees as well as the critical engagement of all people in the workplace and employee benefits.
- THE RISE OF IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA
With over 6000 tweets per second globally, and 5 new Facebook profiles being opened per 10 seconds, the amount of information available is enormous. And with the dangers of social media and the damage it can do to an organization, there are many companies who now no longer rely just on your resume to determine if you will live the brand and ideals of company culture.
Figures released last year show that over 60 percent of potential employers screen employee applications by looking at their social media.. When social media screening is conducted internally, 76% of employers go to Facebook first, with 48% going to LinkedIn. Since 2010, social media as a background-screening tool has grown by 1000% globally.
iFacts will be soon launching our new Social Media Assessment Service…WATCH THIS SPACE!
- THE CHANGING WORK ENVIRONMENT
From different age groups, to different cultural backgrounds, the workplace is becoming more and more diverse, and with it, different ideas, views and opinions. This can have a great impact on company culture and the happiness of your employees.
38% of millenials, according to a PwC report, felt that the older senior management could not easily relate to the younger workers and 34% felt that their personal drive could be intimidating to other generations. Men (38%) were more likely than women (31%) to say this. One of the biggest complaints from millenials is that the management tend to send correspondence 24/7 and expect employees to respond.
Deloitte’s 2016 research shows that almost 70% of the millenials will choose an employer based on the organisations purpose and only 27% of them believe that the purpose would be to make money (this is down from 35% in 2013)
- SECURITY THREATS
Another very real situation in Africa is that we face a huge migrant issue and this comes not only at a blue-collar level but right through up to the C suite. Xenophobia has a massive impact on the workplace especially if you have a number of labourers living in the informal housing developments and using public transport.
Sadly it is a known fact in the security world that Africa is attracting “wanted” criminals and terrorists, as corruption is a massive challenge in today’s workplace. Once a person is within the organisation, they sadly can be manipulated or blackmailed to work on the inside on criminal activity. The actual verification of CV information will not necessarily highlight this tendency, but an integrity test should be considered prior to employment to understand what motivates an individual and how they would behave under challenging circumstances.
- THE EFFECTIVE USE OF TECHNOLOGY
We have seen the world of HR moving into a more technical environment, which can often lead to an overwhelming amount of information coming through.
While the actual human intervention cannot be done away with in terms of interviews and assessments, technology is being effectively used to screen CV’s, select a suitable number of candidates, vet them according to the organisation’s employee screening policy and then create a personal development tool for them to ensure the fit of the culture between employee and the company.
This allows for management to understand how to motivate the individual and understand how the team fits together.
Click Here to view more about the iFacts HR & Management Tools
- COMPANY CULTURE
Every company should promote an engaging and ethical company culture. This will not only create a happier work force, but we know that happy employees are productive and will give you the competitive edge. The Deloitte 2016 research shows us that 86% of business leaders believe company culture is on of the most urgent talent issues.
To ensure employees are fitting into company culture, a personal development analysis (PDA Assessment) tool can be used to understand what is driving the employee and where they are in time. In addition to this, an annual employee satisfaction or employee engagement assessment should be done. To make these most effective the results from the previous year should be incorporated to enable the company to assess the improvement in situations.
Click Here to view a sample of the iFacts PDA Assessment
Click Here to view a sample of the iFacts Employee Satisfaction Survey
- PERFORMANCE REVIEWS
I have followed this closely for the past few years. Many people feel that the standard appraisal is a thing of the past, but even with the changes in the industry it has been said that employee engagement levels have not improved over the last ten years.
John Bershin however says that the key to successful performance management programs is to align the talent strategy and business strategy of the organization. People understand the goal of the business and how their work contributes to achieving those goals. This alignment increases productivity and engagement.
I feel quite strongly about the importance of performance reviews and these strategies into practice within our company and we have seen great success. What we did at iFacts was align our employee’s key performance areas with our company’s strategy. From there we put together quarterly discussions to ensure the company is on track in terms of the strategy and then align the staff accordingly. We continue to do an online appraisal but the previous year’s scores are available from the onset, the employee and the manager complete their information prior to the physical meeting. We run an employee satisfaction survey annually, as well as a customer satisfaction survey. The information from all of these is combined and used effectively to discuss career path, training requirements and a plan for the year ahead.
Click Here to view a sample of the iFacts appraisal.
Flexibility in the workplace is fast becoming one of the most hotly debated issues. Globally it is believed that almost 70% of employees prefer to have an option to work remotely. It is essential for the HR Department to understand the risks associated with this as well as the benefits, which can lead to an increase in the productivity and morale.
For more information on how we can help you make the most out of your most valuable asset – your people – please give us a call.
Here is to a great 2017!