Change happens and is happening at an ever increasing pace. Digital natives (those who grew up with technology) are forcing businesses to reassess how they operate and manage talent. You need to ensure your company’s HR department can keep pace and be ready for the future. Here are our 6 steps to help your organisation prepare for the future:
1. Understand the short, medium and long-term people driven needs of your business
This is key to every organisation planning for the future. You need to identify what the short, medium and long term needs of your people are. By understanding what these are, you can start to plan your HR strategy and create a road map of changes / improvements to achieve your goals.
Your business needs can be influenced by both internal and external factors. Ensuring you have a robust knowledge of what your employees need and want, both now and 5-10 years’ time will give you the confidence to invest and plan.
2. Profile the workforce needed to deliver success now and in the future
Take a look at your workforce. Segmenting by age alone, you will likely uncover a diverse picture. In recent times, there has been significant growth in the multi-generational workforce.
In many organisations, you will have people who have just left school or college, right through to people who may be now well past the traditional retirement age. Consequently, each age group has differing needs that the HR function needs to be able to adapt to. The one size fits all approach needs to evolve.
People are increasingly coming into the workforce later in life, having career breaks for family reasons or taking sabbaticals. There are also people working well into later life.
For example, someone in their 70s normally has different HR needs to someone in their 20s. The person in their 70s may be working to supplement their pension. Therefore their insurance and tax contributions will be different to the person in their 20s. The younger person may have items like student loan contributions deducted from their pay.
Your workforce may also be located in different countries, with different working practices and cultures. Technology has enabled people to work collaboratively with coworkers across the globe and this is on the rise.
3. Map your HR and payroll transformation objectives
The creation of a roadmap showing where you want your organisation to be in the next 1, 2, 5 and 10 years can help give you focus. They also can help in supporting the overall strategic direction of your company.
Mapping HR and payroll transformation objectives gives everyone a clear view of where you are heading.
A great example is having the long term objective of moving all of your back-office HR and payroll processes to the cloud. By doing this there are added benefits of providing an improved and consistent user experience, as well as increased efficiency.
By going digital the complexities we face currently, as we mix and match disparate systems and outdated processes, will be a thing of the past.
4. Be clear about how you will reward employees
The days of paying a basic salary plus possibly a pension as an employee’s package seem to be long gone. Nowadays a package could comprise of a basic salary, share options, pension, private medical insurance, various group insurance policies, cycle to work vouchers, discount vouchers, gym membership and the list is endless.
Having the ability to manage and communicate this ‘total reward package’ is very important in being able to attract and retain employees. As the battle for the best talent intensifies, no doubt in the future even more different ways of rewarding employees will be uncovered.
To keep pace, your systems need to be able to accommodate these new and various employee benefit packages. This will give your HR team the freedom to focus on creating an optimized employee experience.
5. Create physical and virtual environments fit to attract, retain and grow talent
What does a 21st century workplace look like? All too often, still very much like the 20th century workplace. Open plan offices, over or under populated. Too hot or too cold. Many commute in, making journeys they could have avoided if they had worked from home.
A key factor in attracting and retaining talent is being able to create a pleasant working environment. Be that in the office or in the virtual world. This means not only having nice office furniture and surroundings, but also installing systems and processes that can enable remote working.
Technology has facilitated remote working. Consequently, the virtual working environment is now just as important as the bricks and mortar of a company’s office. You need therefore to ensure not only your systems, processes are fit for purpose, but also your company culture can adapt to this new way of working.
The ability to work flexibly is something that many people now take for granted. People work hours that fit in with their lifestyle as well as working remotely. This gives employees the opportunity to work for companies in different countries and enlarges the catchment of the talent pool to people across geographies.
It is an important growth area that your company needs to be prepared for to take advantage of this great opportunity.
6. Evaluate the impact of automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence
Anyone vital to the success of your business: your employees, customers and leaders, need access to information. They ‘need’ to have rapid responses at their fingertips, just like they are used to in all other elements of their lives.
Artificial intelligence finds its true vocation in the helpdesk scenario. It is intuitive, responsive and can reply to queries around the clock. Some people fear that use of automation and artificial intelligence will lead to job losses.
Your organisation needs to be prepared for potential negativity towards automation in the future. This in spite of the fact that increased use of automation and artificial intelligence doesn’t always necessarily lead to job losses.
There are many factors influencing the workplace so it’s important to keep an eye on the horizon as to what may be the next big thing.