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What To Do With All These Trends?

by Derek Irvine

Arrows pointing opposite waysRecognize This! – Trends are often captivating, but it takes a unified vision to see how they all can fit together to work for you.

If you are anything like me, you enjoy the articles of trends to watch in 2016, what HR should look like in 2020, and what the blue chips are up to. There are so many interesting ideas, it can be hard to know what to pay attention to, let alone what might be a fit for your own organization’s style, culture, and strategy.

In a Perfect World…

Imagine you are given free rein as an HR professional for your company over the next year. You are free to develop and implement anything and everything you have dreamed. Where do you start and what do you do?

Now, and more importantly, how do you tie it all together into something cohesive? What’s your aligning vision or goal for everything you want to accomplish?

This is an especially important question to answer, but all too easy to miss. These forecasts can have an à-la-carte feel. Adopt this practice, tweak this system, analyze that data. This is possibly a symptom of the sheer complexity of what HR is tasked with these days.

Regardless, our goal should be to look for the connections between data points and trends, pressures from the external environment, and alignment between business needs and HR services. We must connect the items on any list into a cohesive perspective of business reality today and how we can improve in the future.

Bringing It All Together

Linda Mougalian’s TLNT article, “Top 4 Trends,”  is a powerful example of this approach. She identifies four crucial trends for HR professionals in the coming years. Among them are rethinking annual performance reviews, improving culture and engagement, adopting new talent sourcing methods, and refining analytics to drive better decisions.

In each, Linda focuses on a foundational concept that unites the set of trends: leveraging relationships and data through social technology. In our imagined scenario, this would be my aligning vision.

Here’s how it all fits together:

  • Building an engaged culture by connecting people to one another, a culture in which they can recognize the contributions of others in helping the team and the company deliver on its core values. Social technology provides the “virtual watercooler” – as well as the data and reporting capability – that makes it all work.

Everything else the business or HR does should flow from there:

  • Reviewing performance is grounded in these relationships, and the day-to-day work those relationships produce. Social technology provides more immediacy and frequent feedback, as well as the ability to track that relationship data.
  • Transmitting the value of your culture and relationships to the external talent market, leveraging social media channels to spread the word. In the words of Josh Bersin, “becoming irresistible.
  • Finally, leveraging data analytics about the social fabric of the organization in terms of ongoing collaboration, movement of key talent, and retention of high performers.

A culture of recognition is crucial in harnessing these trends towards more integration of relationships and data through social technologies. Whatever your specific unifying vision, it is highly likely that some part of the WorkHuman movement will be at its core.

What trends do you see as driving your company forward, and how are they all connected?

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