To Infinity and Beyond! Talent Business Trends for 2020

I saw a quote the other day (on Twitter…where else?) along the lines of “we overestimate what the future will hold in the next year and underestimate what the future will hold in 10 years.”

This is especially true as we get into this time of year; the months when HR and Talent prognosticators, pundits and “thought leaders” roll out their predictions for the year ahead. (Note: my predictions for the most used phrases in the 2020 predictions?  AI, remote work, inclusion, and drama-in-the-workplace-over-politics).

There’s nothing wrong with people thinking about what’s to come in the future; quite frankly when we work in the HR and People space we should all be doing that with a bit more frequency. It’s crucial that we combine our knowledge, insight and understanding so that we can adequately prepare for what’s coming next whether that be 1 year, 2 years or 10 years down the road.

So what should be top of mind for HR and Talent professionals? What’s going to be happening in 2020…and beyond?

A need for speed

We best realize, and fairly quickly, that if the speed of change within our organizations lags behind the speed of change outside our organizations, we are doomed to failure.Secondarily, if the speed of change within our HR Department doesn’t match the urgency of change within the rest of the organization, HR will cease to exist.

Re-Imagining the role (and structure) of HR

Over the last decade, in an attempt to distinguish their philosophy/practices from the bad-juju affiliated with the name “Human Resources,” numerous HR teams have re-branded themselves. They’ve adopted monikers such as The People Team or the Employee Experience Department. The next iteration of this evolution though will be a distinction between “transactional” HR and “transformational” HR as the human resources function further divides.

In the future I can see the Transactional HR team handling benefits, employee relations, HRIS, new hires/terminations/transfers and compliance while the Transformational HR team will have responsibility for performance management, talent management, learning and performance, leadership development and business strategy. It won’t be the same old org chart.

The new psychological contract

The psychological work contract, as defined by Denise Rousseau, represents that mutual beliefs, perceptions and informal obligations between employer and employee. These are often the unwritten mutual expectations from “each side” – it’s the workplace relationship.  It includes the belief that there is an expectation of employees to give their time, efforts, skills, (and flexibility) to meet the company’s demands. It also includes the belief about what they should receive; things such as career opportunities, job security, and fair and equitable treatment.

It’s a “reciprocal” agreement. And it’s been upended. People’s aspirations and desires for their work is changing rapidly.  

And since HR needs to focus on the ultimate metric – productivity/value of employees and determining how HR’s inputs lead to employee output – those of us who work in the HR and Talent space need to stay on top of the evolution of what people expect at work.

Time to re-write that contract.   

author: Robin Schooling

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