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“We are now younger, more ambitious, and more business-focused than ever”, so writes Josh Bersin in Bersin by Deloitte’s Ten Key Predictions for 2016; he writes this about the HR profession given its changing mandate as companies invest heavily in innovation and analytics. Josh goes on to say that HR are “becoming ‘specialist gurus’ who fly in to a business situation, bring our bag of expert HR, diagnose the problem and deliver some kind of innovative solution”.
Predicting the global trends and disruptive forces that might shape the business landscape in the coming years is essential for survival and growth. Yet there is one theme that will remain a constant in the world of business and politics: trust.
When considering the concept of responsibility, I’m reminded of a football dressing room fracas involving a goal shy striker and an irritated Chairman (shareholder).
It’s 6pm on the Friday before Christmas and I am sitting in the pub with some of my esteemed colleagues putting the world to rights about the important things in life such as ‘why don’t we eat pigs in blankets all year’ and ‘why cracker hats no longer fit over our heads’. Amidst the high-brow debate we segway into cracker production strategy, automation through robotics and whether to outsource cracker production or not - potentially giving us more flexibility in hat size but at a cost premium…it got to 11 pm, time at the bar is called and we went our separate ways leaving the debate inevitably unsolved.
Many a talented employee working for a miserable and unpleasant manager will tend to tolerate this manager in order to work for an organisation with a “cool and with-it” digital culture. While many an employee who works for the nicest manager you could hope for, still leaves in a flash because the culture of the organisation is not to their liking. The point of this being that the organisational glue for talented employees is much more complex now than it used to be and that culture is a key ingredient in this glue.
The move from traditional on-premises HR solutions to software as a service (SaaS) and cloud-based HR applications has resulted in changes to the way these solutions are hosted and implemented. The way the new cloud HR applications are supported has also evolved.
So what is it exactly that has changed?
This week is National Payroll Week (NPW) and let’s be honest, few of those outside of the world of Payroll have any idea what it’s about or even the contribution their Payroll function makes to the business and employees in general (besides the whole getting paid bit).
This summer we have seen our favourite gun-toting, German speaking cyborg return to movie screens in a fight to save the world from an evil terminator. There are two things that are striking about the return of Arnie to our screens: One, he still has the same dubious haircut and regenerating exoskeleton he was sporting back in the 80s; and two, although older, he has needed to develop into a sharper, quicker and more intelligent being in order to be able to deal with his evil nemeses in this 5th generation.
Do you have any idea what the cost of compromised data quality is for an organisation? A Gartner study reveals that most organisations have no clue. Maybe they haven’t thought about it yet. But it’s about time they do because people data is no longer something that is simply recorded and filed away, it is a valuable asset that enables an organisation’s reporting and analytics abilities to drive better decision making. In this digital age, every organisation should be aware of how valuable their people data is and should have a clear strategy for how to manage, cleanse and store this information.
If you subscribe to the view that HR is a profession paralysed at the crossroads of progress then you’ll probably have no problem identifying with the fact that the function has spent most of its formative years, post the Industrial Relations era, crawling in the corporate slow lane, looking in the mirror cursing our embarrassing profile.
By the wonders of time-travel technology this article was written by John in March 2025.
As a Talent professional in the world of business in 2025, I spend just about all my time looking forward, as I am sure most of us do. Dates, planning, diaries, targets and of course my next holiday.