Photo: Zukunft Personal Europe
Workplace safety issues and dismissals. Labour strikes, lockouts and mounting numbers of resignations.
With all the above issues escalating, John Patterson, owner of the National Cash Register Company, in 1901, was pushed to his very limits. In a desperate – but certainly historic – attempt he decided to try something totally different. He set up a new team in charge of people management. And so the first HR department was born; tasked with creating the company’s compensation, employee relationships, workplace safety and compliance policies.
To be totally fair, those specific areas of people management did not transform that much in the following 100 years. To recap, early HR practices, over the first part of the 1900s, focused rather on a “watchmen” function and were tasked with keeping the record on employee data and initiatives. The second part of the 1900s was characterized by momentous societal changes that lead to more elevated expectations on equality and safety policies.
By today, not only is our socio-economic environment changing rapidly and constantly but the expectations of our employees as well. Gone are the days when the role of HR simply revolved around administration, compensation or protective regulation. What will become even more nuanced for HR managers in the future that will require the acquisition of new knowledge? In one single word: Everything!
Doubtful? Critical? Don’t click away just yet.
Keep reading as we bring you our top predictions as to where HR needs to focus on in 2019 and beyond, built on our conversations, with among others Ralph Hocke, the CEO of Spring Messe Management GMBH and the key takeaways from the 2018 Zukunft Personal Europe.
You can’t hide away from it: everywhere you turn Artificial Intelligence (AI) is embraced by industries and companies. Even the least anticipated sectors are taking advantage from the benefits of AI as, for example, in the music industry classical albums are being fully composed by computers, or in the news production sector where computer programs are collecting and personalizing sport related results, recaps and events to avid fans.
Artificial Intellingence is also shaping functions within HR such as recruitment, training & development or compensation & benefits. It shouldn’t be surprising, then, that by today Artificial Intellingence has become one of the main driving forces in lifting the burden off from the shoulders of HR, and there are two general directions towards which these developments are taking us. First: What is the best way of using the information gained from AI programs? And Second: What HR should do with its freed up time and resources thanks to AI? Is it really time for HR to take its well deserved place in the Board Rooms of companies and become a strategic partner, a role foretold years ago by HR thought leaders? Easy questions, but with no simple answers.
Foto: Gary Kildare
Before his much awaited presentation at Europe’s largest HR gathering, we interviewed Gary Kildare, Chief HR Officer at IBM Europe, for our interview series with the keynote speakers at the 2017 edition of Zukunft Personal.
One of the key secrets to IBM’s long-term success can be found in the company’s ability to constantly reinvent itself, to continually transform and to search for strategic technologies that enhance human labour. It is a 106-year-old journey that now takes IBM to its present top position in the Artificial Intelligence and cognitive computing market designed to support, inspire and lead current generations. Gary Kildare has spent much of his professional career with IBM as an HR leader and I was pleased to speak with him about AI, the history of HR, Germany’s AI talent shortage and many more.