Photo: Zukunft Personal Europe
The pursuit of innovation is a key factor in competitiveness. In September 2018, we attended the HR Innovation Award Ceremony of the Zukunft Personal Europe which was the official opening of the EU level event. It was one of the most attended and inspirational sessions of the 3-days-long conference and expo, where HR newcomers and more established businesses got recognized for their product and service developments. Over the course of the last years, innovation in HR has become crucially important. It refers to an imaginative way of dealing with change, translated into actual implementation. It’s about generating new ideas, carrying out research and development, improving processes or renewing products and services.
At the ceremony, we got to know the 7 winners – in the categories of Startups and Established Companies – out of the 24 finalists (from 114 submitted applications) and in the following article, our goal is to share their cutting-edge concepts with you.
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.
Photo: Julia Shaw (Zukunft Personal Europe)
The 2018 edition of Zukunft Personal Europe has come to an end, and for the next few months, we will be bringing you an account of the many highlights the packed 3-day event had to offer to visitors. In this first article, we are focusing on the role and place of women in the future of work, digitalisation and also the other side of the coin: human resources and human potential.
According to a Deloitte study, in Europe, women make up 45% of the workforce and yet, only 11% are corporate executives. Integrating more women into both the labour market and decision-making roles contributes to enhanced innovation capacity, better corporate governance, better market opportunities and an increase in the overall business performance of companies.
During the three-days, many women entrepreneurs were represented among the fair exhibitors and a good percentage of female professionals, researchers, and founders took the floor at the Keynote stage. The presentations they delivered contributed to the overall success of the event by providing interesting content, thought-provoking, and relevant information and insight. Moreover, many discussions and presentations were about the labour-market integration of women in the context of the future of work, which is a great sign, that more and more HR professionals, employers and service providers are conscious about the benefits of equality.
What are the strategic business arguments in favour of making progress towards gender balance? How can changing the culture of the organisation attract a more diverse pool of talents? Who are some of these women influencing the future of work?
If you put this 1 million euro question to anyone: What’s the key of building a prosperous business?, I assume 90 out of 100 would reply: INNOVATION. For this very reason, here at the Zukunft Personal Europe blog, we discuss a lot innovation in the world of work and in particular Human Resource Management. Undoubtedly, innovation is a big thing in HR technology. Its main objective is to re-imagine the current HR processes and systems.
Per se, there are a legion of examples of HR roles that have been successfully and profitably innovated over the course of the last years. Indeed, we can’t recall the time when more transformative HR technologies entered the market. Many of these HR-enabling technologies have the potential to turn businesses upside down, foster and enable innovation. Is there more room for innovation? Are there sectors left untouched in the realm of HR where innovative technology hasn’t conquered areas for itself? Questions to which we hope you’ll find your answers by the time you get through this blog post.
Photo: Enrico Palumbo
A podcast interview with Enrico A. Palumbo
In this special podcast episode for Zukunft Personal Europe 2018, we are speaking with Enrico A. Palumbo, HR Director of SAP Switzerland, one of the keynote-speakers ahead of the event. Enrico shares with us among others how “permanent beta” resonates with his experience at work, what is the inHR Award, that he initiated, how traditional HR processes can be transformed and translated with modern technologies, and SAP’s secret formula for being recognised both Top Employer and Great Place to Work in 2018.
Enrico A. Palumbo is HR Director and Member of the Management Board of SAP Switzerland. Over the last 15+ years, he worked in different HR roles and functions including HR business partner, center of expertise, and shared services in leadership roles, as a project manager, and as a business consultant in different industries and geographies. Enrico is particularly excited about how technology can support great work experience and employee engagement. He is a member of the SAP internal Coaching Pool and SAP internal Co-Trainer for Search Inside Yourself.
You can listen to the conversation on iTunes, acast and other podcasting apps. What follows here are excerpts from our conversation with Enrico, edited for length and clarity.
The future of work. A topic that dominates the corporate agenda, headlines global conferences, and makes the biggest global think-tanks, such as the ILO or the OECD, set up working groups, with the participation of the brightest minds of policy and the business world to respond effectively and understand better the challenges that come with it. Are machines and AI going take all our work away? Is Amazon going to deliver our orders with the latest drone technology to our doors soon? Will 5G going to be available on our smartphones in the next year?
Questions, we all want answered.
One thing is certain: innovation and technology are changing the way we work and live in a rapid pace. Even the most obvious things, such as waking up in the morning or getting a ride midtown, have all completely got new meaning over the last couple of years.
The fast pace of modern life requires a high degree of flexibility, courage and emotional intelligence from employers and employees alike. The result is a constant need to adapt to new market conditions, the development of new forms of collaboration and last but not least, the fusing of human intelligence with artificial intelligence. In short, we find ourselves in perpetual beta.
What opportunities and challenges does this present to employers and employees? What will the working world of the future look like? How do we want to work in the future and who will decide?
We want to explore these issues in more detail taking our inspiration from the motto of the exhibition Zukunft Personal Europe 2018: “work:olution – succeed in permanent beta”. With this in mind, we are calling all bloggers to take part in the blog carnival: “How to succeed in permanent beta?” #permanentbeta.
Are employers caring for the mental wellbeing of their employees? If not, perhaps it’s time to reconsider well-being programmes and extending them from yoga classes and smoothie bars. Latest reports from the UK and Germany show, that the majority of sickness absence in organisations are motivated by psychological or mental health issues, rather than physical sickness. A 2017 study in Germany by the AOK, the federation of social security secretariats, has shown that out of 12.5 million employees that took a sick-leave following a life-event, 79% had to take time off work due to mental health and emotional problems. In the UK a staggering 70 million work days are lost each year due to mental health problems, costing employers approximately £2.4 billion per year.
Photo: Negative Space
There is perhaps no other decision faced by Human Resources professionals, that comes with such great responsibility, and yet so much uncertainty at the same time, than hiring a new person. There are endless resources with good advice on how to manage the entire process from advertising to appointing the candidates, and recruitment over the years has become its own industry, from agencies to thought-leaders, apps and software, to certification and training organisations.
And even though the industry is booming, particularly in the current labour market context, the majority of tools and methods we apply to attract and hire employees have proven to be not efficient in predicting future work performance, employee engagement and organisational success. As so much depends on finding and holding on to the right people, I venture it is time to spend some time on reflecting about our recruitment habits and re-consider some of the tools and approaches we deploy.
Photo: spring Messe Management GmbH
Is employee onboarding still managed manually at your company? What is the best way to create recruitment videos fast and easy with your smartphone? How can companies track current skills gaps and identify areas for improvement easily through an app? How can you connect your employees with opportunities to take part in team-based challenges or fitness competitions?
In today’s business reality, companies always need new ideas and approaches, and now more and more often they do not come from the largest solution-providers in the industry. HR startups, many of them providing traditional companies with solutions to the above questions, have become the lifeblood of technological and service innovation over the last 5 years. From advanced recruiter-bots to alternative approaches to attracting and keeping the best talent, we love getting to know the up-and-coming startups who are pushing the envelope of the HR world a little bit differently, and a little bit further.