Illustration: Studio Fee Overbeeke
Not too long ago the main instrument to gather data about the mood of the employees in the different parts of the organisation was the annual employee engagement survey. Once per year, or one every two-years, a long questionnaire was distributed to the employees. 50-70% of the employees responded.
The answers were analysed and often months later the reports were ready. Management discussed the outcomes, and a summary was communicated to the employees. Focus groups discussed the outcomes and made some suggestions for management. And so on, and so on. Even writing the complete process down, takes too long. Employee mood measurement has fortunately moved on. Nine trends we see.
2018 saw the toy giant, Toys R’Us close down all of their shops. Marks & Spencers has been hanging by a thread for a number of years now. Toshiba was forced to sell its computer chip business in 2017, and we know of the massive losses in the billions of Euros suffered by mobile phone giants for their texting services, due to the arrival of WhatsApp and Viber.
Volatility and unpredictability are increasing in business, as well as in the economy and the environment, and one of the questions large corporations and companies need to ask themselves, where is our innovation capacity going to come from in the next couple of years.
2019 is here, a new year full of opportunities to connect with great people, expand your knowledge and set ambitious goals for yourself and your organisation. Even if you are not one for making new year’s resolutions, reading this Blog means you are seeking ways to improve your professional life and approach to people management.
So what’s this “Brexit” thing we’ve all been hearing about then?
The HR Cat (Sarah Murray): Back in 2016, in order to retain the support of nationalists within the British Conservative party, Prime Minister David Cameron offered the UK a referendum on the UK’s EU membership. The people voted “Leave” by a margin of 52%/48%. The current Prime Minister, Theresa May, subsequently activated Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon, and the UK is now set to leave the EU on March 29th 2019 as an automatic operation of law.
Oh I see. So why is this in the news so much?
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?
In a recent study, researchers found that Americans work over 130 hours more each year than a host of other developed nations. While hard work is a great way to get ahead, there is a fine line between working hard and overworking.
For most business owners and human resource professionals, finding the right work/life balance is an ongoing struggle. While you want your employees to be productive, the last thing you want is to put their health in jeopardy by making a brutal employee schedule for them to follow.
Most American workers brag about just how many hours they work without thinking about the effect it is having on their life. Read below to find out more about how the long-hours culture is slowly killing American workers.
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.