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The future of HR: 7 things you need to know for 2019

Stash those crystal balls, you won’t need them with the Talmundo team: we’re here to break down where HR is headed. We recently lent our insider knowledge to a special HR-themed edition of Raconteur, the high-profile publication for business leaders, alongside Gartner, UNLEASH, and others.

The “Future of HR” issue is full of key insights that today’s HR professionals need to know to prepare for tomorrow, and covers topics ranging from onboarding to upskilling and four-day work weeks.

Read on to discover our 7 takeaways from the report:

1. Two in three business leaders say that their company needs to digitalize more by 2020 in order to remain competitive.

This includes digitalizing existing core functions like recruiting and training talent, in addition to new landscapes like using technology to increase performance. It’s a whole new world of linking HR investments with business outcomes and employing technology as one of many branding avenues.

As Dr. Brian Kropp, group vice president of Gartner Research & Advisory, explains in Raconteur, “Leading companies are pursuing digitalization as an experience for employees. While it includes technology, it is also about being connected, transparent, personalized, interactive and fast. All these components together create a consumer-centric, digitalized experience […] If you don’t adapt, you will find hiring costs soaring, retention falling and productivity flat-lining.”

2. A four-day work week could be the work-life solution your employees are looking for…

Tomorrow’s employees shouldn’t be chained by outdated scheduling practices. At least, that’s what proponents for a four-day work week suggest—and for good reason. A four-day work week study conducted by a New Zealand wealth management firm found that 78% of employees felt they could achieve work-life balance during a shorter week, compared to just 54% of employees enduring a traditional work schedule. We’ll take one four-day week to go, then!

3. … But the jury is still out on whether it could damage employee morale.

On the other hand, experts are quick to point out that there is just not enough data to suggest that working fewer days increases employee morale and productivity. Those against the four-day work week fear that employees will need to stuff more hours into each day in order to achieve the same levels of productivity as accomplished during a traditional week, which could backfire and actually end up hurting employee morale. You know what they say about all work and no play…

4. Use four strategies to help your company embrace change and provide a better employee and client experience.

Technology is developing faster than ever, making a lot of us feel like we’re on a rollercoaster. Right when think all the twists and turns are over, there’s another dip and curve to adapt to. Change fatigue is real. That’s why EY’s Europe, Middle East, India, and Africa workforce advisory leader Anna Kahn recommends using four strategies to adapt to techno-change… unsurprisingly, using technology.

  • Purpose: Make sure that your purpose and core values are well-defined, and that each employee and team buys into them. If there is a disconnect, go back to the drawing board.
  • Insight: Use data analytics to assess “employee sentiment, behaviors, involvement, and readiness.” This kind of knowledge can be valuable when creating target, personalized assessments that identify when team members are wandering off target, and how to get them back on track.
  • The Personal: Create a bespoke employee experience using “representative profiles of real employees combined with current and future state journey/experience mapping.”
  • Immersion: Take an immersive and targeted approach to promoting change. Realize that positioning team members to embrace change is just as important to employee engagement as essentials like recognition. Build a change experience to “drive faster business adoption and a better return on investment.”

5. There’s a massive disconnect between what HR thinks employees want, and what they actually want.

In a study conducted with Vlerick Business School in Ghent, Belgium, Talmundo found that nearly two-thirds of new hires wanted onboarding to address the lack of clarity in their new roles, whereas HR identified this as a new hire challenge just 29% of the time. Additionally, more than 60% of HR leaders thought that culture should be a large part of their onboarding programs, while just 37% of new hires felt the same. Clearly, there’s a disconnect between what HR thinks that employees want, and what your team members actually want.

Tip: Download the full report here, and find out exactly what your new hires are looking for during onboarding.

6. If you’re onboarding Millennials, you need digital employee onboarding.

The future of HR is clear: a personalized, digitalized experience. This is particularly true for Millennial employees, who already make up 50% of the workforce.

Talmundo co-founder and chief executive Stijn De Groef, who was featured in The Future of HR alongside experts from Avature, Gartner, and EY, explains that yesterday’s approach to onboarding doesn’t work for this new generation of employees. “On their first day, your new hires expect to be exposed to your company mission, vision, and values in a fashion suitable for digital natives. Talmundo helps create employee onboarding for today’s digital world.”

7. A one-size-fits-all onboarding solution doesn’t fit anyone anymore.

No two customers are alike; chances are good that you’ve segmented your customer base into categories like new customers, repeat customers, and loyal brand ambassadors, and you interact with each category slightly differently for better results. Why not take the same approach with your own employees?

For example, take KPMG’s HR leaders in Belgium. They were struggling with a specific problem: graduate hires were signed to the company months before their start date, which left plenty of unproductive downtime. As a result, new hires took longer to engage with the company after starting.

Talmundo helped KPMG build a personalized, digitalized onboarding experience for graduate hires that slowly engaged them throughout their “preboarding” months and seamlessly transitioned into an engaged onboarding experience. The program includes tailored content dripped to them before starting, as well as orientation activities and feedback checkpoints at one, three, and six months after starting. New hires now get up to speed more quickly and rate their hiring experience at 4.45 out of 5 stars.

While KPMG’s process may sound over-the-top for some companies, it’s actually the new reality for HR and onboarding. If you want your employees to succeed, bespoke orientation programs are the future.New call-to-action


Topics: HR
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