If you’ve read our last predictions article on the 2018 LMS predictions, you will probably start to notice the emergence of a pattern of thought that is gaining a foothold in the boardrooms of corporate management organizations. What do we mean by this?
Well… Talent Management (TM) along with Learning Management (LM) and Human Resource Management (HRM) form a trilogy of software processes that are intended to maximize the importance and benefit of the employee in the business equation. There is sufficient anecdotal evidence to suggest that a major re-evaluation and behavioral shift is taking place in these business areas, enough so to power the predictions for 2018.
In our previous discussion with regard to LMS predictions, we referred to it as a “tectonic shift” in the management style that guides corporate business, and that ultimately replaces an archaic, top-down way of managing with a far more agile, less structured and focused model.
The significance of this change has far-reaching implications, and it is those implications that are fuelling many of the 2018 predictions when referring to the human element within the corporate environment.
The veritable implosion caused by the introduction of technology into the workplace has brought to the surface many of the perils in the structure of corporate business that previously went undetected.
The rise of all types of technology meant that much of the heavy lifting in the workplace was now automated, making space for a much more efficient relationship between humans and technology. In addition, no longer encumbered by a top-down structure that predictably clung to old processes and “safe” decision-making, the new structure is lighter and more open to innovative ideas within a far flatter management structure.
The results have been positive to date, which reinforces their continuation and future emphasis on growth.
Talent Management Predictions for 2018
The integration of people and technology has had the effect of bringing talent management into a closer working relationship within the business strategy. No longer separated by multiple layers of bureaucracy, the professionals in this sector work in ways that respond more directly to the decisions that impact all facets of talent management in a comprehensive and integrated manner.
We will focus on the following three predictions for this sector in 2018:
- The focus on unconscious bias
- Employee experience is envisaged as the cure
- Talent management will benefit from analytics tools
1. The Focus on Unconscious Bias
Unconscious bias in the hiring and recruiting process is irrefutable. There is a vast body of research that confirms that both the hiring and recruiting processes are biased and unfair. However, there is also significant research to indicate that the proper measures, if put in place, can significantly help recognize and reduce these biases. What seemed to be missing was the element of intention in order to support those necessary changes. 2018 is the right time, we believe, to complete that circle.
As compelling as all this research is, the fact that a body of equally compelling research shows a strong correlation between corporate financial performance and gender diversity is a strong motivator for action. The evidence presented in support of this correlation is impressive – higher financial performance for companies with higher numbers of women board directors resulted in improved numbers in 3 critical areas: return on equity (ROE) at 53%, return on sales (ROS) at 42% and return on investment capital (ROIC) at 66%.
Statistics such as these are probably strong enough to illicit direct support of this change with full leadership sponsorship to deliver this outcome.
Perhaps a very timely addition to this question of gender bias is the question of creating safe and comfortable work environments. In 2018, continued actions to promote workplace environments where employees feel comfortable reporting alleged harassment incidents will continue to be a priority, and will help corporations position themselves on the right side of this debate.
2. Employee Experience is Envisaged as the Cure
It appears that technological advancement and organizational redesign have not really boosted the numbers measuring employee engagement and productivity statistics over the last 10 years or so. The original tenets of talent management no longer seem to be enough, as companies face leadership and skill gaps, low employee retention rates, low employee engagement and the relatively new phenomenon of the overwhelmed employee. Our always-connected 24/7 work environments are creating overwhelmed employees (i.e. burnt out employees) that are undermining productivity and contributing to low employee engagement.
In 2018, companies will increase their efforts to find ways of simplifying work and properly balancing the work-life experience, given the fact that barriers no longer exist between work and life. This is a unique undertaking that will look at “design experience,” and will focus on redesigning performance management. Studies point to evidence that a greater emphasis on autonomy and purpose at work are key to achieving long-term performance improvements. So the redirect will be to more simplicity, coaching, goal management and ongoing developmental feedback.
3. Talent Management Will Benefit from Analytics Tools
Big Data has arrived at human resource (HR) departments and, much like sectors in marketing and finance, revolutionized the way work is done. HR analytics, along with people analytics, is making predictive analytics the new reality in HR, helping professionals reach decisions based on the analysis of historical data. Previous attempts at compiling data pale in comparison to the depth and scope that this analytics tool is capable of producing. The challenge, however, is now to train HR professionals on data interpretation in order to spot trends as they peruse this voluminous, valuable data. When trends are identified, an appropriate course of action can be established to deal with issues such as the right hires, sourcing successful leaders and retention.
Many analysts believe that this enhancement to the HR function will transform their ability to manage their talent pool. This may indeed lead to a bigger role for HR in the overall strategic planning process.
The overall focus on building a culture of employee empowerment will lead to greater creativity and innovation. This emphasis on improving outcomes goes beyond efficiency and produces truly impressive results for business.
In 2018, talent management will remain a very crucial part of a winning human resource strategy. Great business performance is reliant on securing and retaining the right talent, and this task, while supported significantly by technology and automation, is still very much in the hands of the human talent professionals who oversee this critical and defining role.