It’s official: We’ve entered the 2020s. The turn of the decade marks significant change—from new technology to the where and how we work. It begs the question: What does the future of work look like? We’re only halfway through 2020, and organizations have already experienced incredible amounts of disruption. Moving forward, companies will have to continue adapting to fast-paced change.
An organization’s HR department, above all, is tasked with helping employees and managers understand what change means for their jobs. For example, will innovations in AI and machine learning mean robots will replace specific roles? Will remote work become the norm across teams? These types of questions are important—even in a post-COVID world—and still require answers. Here are 6 steps that HR teams, managers or employees can take to help make the new decade their most successful yet:
1. Take Calculated Risks
Many employees are afraid of taking risks. It could be that they're unsure of what's permitted at work or the repercussions of failure. But taking calculated risk (under the right circumstances, of course) is healthy for a career. Many successful businesses thrive because they encourage employees to take risks and challenge the status quo. "The biggest risk is not taking any risk. In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg said.
Risk-taking can also support career growth and leverage untapped creativity from employees. To motivate employees to become more comfortable taking risks, consider helping them take advantage of opportunities that will help them learn and grow in their career. Encourage them to regularly take a step back and weigh their options—make a list of potential risks and courses of action aligned to them. This approach will help them be adventurous, but now act on emotion or be held back by fear.
Indeed, risk-taking can be scary. But employees who take risks can create something powerful, whether it be a new product or a completely different way of doing things. And if they don’t succeed, they will learn from their mistakes and apply those learnings the next time they take a risk.
2. Deliver Results
Many organizations today look at their employees based on how much profit they create for the company. This metric, best known as profit per employee, is a measure of net income over twelve months time divided by the current number of full-time employees.
As a result, employees are feeling stressed and pressured to perform. But there are ways to combat this worry. Employees can hone in on three objectives: aligning their goals with organizational targets, delivering quantifiable results and maintaining skills that allow them to be agile and quickly pivot any course of action. To help encourage these behaviors, HR teams can encourage employees to set SMART goals (specific, measurable, assignable, relevant and time-based goals). This approach helps to provide clear direction, quantify areas of opportunity and highlight successes.
3. Always Be Learning
Businesses and the positions they hire for evolve—precipitated by technological and economic changes.
In order to grow and develop in their career, employees need to actively and continuously develop new skills. Investing in learning and development programs pays dividends for organizations and their employees: One study found that companies with well-financed L&D programs benefited from improved employee performance.
HR leaders, in turn, must focus on the organization’s future needs. Search for talent with transferable, applicable skills like communication, change management and leadership—or invest in programs that will teach these skills to your employees.
4. Embrace the Technology Revolution
There’s no doubt that technology is rapidly changing the workplace. The majority of business functions are moving toward using more automation, digital solutions and big data—yet there's a shortage of technical talent.
That's why employers must invest in growing their own. In a recent survey, 92% of respondents said they will need more employees with technical skills and 57% said they plan to reskill workers. In some cases, training will occur for positions that don’t yet exist. Therefore, professionals who possess the right technological skills—or are willing to gain them—will be in high demand for years to come.
5. Think From an Abundance Mindset
When leaders operate using an abundance mindset, they understand there’s room for everyone to succeed, and winning doesn’t require someone else on your team to lose. Encourage employees to adopt this mindset by performing it daily: For example, it’s likely that much of your employees’ work will involve participating as a member of a team. Help team members understand the importance of collaboration and take action if you notice someone isolating themselves from colleagues. Work on improving their mindset, and behaviors will follow
6. Mentorship is So 2000—Get a Personal Board of Directors Instead
Every successful employee knows that having a professional mentor is priceless. If done right, the relationship yields many benefits, including management opportunities and salary increases. In the coming decade, it will be vital to level up this relationship: Instead of relying on one mentor for all your professional needs, encourage employees to create a personal board of directors that will provide insight from different points of view. The team might be made up of people with different job titles and experience levels, such as a CFO, CHRO, COO and CMO. Make sure the board can uncover skills gaps,, instill operational knowledge and provide opportunities for growth—both personally and professionally.
Above all, to create a career that continues to thrive, workers must define what success looks like to them and then consistently work towards that goal. And by adopting new approaches to reach them, employees will stay relevant and indispensable even in our rapidly changing workplaces.
For more ways to make the most of the coming decade, read tips from Cornerstone’s AVP of Learning and Organizational Effectiveness Jeff Miller here.
Want to keep learning? Explore our products, customer stories, and the latest industry insights.
Introducing an exclusive partnership with WaitWhat's Masters of Scale for an entirely new learning experience
You asked for popular podcast modalities and we delivered through a partnership with WaitWhat’s Masters of Scale. Check out lessons about building teams, developing products and scaling companies from the world's top leaders, now available in multiple Cornerstone Content Anytime subscriptions.
Alexander Mann Solutions wins Cornerstone OnDemands sponsored categories at the TIARA 2020 Talent Solutions Awards
Here at Cornerstone, we absolutely love to hear inspiring stories and share them far and wide, especially when they are about talent management! We were recently headline sponsors of the TIARA 2020 Talent Solutions Awards. These annual awards, hosted by TALiNT International, celebrate excellence across the RPO, MSP and Talent Solutions marketplace, and recognise the wonderful ways companies are demonstrating exemplary growth, innovation and leadership. For 2020, it was the usual great awards with a bit of a difference. As we know, everything has now moved online – even this year’s Convergence! But this didn’t seem to impact the TIARA Talent Solution Awards at all. Despite not being able to celebrate face-to-face, the event was filled with laughter, engagement, and most of all, lots of fun! This year, we also supported the Best Use of Technology Award as well as the Overall Winner. The winner – triumphing in both categories – could not be more deserving, and so we duly wanted to pass on our huge congratulations to Alexander Mann Solutions! Alexander Mann was awarded the Cornerstone OnDemand Best Use of Technology Award for their brilliant ‘Find Your Fit’ technology solution. The platform offers users personal preferences and assisted future growth through interactive videos, personalised one-to-one calls, and a dedicated platform to match skills with current roles within the organisation. The solution had 1,200 employees enrolling within just six months of implementation and is continuing to improve every day. Find Your Fit helps employees to understand how their organisation functions better, including the areas that are growing the most rapidly. In turn, this helps employees to develop the skills they need in order to take advantage of these developments to enhance not only their personal career progression, but overall business performance. After all, businesses don’t innovate, people do! The judges commended this entry for “the clear way in which an innovative technology solution clearly delivered in results”. The judges also applauded Alexander Mann for demonstrating customer care by really listening to client’s individual challenges and using inventive technology solutions to help design a custom built solution that helps to support the overall internal career options and pathways available to each organisation. The award was accepted virtually by Stephen Gordon, Recruitment Tech Lead at Talent Collective/AMS. In addition to being awarded Best Use of Technology, Alexander Mann was also recognised as this year’s overall winner of the Talent Solutions Awards. Chair of Judges, Jim Richardson highlighted that “the overall winner is based on the organisation that consistently demonstrates excellence and innovation across all of its activities”. Both Peoplescout and Guidant Global were highly commended by the judges for their brilliant work, but ultimately, Alexander Mann took home the award for demonstrating consistently high standards across all areas. Jim Richardson added that although Alexander Mann has the resources to support many initiatives, it has still managed to deliver consistently on large scale and complex global projects. This is a phenomenally impressive achievement that all of us at Cornerstone also wish to say a huge congratulations for! The other winners and nominees from this year’s TIARA Talent Solutions Awards have highlighted more excellent work and brilliant stories across the recruiting sector and HR community. For the full list of winners, check out the TALiNT International’s September/October 2020 edition here.
Blog: Why HR need to lead the agile change journey
It's been going on for a while now - the shift towards more agile and flexible companies that quickly can adapt to the fast-changing times of today. Organisations that are unable to make this move are gradually losing competitiveness and finding it more difficult to prove themselves against smaller and faster players. Those who recognise the need and are able to create new conditions for the business, in the form of new structures, will survive and flourish in tomorrow's economic reality. Agile HR can be viewed from two different angles; How HR should work together within the HR team and what / how HR should deliver value to the business for which they exist. All HR processes that are part of Talent and People Management will be different when you start working agile, and each of the processes have their specific tools and working methods. Here we will look at HR from a more general perspective, to get an overall understanding of how the HR role, and the corresponding deliverables, change in a company that wants to increase its business agility. The goal is to focus on creating better workplaces through the development of teams and individuals, throughout the whole organisation. Small and medium-sized companies are easier to change, as they have less hierarchical structures, and often a more decentralised business, where everyone has an ability to make the decisions that need to be made, locally rather than centrally. The larger and more complex a company is, the more systems, processes, and structures there are that cannot be easily and quickly changed. Although it is possible to change a department in the organisation, some issues might remain that forces the department back into the central structures. This happens because it is not possible to isolate a specific part of the business. You can compare it to an attempt to change a rubber ball. It changes when it is being squeezed, but when you let go, it quickly returns to its old shape. However, there is one functional department in most large organisations that can influence all the other parts at once – HR. In many large companies, HR controls; ● Leadership programs and development ● Change management ● Organisational development ● Employee engagement ● Employee training and skills development ● Rewards and bonuses ● Recruitment ● Goal setting and performance reviews ● Long term mix of employees All these processes or areas flow through the entire organisation. These are the structures that can support, or prevent, a more radical change towards a more agile company. It all depends on HOW we work with processes and programs. They can be developed in a way that, paradoxically, prevents performance and commitment. Or they can optimise performance and employee satisfaction. HR struggles with criticisms, it is accused of being some kind of "organisational police", which hinders performance and commitment by implementing Talent management processes in a way that was intended to increase the same. This needs to change. HR has been in the back seat for too long and now it is time to take responsibility for a change in how to support the organisation. Because it is about people, and relationships between people, this is the key to how the company performs as a whole. It is the system that fundamentally needs to change, not the people. We do not need to do more things or implement complicated frameworks and methods. Instead, we need to understand how we can make it easier for people to make their best contribution to the company, by providing supportive structures, instead of hindering structures. It is through more experiments and by trying different working methods, that one can find the best path for each organisation, and each team/individual. Here, the agile principles and the agile mindset serve as a guide. Agile tools and frameworks work sometimes, but not always. The only way to continually improve is through constant learning, which also means that we sometimes fail. Companies that learn faster than others, and turn that knowledge into new ways of working for employees, but also new products and services for external customers, gain a competitive advantage and will be the winner of the future. HR has the power and the ability to design the structures that aim to either support or make it harder for employees to contribute in creative and innovative ways. If HR sticks to the old, traditional ways of working, the consequence will be rigid and non-agile organisations that use inefficient systems and processes. HR can either hinder or support the change, so HR must show the way. By providing opportunities for alternative and more agile working methods, and by focusing on value creation and value flows for the internal and by extension also external customers, HR can lead companies through changes that no other department is capable of. The next blog chapter will dive into HR's changing role.