What’s on your HR holiday wish list?

As 2016 draws to a close, we can reflect on what has been an eventful year around the world, with lots of social and political change. And, with the New Year just around the corner, now is an opportune time to think about what 2017 will bring in business and people terms.

During recent conversations with prospective customers looking to reinvent their HR next year and achieve better outcomes for their employees and their companies, we’ve noticed a pattern of recurring frustrations that include: inefficient HR processes, poor people visibility, and an inability to optimize employee experiences. It’s also interesting to see that tolerance of these issues is fast running out as HR leaders’ understanding of how to eradicate these problems with modern HR and people systems continues to increase.

So with these discussions in mind, we thought we’d put together a HR holiday wish list that outlines what industry professionals most want (and need) to achieve next year.

  1. Automation and integration

Believe it or not, many businesses are still working with outdated and ineffective manual HR processes that create all manner of HR horrors. Instances of employees being underpaid, or indeed, not paid at all, are rife in the news. For those of us who’ve been benefitting from automated global HR systems for some time, the prospect of ever returning to the era of Excel – and all the duplication, inconsistency and inaccuracy that that presents – does not bear thinking about. For many however, this is still a daily reality, and so not surprisingly, a move to automated HR is top of their 2017 wish list.

Going a step beyond this, we often hear about HR functions operating in siloed ways whereby data cannot be integrated with that of other business departments. More shocking still, are the instances we hear about when core HR data such as pay and benefits information is kept separate to other key HR information relating to, for example, talent management. These inefficient ways of working should no longer be happening, yet they continue to cost modern multinationals dearly in bottom line terms.

  1. Analytics – intelligence over instinct

With integration comes better insight and more robust people data to work from. Armed with the right information and an analytical mind, HR can now easily identify patterns relating to, for instance, employee absence and turnover, which supports future planning and long-term cost-savings.

The challenge now? Ensuring a dedicated focus to analysis through hiring roles such as data scientists and people scientists. A recent survey from the US Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), showed that demand for data analysis skills is a key growth area in the US labor market, with 59% of organizations expected to create more data analysis positions over the next five years.

  1. People not process

This past year, we’ve seen more and more business leaders prioritizing their people by ridding themselves of productivity killing processes. That’s great to witness.

Amongst industry innovators, we’re seeing talk of ‘people analytics’ where data is used to gain a better understanding of individual employees so that their workforce experiences can be tailored in line with their personality and preferred ways of working. It goes without saying that this approach provides significant improvements in talent retention terms, and in our eyes, should feature on HR holiday wish lists around the world.

2017 is set to be promising year for HR progression and we’re really excited to see how these advancements will transform business for the better. If you’d like to learn more about becoming a ‘People Company’, we’d love to hear from you – please get in touch anytime.

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