Remember the day when all of us were sent home from work for the last time in 2020? Offices shut down, employees are forced to pack their workstations and work from home.
Today, more people work remotely than ever before, and most of them want to continue in hybrid model work. Companies invest in new technological solutions, allowing employees to work in resilient and productive environments.
How will flexible workspaces respond to these needs? And what can we expect in 2022 and beyond?
1. Learning in the flow of work is here.
For many years, we have recognised that employees learn best on the job.
That’s why Josh Bersin, a global industry analyst and founder of Bersin academy, introduced the concept of ‘learning in the flow of work.’
It essentially means employees can easily access the answer to a question through a short, bite-sized piece of content while working.
Many companies realise the importance of the concept by using tools and technology integration to maximise employee productivity and sharpen their skills.
For example, if an employee is unsure of the steps of performing a task, the organisation needs to have available curated learning content that is easily and quickly accessible.
This way, employees can complete their tasks more effectively, enabling them to take ownership of their performance and keep them more motivated.
Ultimately, it is about making learning proactive by pushing the relevant knowledge to the right person at the right time.
“For learning to really happen, it must fit around and align itself to working days and working lives,” Bersin suggests that corporate learning should be part of an employee’s every day at the scale of “just what you need.”
2. Skills Taxonomies and Intelligence Platforms are the “next big thing.”
Suppose you have a complete and accurate list of skills for your employees, candidates, and jobs. What can you do with them?
You can automatically match candidates to specific job openings, discover internal talents for projects, identify the skill gap between a person and the job want, develop career paths between jobs with similar skills, and more.
However, it’s not easy to analyse all the jobs in the world. Even if you want to get it right, you still need a smart technology or a tool to help you.
It goes beyond looking at the data available on a job or person to decide what skills they have, or what jobs might be similar.
It turns out that there is still no mature “integrated skills platform” in the HR tech market yet. Companies like IBM, Revelio Labs, and SkyHive are currently leveraging third-party data from other vendors to cross all talent applications.
While it’s important to recognise skills taxonomies based on the AI approach, there are still limitations on what the current technology can do. But this is still a hot new topic worth exploring, especially for HR tech professionals.
3. Employee listening explodes with growth.
You listen to your customers’ likes and dislikes so you’d know how to retain them and propel growth, and the same holds true to the employees.
Just when the work-from-home trend began in early 2020, the HR department had to rely on collaboration tools, pulse surveys, listening tools to make up for the lack of employee in-office interactions and socialisation.
This is one of the ways to get direct and honest feedback from employees, to address issues before it’s too late and to find out what worked and what didn’t.
Your employees want to be heard just as much as customers do, because if you don’t, they won’t be productive and feel demotivated at work.
That’s why tools like Glint, Medallia, Perceptyx, Peakon, Qualtrics, and others have grown over the past decade, and now it is more robust, advanced, and ready to replace your standalone survey tools. So, don’t lose good employees and the potential to improve your business by failing to listen.
4. Performance, talent, and learning converge.
Employees today need to know where they’re going, and how to get there. It’s not just setting arbitrary goals for them and not giving them a direction to start improving.
Here’s the problem: the lack of synergy between performance and learning makes an employee feel little connection to the development plans you set for them. And there’s a scant guarantee that learning will produce performance or behaviour changes — it is a critical piece of the puzzle companies cannot ignore.
Therefore, in the current HR tech market, companies steer away from standalone performance management tools towards much more integrated talent management platforms.
It is a convergence of outcomes, content, learners and technology that ultimately drives performance to help team leaders, managers, and executives manage their people, coupled with HR.
5. The Talent Marketplace arrives.
Your employees are much more than what you hired them to do and what they have been doing in the company.
What they are constantly looking for in their careers is the “best alternative” based on their skills and experience to work in different projects or job roles.
Thanks to the new technology, new tools called “talent marketplace” solutions make it easier to move internally within an organisation to support employees by helping them with what they want to be and do.
Organisations can tap into unknown or hidden talent and understand employees’ abilities and help them acquire skills for rapidly changing business needs.
A lot of vendors in the HR tech market are galloping towards the concept of less about careers but more about experience and skills, giving employees the control and insight that they need to feel empowered at work.
The HR tech market has been turned inside out, and now it is entirely focused on employees, not HR.
The change won’t stop coming at the speed at which your organisation can keep pace will play a key role in defining your place in the market, starting from your employees.
The evolution of HR technology is influencing the way how companies operate, the strategies they use, and the employees they work with, bringing a holistic view of employee wellbeing, and supporting a more engaged and productive workforce.
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