Executive leadership should put more resources into developing future chief people officers, HR leaders say in a report by HR People + Strategy and Willis Towers Watson. "With disruption on the horizon, organizations will require strong, visionary people leaders who can think through the people and talent strategy, and work with management on the business strategy," says Suzanne McAndrew, Willis Towers Watson's global head of talent.
Employee wellness, soft skills training, the use of artificial intelligence and helping employees and robots work together are some of the areas HR should focus on, writes Jeanne Meister, a partner with Future Workplace. "More companies are piloting skills based hiring, or the practice of setting specific skills and competency requirements for a job rather than only looking at a candidate's credentials," Meister writes.
A WorldatWork study showed 70% of companies have financial well-being benefits and more than half say they plan to expand them this year. The report said 35% of companies have increased financial wellness spending in the past two years, 49% have started new financial well-being plans and 59% of HR teams are spending more time supporting these benefits.
HR departments must change their culture "from stability, harmony and internal line of site to dynamic, tolerance for dissonance and external line of sight" before they can be more agile and business-focused with other stakeholders, writes Wayne Brockbank of the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business. Agility not only requires internal understanding but also having a feel for "underlying social, political and economic trends," he argues.
Build a company culture that encourages employees to ask for what they need, writes Wayne Baker, a professor at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business. "Asking for help is an essential ingredient in starting the exchange of resources across our personal, business and professional networks because it initiates the process of giving and receiving," he writes.
Mastercard monitors company conduct, reputation, talent retention and other elements of its culture and keeps the board up to date on progress, says Chief HR Officer Michael Fraccaro. "Our goal of driving a winning a culture with decency at its core is in every one of the corporate leaders' scorecards," he says.
Workday serves as a model for an evolving employee-experience philosophy that focuses on recognition, well-being, volunteerism and personal development, writes Josh Bersin. "It's understanding the emotional, physical, and career needs of your people," he writes.
Companies should consider formal employee engagement frameworks that start by listening to employee concerns and getting executive buy-in, writes Sarah Fister Gale. The framework becomes reality when companies show managers how to be coaches, communicate regularly about engagement efforts to employees and conduct surveys to measure results, she writes.
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