HR Exchange Live: Future of Work – Day 2 Review

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Future of Work_Gen Z sitting on steps working remotely

The future of work is being brought into focus as part of HR Exchange Live:  Future of Work.  Day 2 of the premier online event emphasized the remote workforce, employer branding, and the new reality of employees ruling the roost.  For those not in attendance, here are some of the significant points missed.

Future of Work

Lost Connection

The remote workforce is becoming more common.  According to Luciana Duarte, the Vice President of Employee Engagement for HP, 20% of U.S. workers telecommute (at least occasionally). 

“While some people telecommute every day, others don’t necessarily do it 100% of the time,” Duarte said.  “And then look at that second number: nearly ¾ of telecommuters say their lives are better as a result of telecommuting.”

Knowing that now, with workers not in the office it is much more difficult for them to come in contact with the company culture.  This means meaningful connections are more important.

REPORT DOWNLOAD:  Future of Work and HR

“Most of what we do to engage employees at HP applies regardless of whether or not someone is a teleworker. That’s because we’re in so many different countries and sites and time zones around the world, that we design for various experiences. But there’s a system to how we approach engagement that’s foundational to what we do, and it draws heavily upon the Stanford D School’s design thinking method,” Duarte said.

She explained it boils down to 3 things.

“First, put the employee at the center of the experience you’re creating. Think about what they need to be successful, how they work best, what their current experience is, and how you can get them from where they are to where they need to be. This helps take the conversation from the abstract to the personal level,” Duarte said.  “Once you’ve done that for your key employee types (which we also call “personas”), then you’re ready to design the experience in a way that addresses their key needs.  Finally, keep these key personas in mind by giving them ongoing reminders that they’re important to you. This can happen at both a macro, company level and a micro, team level.”

Creative Employer Branding

Employees are value-driven.  Now more than ever before, employees and applicants are aware of an employer's advertising campaigns, brand communications and charitable works.  People want to align with companies that share their values.  Moreover, these societal shifts translate to the rise of the employer as an "institution of trust."  So, how do HR professionals build this data into their employer branding strategies?

Associa Chief Human Resources Officer Chelle O’Keefe says you must think like a marketer.  Why?

There is a labor shortage happening at this moment.  There are too many jobs and not enough employees.  That means everyone is competing for the best talent.  In a lot of instances, HR professionals are looking to lure talent from competitor companies.  Companies must compete for talent the way companies compete for customers.

For Associa, O’Keefe says her company takes an inside-out approach to making sure there is a common brand experience for each employee while working as talent in the company’s ranks.  In fact, the brand itself is made up of components from each.

O’Keefe says this is critical to their overall employer branding strategy.

“It allows you to recruit and retain talent by strengthening your brand,” O’Keefe said.

Employees rule the roost

When it comes to the future of work, Atrium Health Senior Vice President of Workforce Engagement Sebastien Girard says turn to hockey.  In his presentation, Girard said Wayne Gretzky sums up the game for HR professionals.

“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.”

Essentially, Girard says HR professionals have to start thinking about where their organizations are headed, specifically paying attention to every trend out there.  He focused on four:

Girard says remote work is not going away.  In fact, it will grow and will become a “must” for most employees around the world.  He says we are quickly approaching the reality that every employee is a passive job seeker, especially as technology makes it easy for companies to reach out to potential new employees.

Generation Z is going to be the new face of the workforce.  He says HR is going to have to embrace their entrepreneurial spirit in order to engage them for work.  And finally:  recruiters.  Recruiters are not going away, but they are going to have to adjust to this new paradigm.  In articulating this, Girard pointed to a quote from Forbes.

“The resume submission and application process will also change. Rather than sending a resume, prospects would interact with a series of games and assessments that are custom designed to identify traits and profiles that best map to the profile of the job. The results are analyzed by AI and matched to the position based on the likelihood of success in the role.”

Day 1 Review

Day One of HR Exchange Live:  Future of Work focused on other topics including transforming the HR professional into a technologist, linking culture to strategy, inspiring Gen Z through coaching, and diversity and inclusion.

To read more about these topics and review the speakers from the first day of the event, click here.

In summation

Now that the event is complete, it’s important to point out that the future of work is made up of several different components defined uniquely by each individual organization.  It’s not simply about technology or the latest fad in terms of strategy.  The future of work is really about positioning the organization in such a way that will be attractive to the best workers in the industry and can be agile enough to adapt to changes as they present themselves.  For HR professionals, it’s a time to redefine what it means to be in human resources and to decide what the future of work looks like for HR.