Atomic DNA

6 Trends affecting Strategic Human Resource Management in 2018

Planning for 2018 is most certainly well under way for most of us, but it’s never too late to take in some industry insights. Atomic DNA Account Director, Aisling, writes about 6 trends affecting strategic human resource management she predicts after attending The People Summit.

Conor and I had the pleasure of attending The People Summit a couple of weeks ago, not only was it a well organised day, the content presented was great and the speakers were incredibly generous with their knowledge and insights. Here are some of our key takeaways from the event.

Retention is key in 2018

Globally, employment is entering one of it’s most complex and competitive periods. Between macro events and the rapidly evolving needs of employees, People Ops and HR departments need to tool up. First port of call is keeping the great employees you already have.

Pro Tip:  Losing an employee can cost an organisation between 16-21% of their annual salary. Get the resources needed to build out retention initiatives to reduce this cost.

Invest in Leadership Capability

A couple of speakers touched on the importance of good leadership and quantified the impact it can have on the organisation. I think we can all attest that many employees fall into leadership roles through tenure or performance, this unfortunately does not necessarily mean they have the skills needed to lead a team. How mindful are we of nurturing leadership skills in our organisations? Good leaders result in teams that are three times more productive.

Pro tip: Are your line managers skilled, able, and motivated? This is the gap analysis we need to perform across all leadership positions in our organisation.

Good Communication – Ego is the Enemy

Another area often taken for granted is communication. Consistently good communication can reap huge rewards regarding productivity and retention.

On an individual level, we need to manage natural tendencies and provide an environment where constructive dialogue is the standard. Luke Monahan from the Mediation Foundation of Ireland called out our “Fix it” brains as unsuspecting blockers of clear communication. Our desire to get team members quick solutions to their problems without getting to the root of the problem is something I can certainly recognise.

Pro tip: Control your impulses when dealing with employees’ issues. Listen to understand the problem, not quickly fix the problem.

Generational IQ

With up to five generations working side by side within an organisation, having a sharp understanding of the demographics of your organisation has never been more necessary. Have you mapped the generations of your organisation? How are these generation interacting together? Have you adapted your communications to translate across these generations? There is a lot to look at when considering the generations in your organisation, not only from the point of view of who is there now, but who do you want to attract.

Pro tip: When looking to attract a GenZ cohort of employees, consider the influence of their parents in recruiting!

Overcome Inertia with Design Thinking

Tony Lawless from Irish Life gave us all lesson in how to make even the most mundane topic engaging. Reviewing and investing in the user experience of the Irish Life product line has resulted in massive increases in employee participation.

This is an example of how incorporating design thinking into employee engagements can transform even the dullest of initiatives into high participation employee schemes.

Pro Tip: When trying to get employees to engage in programmes consider ‘Opt-Out’ versus ‘Opt-In’ as it can massively increase participation rates.

Include People in Decisions

Here is an obvious and simple thought that is just not considered enough; involve people in the decisions that affect them. No one was suggesting organisations ruled by the crowd, however, taking the time to at least gather and hear feedback from a cross-section of the organisation provides decision makers with important context and employees with a voice.

Often by simply asking employees what they want you can achieve very easy quick wins.  

Pro Tip: Action is better than inaction. Make things easy to implement by keeping it simple. Responsive. Resourceful. Aligned.

A parting message from the conference and one I have to include here; while it is very well to passively absorb all of this great information, either through conferences or reading articles like this, it’s what action you take from it as a result that counts.

So I’ll leave you on that, what can small actions can you begin to take to improve your workplace?

If you’d like to find out how Atomic DNA can help kick-start your human resource strategy for 2018, get in touch!

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