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Human Capital Management

HR Cloud

Interesting Times Lie Ahead
for HR in 2016

Andy Campbell,
HCM Strategy Director at Oracle @axcampbe

As digital transformation takes hold and employees ask more of their employers, 2016 promises to be a milestone year for HR professionals

Andy Campbell

Andy Campbell, HCM Strategy Director at Oracle

Last week we had a look back on the year that has been. Now I would like to turn 180 degrees and cast my gaze ahead: to what 2016 has in store for HR professionals.

As mentioned in my previous blog, big changes are afoot in the world of HR. In an environment where skills are at a premium, employees are taking control of the talent agenda and forcing employers to do all in their power to keep them happy, engaged and productive.

How will businesses react to this this new balance of power and create a workplace culture that is suited to our modern needs? Well, here are a few predictions for what 2016 has in store:

  • Workplaces will transform. It is already happening to some extent, but in the year ahead we can expect to see a further blurring of the borders between work and life as the ‘always on’ culture takes further hold. The topics of wellbeing and employee engagement will continue to dominate as businesses compete to attract and retain the best talent. First generation cloud solutions have been typified by the mobile enablement of applications, functionality that is now pervasive. More advanced second generation cloud solutions offer much greater focus on social collaboration, borrowing heavily from the way in which consumer-facing social media services facilitate sharing, cooperation and team working. Embedding such tools within business processes such as performance management reviews and social learning resonates with more modern ways of working and will start to realize great benefits next year.
  • Advanced data analytics will enter the HR mainstream. HR will play an increasingly strategic role as businesses seek any and all means to compete effectively and improve organisational performance. Executives favor a ‘facts based’ approach to decision making and HR teams need to ask themselves whether they have the right data to get the insights they need to create a strategic talent management strategy that will attract, retain and develop high-quality employees. In 2016, businesses need to ensure they have the capabilities to understand what drives employee engagement, and what they should do to promote it. The adoption of big data analytics will gather pace.
  • The cloud will extend beyond the confines of HR. Working in the profession it is all too easy to take a blinkered view of HR and see what we do only in terms of the line of business we work in. By operating in such silos we run the risk of missing an opportunity to create more effective HR strategies capable of delivering on business objectives. In 2015, organizations started to look well beyond the HR function and consider the broader applications landscape and this will continue in 2016. The role of Platform as a Service (PaaS) will complement this trend and provide organizations with the ability to integrate all of their applications and data on an enterprise-wide cloud based platform. This will give HR a better view of the entire organization and of how employees are operating within this environment. In other words, HR professionals in 2016 will have a better understanding of the workforce than ever before and be better placed to help line managers drive performance.

So these are my three key predictions for the year ahead. Interestingly, they are united by a common thread: digital transformation. Over the next 12 months it is clear that the innovative ways of working and business models enabled by digital technologies – not least the cloud – are going to create new industry winners and losers. HR will need to transform too to create a working culture that attracts the best talent and gives them the tools they need to be as productive as possible.

There we have it, Mystic Meg done and dusted for the year. Be sure, 2016 will be by no means easy – but it sure will be fun.

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