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This year’s edition of Oracle HCM World in Chicago saw HR Directors from around the world descend on the Windy City to meet and discuss what’s happening in the world of HR today. It is perhaps appropriate that this was HCM World’s third anniversary as most conversations centred around three distinct themes (hashtagged of course!): #Engagement, #EmployeeExperience, and #Inspiration
In a business environment focussed on agility cost-savings HR cannot ignore the fact that employee productivity is inextricably linked to the company’s success.
Talent management without a doubt emerged as the most important challenge for HR teams. The ability to attract, recruit, integrate, train and important retain talent is a major strategic exercise. To do this effectively HR can’t just focus on traditional employee data like timesheets and administrative information. In a business environment focussed on agility cost-savings HR cannot ignore the fact that employee productivity is inextricably linked to the company’s success, and the most engaged individuals are the most productive.
This reality was reflected in Oracle’s recent Simply Talent: A Western European Perspective study, which found that a large proportion of employees say feeling more engaged makes them more productive and inspires them to deliver a better service to customers. HR needs to take up the mantled on helping to drive engagement. Their efforts have become instrumental to the company’s success.
Part of this involves making employees feel a greater sense of self-fulfilment even outside their day-to-day work. This is why Oracle released “My Volunteering”, a new cloud-based work/life application. My Volunteering allows employees to easily discover and join any volunteer project their company participates in and better integrate their personal development with their career development.
Much in the same was as we filter what we are looking for and what information we want to see when browsing online, employees want a personalised experience at the office as well.
When it comes to managing talent, this year’s attendees agreed that the employee experience is crucial. Every one of us is a consumer, and as such every one of us has preferences in the way we interact with a business – either as customers or employees. Much in the same was as we filter what we are looking for and what information we want to see when browsing online, employees want a personalised experience at the office as well. They want easy access to information that’s crucial for their work, to be able to choose which communication channel they use to interact with each other and clients.
A closer relationship between line managers and their teams and a strategy focussed on people above all else are both essential to delivering on this expectation. HR also needs to simplify and unify its systems to underpin these changes.
Oracle HR Help Desk, another new cloud-based application from Oracle, allows HR professionals to make the employee experience more personal and relevant. It provides a 360 view of the people in their organisation, and allows HR to gauge the effectiveness of measures taken to give workers a more tailored experience.
HCM World would not have been complete with a discussion on how best to manage the future workforce – Generation Y and those that follow. This requires HR to reposition its priorities, a point many of speakers at the event were aligned on.
Adam Grant of Wharton University explained new ways in which HR could help the company get the post out of their employees while Debbie Sterling, CEO of Goldiblox, shared the story of how she launched her start-up to champion #girlpower among young women.
Inspiration also came from some of the leading companies in attendance, with HR leaders from Axa, Xerox, Macy’s, and Pearson all sharing stories of how they have transformed their HR function.
The three themes of HCM World 2016 – Engagement, Employee Experience, and Inspiration – made for its most compelling iteration yet. And, as usual, they were a clear and accurate indication of the more strategic direction HR is headed in.