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Five trends for CHROs to look for in the future


According to new research from Mercer, more than three-quarters of top-level executives predict major disruption in the next three years – jumping from just 26% in 2018.

However, 80% of chief human resources officers (CHROs) are of the belief their organisation can be a leader in embracing disruption in their respective industries. Preparation was seen as the key factor in managing change.

Here are the five takeaways from the report on how the world of work will be transformed in the coming years:

No.1 Talent migration is underway

The war for talent is fiercer than ever, with top employees leaving their company to work for organisations that boast better pay, have adapted to newer technology and promise better work experiences.

But only 33% of HR managers have confidence in their company’s ability to manage this talent migration risk as “very effective” – possibly due to the fact that HR teams don’t feel supported in their efforts to retain workers. Only 29% of HR managers agreed that those at the C-suite level prioritise human capital risks and give them the resources they need to retain the best.

No.2 It’s essential for employees to keep learning

Upskilling and reskilling are becoming increasingly important to CHROs, leaping from ninth to third position in significance in 2019.

To help reduce the skills gap created by the arrival of new technology, just over half the CHROs surveyed worked with their HR teams to develop a future-proofing people strategy, and 45% adjusted the workforce plan to close the skills gaps through a mix of employee-directed learning, formal reskilling programmes and more informal hands-on learning.

No.3 Employees want flexibility – hence the rise of the gig economy

In the research, 54% of employees said effectively managing their work-life balance is one of the top five things their organisation can do to help them excel in the workplace. A total of 82% of them said they would consider working on a freelance basis.

The takeaway here is that if you don’t want to lose your employees to the gig economy, it’s time to give them the flexibility they crave – this means offering negotiable hours and the choice of working remotely.

No.4 Action on diversity is lagging

The report found that delivering on diversity promises was a top workforce concern for companies, but that not enough action has been taken. Only 22% of employees give their organisation an “A” rating for ensuring equity in pay and promotion decisions across the board.

No.5 HR needs to transform the talent experience

As the team that interacts with and reaches every individual in the company, HR has a golden opportunity to shape organisational transformation efforts. But currently, only 40% of HR leaders are involved in the idea-generation stage of major change projects.

This is a missed chance given that 75% of companies stated that they are still in the process of providing an engaging, digital experience for employees, the report states.

Infographics courtesy of Mercer.

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