The 16th HR Congress was held in Amsterdam between 29-30 November. There have been a number of well known professors, leaders and HR executives talking about the challenges we are facing nowadays. Presentors included Dr Dave Ulrich, Dr Konstantin Korotov (ESMT), Dr Lynda Gratton, Dr Erin Meyer (INSEAD), Dr Paul Sparrow – just to name a few.
One large topic discussed was that HR – as a profession – is at a crossroad. Either it is capable to reinvent itself or will no longer be part of the leadership teams with a seat at the decision making table.
The main critic of HR (that I fully agree with) are as follows:
- technologies applied in the current HR model have not delivered the expected results
- HR is not capable to develop holistic and strategic solutions
- in most cases the HR leaders lack the necessary skills and capabilities to become a partner of business leaders (for example can’t handle big data and HR analytics topics)
- operating the HR Business Partner model is still full of challenges (yet it is in its 5th generation).
All that was said during the conference further reconfirmed my personal motto and was already convinced about: if you want to become (good) HR professional you must learn mathematics! It has been the only language understood by business to date but with the paradigm shift due to big data the importance of it has further increased.
Another large topic was centered around analysing the employee experience, the employee centric company and employee happiness were mentioned, and the role of HR in establishing or transforming the culture of companies was discussed. We also heard about the future HR challenges that include:
- supporting the (information) overloaded employees
- managing the increased number of conflicts due to – for the first time in history – four generation working together
Dr. Lynda Gratton presented that since the 50s the average life expectancy has increased by two years in every decade. So the one thing we can be absolutely sure about is that we will work longer (unless we have been saving 40% of our salary since the very beginning which is unlikely based on the current consumer loan trends).
This trend will impose further challenges on HR becasue it will require the complete rethinking of onboarding and training of newcomers, the compensation structures, the current approach towards the 50+ workforce (if we are honest to ourselves we know its a huge issue today!) and I could continue.
At the exhibition of the vendors we saw technology solutions that can replace the performance discussion and support big data driven bilateral real-time 360 feedback exchange.
What did I take home with me? Two questions. I am wondering about how large is the gap for Hungary lagging behind the international trends? Does the management of mid and large companies recognise that not everyone understands and make good HR professionals and that a bad HR practice costs a lot more that hiring a good (but not cheap) HR professional?
I do not know the answer yet but as you can see there is no HeRo without HR…so I believe we must cHaRge up!