Summary of Vlog Post by Emma Lokar, HR Intern (Looking for a Summer 2019 Internship)
Future of Work, What Will it Look Like? Emma Lokar, HR Intern
The Future According to Research:
As an intern for CHRO Partners, Emma Lokar, looked into what the workplace will be like as new technology emerges. Many are wondering what it will look like, and how it will affect jobs as we know them today. Emma shares what she found interesting about the research and her personal opinion from her unique perspective coming into the workforce for the first time.
Many speculate that Artificial Intelligence is on the verge of taking over and taking jobs from people as result. While this technology is on its way it will only enhance the jobs that people are doing. It will have the ability to do the jobs most people do not want to do. Such as the tactical sides of business. This will allow people to focus more on big picture, strategy, and making things better. With this being said
People will have to change the way they work with technology, but you cannot replace people.
Technology is on its way to becoming a part of more and more aspects of the way we do work. There are many pieces especially in HR that are still very manual. The reduction of data entry and manual work within the workforce will not disappear overnight. There are still a lot of things that could be improved.
A student should not expect to immediately start big picture, strategic work.
Technology is used in a lot of students’ everyday lives, and it is exciting to be able to take that perspective and possible implement changes within the business. An example of technology taking away the mundane is Cindy’s use of Calendly. Instead of an admin spending 20+ hours a week on scheduling, Cindy simply sends peers a link and they’re automatically added to her calendar at their available convenience.
What Should Employers Do to Prepare?
There are a lot of things employers can do to help prepare for those entering the workforce and making their businesses the best place to work. Emma shares that the best thing employers can do is be open to using and trying new technology and understanding that new employees still have room to learn and grow.
Best Advice: Be willing to try something new. That goes both ways for employers, and new employees.
New technology is created every day. It does not matter what your educational background or work experience is, everyone has an opportunity to learn more.
As new workers enter the workforce, they are eager to learn more, and apply their knowledge into the work they’re doing. Cindy and Emma often go a week without talking, and Cindy leverages technology to allow Emma more time to work on different projects and research. Emma explains that this works perfectly for the kind of work she does for Cindy, but this is not the case for all employees and all jobs. Human interaction can be vital for the employee experience.
Employees need to feel like they are being set up for success, and bosses should be technologically savvy. As a brand-new employee, you are not going to know how to do everything.
Technology in the workplace requires an adjustment to the work you are doing. All parties involved in the business should be willing to give technology a try and be patient its emergence.
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If you would like to read further on the Future of Work Research or the 2018 Employee Experience Survey, please see Emma’s summary. Emma is looking for an internship for Summer 2019. Click HERE to connect with her on LinkedIn.
Research: The Future of Work and Employee Values
What are experts saying what will be the future of work, and what employees will value in the future for best places to work vs what they value today?
There are many components that play a role in what employees’ value in a job, and these factors are also what retains employees in current positions. However, technology is evolving. Researchers are saying they have seen more progress in the last 5-8 years than we’ve seen in 50 years (Manyika, Mckinsey & Company). Across the board employees agree that they value their employee experience over anything. We saw this trend in a recent survey back in May of 2018 that supports this idea. While money and compensation are big factors it is not the top priority. Current research also shows the employee experience is the current state of work, but it will also continue to be the future.
According the Pew Research Center: artificial intelligence and technology, are developing fast. It is necessary for employees to have a wider array of education and skills-building. Individuals are continuing to worry if these advance in technology will take jobs. There are many jobs that technology cannot do, “people will create the jobs of the future, not simply train for them, and technology is already central. It will undoubtedly play a greater role in the years ahead” (Jonathan Grudin, Forbes). This is an opportunity for HR organizations to become agile to create an experience for employees that is Human centered, but still utilizes the latest technology to increase productivity and success in the workplace.
Technology is the future for employees, so what does that mean for HR? How will they adapt to the growing environment and continue to value the employee experience?
For HR it is about creating a new mindset to create new Human Resource solutions. In other words, it is a favorable time to expand the scope of what we are able to accomplish. Susan Peters, SVP of HR, for General Electric has recently appointed a Head of Employee Experience. This new job is working to develop a strategy that “considers the physical work environment and the tools/technology that enables their productivity”. This has been done by reaching outside of the stereotypical Human Resource functions and teaming up with other departments.
Peter Gumbel of Mckinsey & Company says that automation is not taking away work. Historically technology has been developing for centuries, and people continue to work. Technology and Artificial Intelligence will not stop people from working. Employees want to work and continue to be productive. We saw this proven within the Employee Experience Survey. Again, the focus should not be to worry about digital taking over the work of people. It should be centered around teaching employees to work with technology. Zulily is a prime example of how to incorporate the technological advances into the employee experience. They are an e-commerce company and have asked job applicants to submit an Instagram post that best represents themselves, and what they would bring to a team. This is allowing applicants to use technology but gives them an experience that surpasses that of a typical recruitment scenario.
As a current college student who is going to school to work into HR do you see technology as a deterrent for a functional area that is historically known as personnel?
Growing up in a technologically advanced world, and watching my dad work in HR his entire career I have been able to witness how HR processes have been streamlined for employees by the digital industry. Just as current professionals should be growing and adjusting, so should students. While my major is Business Management with an Organizational Leadership concentration, I have adopted a minor of Information Systems. Technology and computers are not going away, and as all the research shows their involvement in business it rapidly growing.
Throughout the last two decades Human Resources has developed away from the personnel stigma that flourished through the 1900’s, and it can continue to evolve and give way for “recruiting, working, learning, and engaging employees” (Forrester on Forbes). There are so many opportunities to make a company the “Best Place” to work, and the automation wave can play an incredible role in that.
Fortune conducted a survey of CEO’s, and 67% of CEOs considered their organizations technology companies. The future of companies is technology, but the employee will still value their experience at work. Therefore, this is not the end of HR or employees it is merely the chance to become “agile, consumer/employee-focused, and go digital” (Mckinsey & Company)
2018 Employee Experience Survey Summary
During May of 2018 the founder of CHRO Mastermind Groups, CHRO Round Tables, and BigHR Events, Cindy Lu, created the 2018 Employee Experience Survey. This survey received 173 responses with a 100% completion rate. 94% of respondents are currently employed, and 22% reported being in Human Resources. The survey included ten questions which yielded the results below.
Questions 1 and 2 asked individuals for a positive employee experience they had, and a negative employee experience. Almost half of positive responses by employees reported positive situations where they were empowered, felt empowered, or were given opportunities to be empowered. This fits within Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs where his tops tiers are self-actualization, and self-esteem. The next highest positive experience was strong leadership. Employees want present leaders, and desire having access to leadership/management. Majority of negative responses dealt with employees experiencing work environments where they felt a lack of trust and transparency. Employees feel as if they are being told one thing and then the company does another. Which highly contrasts the 25% who reported having strong leaders for question one. However, respondents did not contradict themselves between their responses to Questions 1 and 2. With this being said many of the responses for a negative employee experience were more varied with less continuity. There were many responses that were along the lines of “No free coffee in break room” “lunch was not provided in office”. When looking into
Question 3, 4, 5, and the overall employer experience comparatively between HR vs Non-HR respondents. HR employees made up over one-fifth of responses. 75% of HR employees are content with their employers. Although, Non-HR employee responses totaled 84% pleased with employers overall. Despite being happy in their current roles 15 HR individuals out of the 38 responded to the survey with, “Happy but would take a call from a recruiter” for Question 4. Therefore, 40% of HR employees are happy with their job they’d still being willing to look for work elsewhere. 6 HR employees reported they are “Happy and not looking for work outside of the firm”. Responses from question one showed employees are looking for empowerment, growth and strong leadership. Many working individuals associate change of work with upward movement in their careers.
Question 6 asked what a respondent’s level of background is. Only 6 out of 21 of managers experience excellent employee experience, and half of this six are not looking for work elsewhere. When we compare this to what managers responded to the first two questions it suggests respondents had positive experience with leadership but want more autonomy. Management is referred to has a mid-level position. Employees want jobs that allow vertical growth, not just expansion of their scope. However, several managers responded that they enjoyed mentoring individual contributor level positions. C-suite/EVPs made up 22% of responses, and individual contributors made up 20%. They were the majority of responses. When tagging (Autonomy, Flexibility, or Strong Leaders) responses to questions one and two by level 83 out of the 173 responded with answers that dealt with leaders, leader behavior, and leader presence and transparency. This was the highest desire for employees across the board no matter, function or level.
When looking into the response of Question 7: the size of the organization. Data showed that individuals in companies with less than 200 employees were overall more content when looking at their response to Question 3. This shows that smaller companies do a good job of using their size to reach employees and ensure their happiness in the workplace. Question 8 what industry the respondent works in. It was interesting to see that half of those in Information Technology were also companies with less than 200 employees. Question 9 asked if there was one thing you could change what would it be? These answers coincided with the responses for Question 2.
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