HR Trend Institute Follows, detects and encourages HR trends Mon, 18 Jun 2018 13:47:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 HR Trend Institute 32 32 69625904 Employee Engagement in the digital age. What does it mean for HR? Mon, 18 Jun 2018 05:49:35 +0000 To increase employee engagement, Internal Communication & Technology are becoming more important, making a Digital Employee Experience Design possible.

The post Employee Engagement in the digital age. What does it mean for HR? appeared first on HR Trend Institute.


Employee engagement is being used by Human Resources for several years now, to promote productivity and performance. Today that focus is expanding  to influencing retention and employer branding. Partially through designing an employee experience without discomfort. Due to the digital Transformation and Industry 4.0 , this will increase the importance of internal communication & technology, making a digital employee experience design possible.

The Employee Engagement Issue

According to the State of the Global Workplace report of Gallup, only 15% of employees worldwide are involved in their work. This means, that 85% would not have invested emotionally in the use of their time, talent and energy, in adding value to their team or in promoting the initiatives of the organisation.

More Gallup research shows that this 85% in the United States costs more than $ 550 billion a year in lost productivity. For the UK, CBfinancial mentions that uninvolved employees are responsible for a productivity loss between £ 52 and £ 70 billion a year. They’ve also calculated that unengaged employees cost their employers between £ 3400 and £ 10,000 in salary.

On the Employee Engagement Index ™   , a survey in over 54 countries and +100k employees, the global score is 7.0/10. Both Americas have the best average score of 7.5/10, Africa comes in second and scores 7.4/10, Europe and Asia have a shared third spot with 6.9/10, closely followed by Australia with 6.8/10.

When adding up the growing cost of recruitment in a war for talent, it is understandable why Employee Engagement is high on the agenda for most leaders and managers. It is also a great opportunity to evaluate the current culture of the company and to adjust to the needs of the employees.

Employee Experience completes the Employee Engagement Strategy

Today, experts talk about addressing the entire Employee Experience, giving more dimension to that culture, to the processes and indicators that determine whether an employee is (and remains) engaged – throughout his career from before the start. This overall process is called The Employee Lifecycle.

employee life cycleSource image:

Using a bottom-up approach to design the experience of the employees is not always a guarantee for more smiles on Monday morning. However it could take away the work related headaches and delivers purpose, engagement, productivity, employer (brand) loyalty and the culture that fits the organisation of the future.

employee experience design loop

Source image:

Investing in a good Employee Experience can be understood as merely investing in the wellbeing of the employees, but goes much further than that. It even goes beyond Human Resources.

“At HR we have to get rid of the idea that we only have the experience of the employee.”What we can do is the “sponsoring” strategy, researching and collecting data about what people are at work, and a multidisciplinary team that tackles the problems at work one at a time. We are in a unique position here because we have so much empathy for all these issues. That is why our role as sponsor and leader is of vital importance. “Josh Bersin (Deloitte)

HR and Internal communications: blurred lines

The role of Internal Communication is not to be underestimated and it affects the reputation of the organisation among employees and customers.

A reputation in business is a complex concept that goes beyond how a company on the outside The individual behavior of employees – their personal brand – and how the rest of the organization looks at your department can all be influenced by effective internal communication. “Institute of Internal Communication

When handling the challenges from above along with the opportunities it can create, Internal Communication is changing its focus to employees and their personal (brand) awareness. Topics like wellbeing, feedback, personal development and career opportunities are appearing on the agenda.

Employee Engagement , on the other hand, is more socially rather than hierarchically determined; the voice of the employee gains in importance – especially when their experience is the fundament of their engagement and has the potential to become the new employer branding.

While Human Resources is introducing rewarding career choices, organising the work life balance, the regular recognition and continuous feedback, Internal Communication learns about enterprise social networks in addition to the standard intranet or collaboration platforms for remote workers and staff.

Moreover, Internal Communication also gains more insight into (human) resources and talent management, which is fuelled by the gig-economy.

Digital Transformation as an advantage

Everything can be done better, considering a score of 7.5/10 in engagement still results in a productivity loss costing over 500 Billion dollar a year in the USA only. Not to mention Europe, Asia or Australia who all have lower scores according to the Engagement Index ™ .

Due to the Digital Transformation, there is a significant increase in the market supply of tools and technology to support the entire employee experience process and thus the employee engagement process, giving the T in ICT a new dimension.

This blurs the line between Internal Communication and other departments, such as Human Resources, which is forced to reinvent itself. Creating the opportunity to tackle multiple HR-related issues in one strategic and operational plan: a design of the employee lifecycle that can be digitally supported in combination with the methods and bottom up approach used in employee experience design: a digital employee experience design.

employee experience designThis way employee engagement can be optimised during a time of digital transformation. Not only by giving employees the tools and training they need, but also by giving them a say in implementing the right technology for the right job and using a more personalised approach during their lifecycle.

In my opinion, when HR is done automating it’s processes with an employee centric approach, it will benefit with (predictive) people analytics. After all, if you can make your employees enthusiastic about the digital change in their employee lifecycle and go into the implementation process together with them, you are in for an engaging ride into a future proof organisation.

I am always curious to hear about the challenges you have to face to deploy a digital employee experience design in your organisation. Do you have any?


The post Employee Engagement in the digital age. What does it mean for HR? appeared first on HR Trend Institute.

18 trends for learning organisations Mon, 11 Jun 2018 05:48:27 +0000 HR trends and opportunities for learning organisations.Tom Haak outlines 18 different trends you can use to improve your learning organisation.

The post 18 trends for learning organisations appeared first on HR Trend Institute.


HR trends and the opportunities for learning organisations

On June 7, 2018, I gave a presentation about “HR trends and the opportunities for learning organisations”. I tried to cover 18 trends in 45 minutes, and as the beamer lost connection a couple of times, the actual presentation time was less. I realise it was probably a bit too much for some people in the audience to digest, at the end of a long and intensive conference day. For the audience of last week, and for all others who are interested in the subject, I prepared a summary, that can be digested as slow or fast as you want.

18 trends

1. Personalisation

The most important long-term trend, in my view, is personalisation. It is related to the employee experience. I have also labelled this trend “From Please the boss to Employee Intimacy”.  Do organisations really take the effort, to get to know their employees (and other people, who are not necessarily on the payroll). What do people aspire? What are their capabilities, what do they want to learn? Generally, organisations do not take a real effort.

In the two pictures below, I try to outline some elements of personalisation, in relation to learning. In the “old” situation: groups of people (new employees, high potentials, leaders) are treated as a group, and receive basically the same learning intervention. Often in a classroom, away from the real work.

learning old

In the new situation, employees (and other people working for an organisation) are treated as individuals. Most learning takes place on-the-job (the lower part of the picture). Tailored to the individual needs, a wide variety of micro-learning solutions is offered. Of course, when people must learn something new that will take a considerable effort, this will happen off-the-job, but preferably not as collective as in the old situation.

learning new

Jimmy Vanasbroeck tweeted, after my presentation (see picture below): “I am fed up with all these trends. Why do we have to try something new every year? What is new about treating people as individuals?”. I totally agree with Jimmy, this is nothing new. The question is: why doesn’t it happen more in organisations? Fortunately, in my view, the movement is in the right direction (but slowly).


2. Selecting for the future

Based on research by the University of Kent, Headway Recruitment made a nice infographic summarising the skills that are best suited for the (short term) future. As some of these skills are not so easy to develop, it is worthwhile to take them into account when selecting new people.

Future Skills

Read: Trends in future jobs.

3. New organisational shapes

Fior HR, and learning and development, a key question is: who do you consider to be in scope for your activities? Only the people on the payroll, or also all the other people who contribute to the organisation (the flexible workforce, students, alumni etc). When organisations work with self managed teams, there is an opportunity for HR to give shape to the important role of personal coaching (see also 14, performance consulting).

4. From individuals to teams and networks

Teams are the main building blocks of most organisations. Learning and development is probably the part of HR that gives most attention to teams (Read: From individuals to networks of teams). In some organisations, HR professionals are transforming into agile coaches. Organisational Network Analysis (ONA) is a technique that can be very helpful in the learning and development domain. For example, to help finding specialists, who can be part of wider learning networks. Some people who are the go-to person in their team for specific problems, can be very valuable in improving the capabilities in other teams as well.

learning network

Read: Organisational Network Analysis.

5. From positions to roles

The slow shift has been going on for years now. The Tayloristic organisation, where everybody has a clearly defined and assigned job, often does not work so well. Especially when the assignments are not so clearly defined, more flexibility is required. The jobs become more flexible, and employees get the opportunity to craft their own job, to make the best fit with their wishes, needs and their capabilities.

Read: The end of static jobs.

6. Micro- and macro learning

Learning content is more and more made available in small chunks. On I found the following definition: “Microlearning is a way of teaching and delivering content in small, very specific bursts”. Microlearning is also related to the trend from just-incase to just-in-time learning: you learn new skills and knowledge best when you really need it and can apply it immediately.

7. Real ‘on-the-job’ training

It makes a difference if an employee must search actively for a learning module that he or she needs, or that the module is offered at an appropriate moment in the workflow, based on real time observations of the behaviour the employee. If there is a meeting with company X in your diary, your personal learning aid might ask: “Do you want to learn more about company X?”. If you are stuck in designing a difficult Excel macro, the Excel chatbot asks you: “Can I help you to design the macro?”. If you have a meeting scheduled with an employee with a low performance rating (the computer get this information in the HRIS), you are offered a short module “how to deal with under-performing employees”.
The solutions become even better if your individual learning style and the level of your capabilities are considered.

8. The Learning Experience (LEX)

The employee experience has many facets. The learning experience is one of them. How do employees experience learning and development? Do they feel an individual approach? Are the learning activities and the learning tools up-to-date and are current technologies used?

9. Speed!

Many HR practices were designed in the last century, when many things were a lot slower than today.
Have you adapted and redesigned your practices? An annual personal development plan is probably not very helpful when it comes to being faster.

10. Granular feedback and 11. Smart technology

Football clubs track their players almost 24/7. On the field, during the training, and while they are sleeping. The data is used to give the players feedback they can use to improve their performance. The combination of data gathered by intelligent devices combined with the observations of the trainers, increases the quality of the feedback. Gathering real-time data on the individual performance of employees is still not widely used. There are privacy issues, and if the data is misused by the employer the trust of the employees goes down. Making sure the data is only used for development can help. Using individual trackers in the workplace will increase, and if the organisation does not provide them, employees will bring their own (like the FitBit and the iWatch). Some tools that show a glimpse of the direction learning tech tools can take are Joonko and Rescuetime.

12. Chatbots

Chatbots are rapidly entering the HR domain, also in learning and development. The chatbot as the interface between employee and learning solutions. “I see you are struggling to complete this article? Can I help?”. Onboarding solution provider Talmundo, for example, is now providing an onboarding chatbot.

Read: The invasion of chatbots.

13. Social Learning and Working Out Loud

Social Learning uses the principal, that people can learn and change their behaviour by observing others. With the current technologies, you can observe many more people than the people who are close to you in the office.

Working Out Loud is a concept (or a movement) developed by John Stepper. The basics: you work in a transparent way, share your knowledge, connect to other people and develop new relationships, and learn from your new connections.

Watch:  this video with John Stepper.

14. Performance Consulting

Especially for developmental purposes, feedback needs to be very specific. I refer to an earlier article, Improving Performance Consulting, for more details. I think it is too ambitious to expect all team leaders to be able to give high quality feedback. Maybe it is better to rely on people who have really developed this skill. These performance consultants can be very helpful, especially in helping top performers to become better.

Read: Improving performance consulting. 

15. Nudging

Wikipedia defines nudging as follows: “Nudge is a concept in behavioural science, political theory and economics which proposes positive reinforcement and indirect suggestions as ways to influence the behaviour and decision making of groups or individuals. Nudging contrasts with other ways to achieve compliance, such as education, legislation or enforcement”.

An example of workplace nudging: an organisation wants to improve the collaboration between different departments. They could have designed a workshop: “Cross-functional collaboration”. They choose to redesign the office interior in such a way (more open space, only one coffee corner per floor etc) that the employees from the different departments inevitably had more ‘casual encounters’.

Read: “Workplace nudging persuades people to desirable behaviour“.

16. Learning Analytics and prescriptive analytics

Continuous measurement is also the norm in the learning and development area. Measure, measure, measure. Most organisations are still at the first maturity level of people analytics (reporting). Predictive analytics and prescriptive analytics are the holy grail for many. A nice example of the application of predictive analytics can be found in a very nice 2015 documentary (in Dutch) about the protocols they use in an emergency call centre (“According to Protocol”).  The call center operators must follow the protocol, that was developed based on the analysis of many calls and the ways accidents were handled. Some people find the protocol a relief, for others is feels like a strait-jacket.

17. Fun

Working and learning can be a lot more fun. Using gamification in learning and development is becoming more main stream.

Read: How gamification will impact corporate learning. 

18. power to the people

Many learning and development initiatives are initiated by the organisation. Often the approach is top-down. What do new employees need to learn? What is the knowledge we expect all the people on this level to have? How can we disseminate the global health & safety standards? Often the approach is not only top-down, but also very generic. Learning solutions are designed for groups of people, and not tailored to the individual needs, wishes and learning styles of individual employees. In our article “8 major HR trends for 2018” we noted two trends that are relevant in this context. We called them “Power to the People” and “From Please the Boss to Employee Intimacy“. Employees will start to look for solutions that can help them to become better. Not only for their current assignment, but also for future assignments (maybe at another employer).

Employees will want to become more independent of organisations, and they will take their own initiatives. The other day, I came across an interesting example in football. There is a company, Your Tactical Analyst, that helps individual players (who pay them) with a thorough analysis of their matches, and giving tips on how to improve their game. The players do this independent of their club, as they feel the club does not focus primarily (and understandable) on their development. These types of services will also appear more and more in the business environment. Power to the people!

your tactical analyst

(Read, in Dutch: “Voor Stefan de Vrij telt elke honderdste van een seconde. Zo analyseert hij z’n eigen spel“).


This article is a summary of a presentation Tom Haak gave for the annual conference “HR in de Zorg” that took place in Affligem, Belgium, on June 7, 2018.

hr in de zorg


The post 18 trends for learning organisations appeared first on HR Trend Institute.

12 trends in recruitment – the video Tue, 05 Jun 2018 11:18:49 +0000 On May 16, 2018, Tom Haak gave a presentation at the HR Masters Summit in Bucharest (part of the Bucharest Technology Week). In his presentation, Tom covered 12 trends in recruitment. This is the video of his presentation.

The post 12 trends in recruitment – the video appeared first on HR Trend Institute.


On May 16, 2018, Tom Haak gave a presentation about trends in recruitment at the HR Masters Summit in Bucharest (part of the Bucharest Technology Week). In his presentation, Tom covered 12 trends in recruitment.

  1. Focus on the candidate experience
  2. Speed!
  3. Advanced profiling
  4. From active to passive candidates
  5. AI powered recruitment and selection
  6. From fixed jobs to fluid roles
  7. Communities
  8. Chatbots
  9. Looking for cultural and personality fit
  10. Fun
  11. Purpose
  12. Teams and Networks

This is the video of his presentation.


The post 12 trends in recruitment – the video appeared first on HR Trend Institute.

Moments that matter: a catalogue Mon, 14 May 2018 04:36:46 +0000 During the employee journey, there are critical moments that are important in establishing the employee experience: moments that matter. 50 moments that matter

The post Moments that matter: a catalogue appeared first on HR Trend Institute.


Moments that Matter – A Catalogue (part I)

During the employee journey, there are critical moments that are important in establishing the employee experience: moments that matter. Jacob Morgan, is his book The employee experience advantage, makes a distinction between three kinds of moments that matter: specific (like the first day on the job), ongoing (like the interaction between employee and supervisor) and created (like the annual office party). I also like the three kinds of moments that matter that are mentioned in an article on the blog of I4CP: obvious, opaque and invisible. An example of an invisible moment they describe: “Walking across the parking lot on a rainy day, an employee sees an executive pull into reserved, covered parking”.

A collection of 50 “Moments that matter”.

1. The job of your father/ mother

“My father was working for a large electronics company. He was always tired, and never talked about this work”.
“My mother is a doctor, and since I was five years old, I wanted to become one as well”

2. The dominant employer in your hometown

“I grew up in Eindhoven, and all the people we knew, worked for Philips”.

3. A look at the website

“I had a look at their website; all the photo’s were stock photo’s, you could clearly see that”.” On the website I found a lot a stories of people who work there, and if I wanted, I could even mail with them!”

4. Online application

“It took me almost an hour to complete the online application form, and they asked a lot of information that was also on my cv”

“Applying online was easy. Just adding a link to my LinkedIn profile, that was basically it”.

5. Some funny tests

“The first part of the recruitment process, I could do from home. I had to complete some funny tests, and then I answered some questions via my phone. Fast and easy”.

6. Carla the chatbot

“After my application, I was contacted immediately by Carla, the recruitment chatbot. She said I could expect a reaction within two weeks. If I had any questions, I could ask her. Somewhat impersonal, but at least I know whom to contact!”.

7. A short e-mail

“After two weeks, I finally received a reaction, a very short e-mail. I was addresses as “Mr”, although I am “Ms”. I hope they know who I am!”.

8. Rescheduling the interview

My first interview was rescheduled three days before it was planned. They did not say why”.

9. The office building

“The office was very difficult to reach with public transport, it took me a long time to get there! I nearly turned around immediately”.

“On the ground floor, there was a kind of Starbucks, very nice! The people I saw there, seemed to have a lot of fun”.

10. The recruiter

“The recruiter was really grilling me; she looked at het watch a couple times and after exactly 45 minutes she stopped”.

“The recruiter was super nice. She contacted me later via Whatsapp, to let me know she already got positive feedback!”.

11. The interviews

“In the end, I was interviewed by seven people, at two different days. Many asked the same questions, like: can you mention three strong points? Or: where do you want to be in five years? Boring”.

12. A personal message

“One of the managers who interviewed me, send me a message a day later: You would really well fit well in our team. Please contact me, if you have any questions”.

13. The job offer

“After I waited a while, the assistant collected me, and brought me to the top floor. There all the people I met and some others were waiting for me, with champagne. I got the job! The lady in blue on the left side will be my new boss”.

14. Onboarding

“After I signed the contract, I received a link to the onboarding app. I can introduce myself to my new colleagues, and learn a lot already about the new organisation. I immediately feel at home, although my start date is six weeks from today”.

15. The job title

“Junior trainee…., what do you think?”.

16. The lease car

“I can choose any car I like, as long as it is a Volkswagen Polo”.

17. The first 15 minutes on day 1

“The receptionist did not see my name on the list. They let me wait 15 minutes in the canteen”.

18. Day 1

“Day one was a bit chaotic. Everybody was very busy, and they just gave me some reports to read. My laptop was not ready yet, but I could use another one”.

“They planned a welcome lunch with the team in a nearby restaurant. This really made me feel welcome!”.

19. My first boss

“I learned a lot from her. Although she was very busy, she always had time for me”.

“I hardly ever saw him, he was in meetings most of the time”.

“She was very empathic when my father died”

20. The Big Boss

“The big boss came to my cubicle on Day 1 to welcome me. Please call me Bill, he said”.

“The big boss always parked his golden Jaguar on parking spot number 1. When he took an elevator, we were supposed to take the next one”.

“Big Boss? We have no Big Boss”.

21. Open plan, but not for the boss

“I hate to work in the open plan. There is too much noise, and I cannot concentrate. The boss has a nice corner office”.

22. My first assignment

“They really needed me, and I had to jump in from the first day”.

“It took three weeks, before I was put on my first assignment. I almost left”.

23. Coffee

“I go downstairs to buy a cup of coffee, what comes out of the machine is undrinkable”.

24. The first pay check

“Today I received my first pay check. I don’t understand why it is such a low amount!”.

25. The challenging assignment

“I was asked to go to India, with Beth, and investigate some potential targets. We learned a lot!”

26. An expensive dinner

“When the new client signed, we were all invited to celebrate in this fantastic restaurant. A bit over the top, I would say. They ordered wine that costed US$ 200 per bottle!”.

27. No work today

“There was no work today, I could do something for myself. Going home was not option”.

28. Missing on the schedule

“Everybody’s name was on the schedule, but I could not find mine. The planner had forgotten to plan me in, I found out”.

29. The international trip

“We went to the US, to meet the clients. The partner traveled business class, we were in the back of the plane”.

30. A vacancy in our team

“There was a vacancy in our team, but I was not asked what my views were”.

31. They rejected my friend

“I told a friend about a good opportunity at our organisation. He applied, and he received one of those standard rejection letters. I never heard back from HR”.

32. Talks at the coffee machine

“I avoid the coffee machine, they are always gossiping about other colleagues”.

33. The crisis

“We nearly lost a big client. The management team was in the board room for days, but they never communicated with us, or asked our help”

34. Why did they fire her?

“Monique was one of the best. Why was she fired?”.

35. Jokes

“I find his jokes disgusting, but everybody else seems to like them”.

36. Conflict with a colleague

“Jack is always picking on me. I mentioned it to my supervisor, but he said: Jack is Jack”.

37. I really need a day off

“I need to take a day off to go to the hospital with my mother, but I am afraid to ask”.

38. The performance review

“The annual performance review was disappointing. My boss said, I am not “charismatic” enough. Look who is talking!”.

39. The conference call

“We were in the conference call with 12 people. Kurt said something the boss did not like, and he (the boss) became very angry. It was embarrassing”.

40. Burned out

“Liz is the third person from our department, who is home. Burned out, they say. Don’t they see the workload is too big?”.

41. A new account!

“When we acquired a new account, it is always celebrated, with coffee and cake”.

42. A possible promotion

“Doris was promoted to team leader. Why was I not considered? I am sure I can do a better job than Doris”.

43. Salary increase

“My performance rating was a three, and my salary increase 1.5%. I must be glad, because many people got less, he said”.

44. Bonus

“Yesterday I received a nice bonus for the work I did on Project X. I was called into the office of the director, and she gave me the bonus and a nice bottle as well!”.

45. One more month, please!

“They know I want to work in another team, but again they asked for one more month, as the client is so happy with me….”

46. Working overtime

“I promised to be home by six, but we had to work overtime, again”.

47. My last day

“There were some tears on my last day. I have had a great time at this company, but it is time to move on. I can always come back, they said!”.

48. Reference

“I asked my old boss for a reference, but his secretary says he is too busy”.

49. Catching up

“I went to my old office yesterday. Great reception, many of the old team are still there. We went to lunch together, and we will keep in touch”.

50. I have got some work for you

“I referred some clients to my old company. They never thanked me”.


The post Moments that matter: a catalogue appeared first on HR Trend Institute.

Will Digital Detox Day (DDD) become a trend? Tue, 01 May 2018 08:32:19 +0000 In this article, Roos Hijner describes her experiences with the Digital Detox Days she introduced in het life. She describes the positive effects. Will Digital Detox Day become a trend?

The post Will Digital Detox Day (DDD) become a trend? appeared first on HR Trend Institute.


When was the last time you were offline for a whole day?

When was the last time you were offline for a whole day? Or even an hour, non-stop, besides from the obvious of being asleep at night or during a flight? Although the latter might not even be obvious anymore, hence now already eight airlines offer free inflight Wi-Fi.

These days they say that being offline, having tech-free hours, is the new luxury. From your work life, to your personal life. Have you ever tried, or denied, to change your digital habits?

Digital Detox

I am talking about the so called digital detox, better known as “a period during which a person refrains from using electronic devices such as smartphones or computers, regarded as an opportunity to reduce stress or focus on social interaction in the physical world”.

Since the beginning of 2018 every week – or two weeks, I decide to digitally disconnect for a day from the hyper-connectivity to be able to real-life reconnect. Last week, when I had my “offline day”, it was so busy on the digital highway on my iPhone I decided to stay offline for a little bit longer.

Why, you might ask yourself.

“…once she stopped running through life, she was amazed how much more life she had time for.”

In really paying attention, I believe you will probably or at least potentially run into beautiful things that might have been there all along, but escaped your eye because there were enough distractions happening in the same moment. Sometimes you hear that “standing still is going backwards”; I think that we don’t stand still often enough, because everybody always seems in a rush. If you ask someone how they are, answers will often begin with “busy” or “tired” (…but good). Just out of curiosity: what were your last three answers to that question?

I know: to get where we want to be, must be determined, persistent and continuously experiment (and to add the obvious: have fun). But I’d like to believe that I don’t have the time to rush nor hurry and that strength shows not only the ability to persist, but also the ability to stop and/or start over. Think about it: nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. So, I think it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.

Mindful, not Mindfull

Because for me, this exercise was about being mindful (instead of mindfull) and having a growing sense of curiosity towards my surroundings. For example, at an airport, where I was earlier today. It is one of my favourite places to look around as a spectator of life, to simply enjoy what’s happening around me. Wondering where everybody’s going, what I would find in the suitcases of my fellow travellers, things they can’t cross the border without. So many people, so many story’s… Where traveling can leave you speechless, it then turns you into a storyteller – right?

But I also noticed once again, that our daily interaction is mostly via a screen. We wake up to them, we come home to them, and we carry them around in our pockets all day. Even people traveling together aren’t holding hands – they’re holding their phones. And while having a quick bite before take-off, the devices are on the dinner table, screens facing up. Instead of making eye-contact to interact, they are looking down on their screens that lights up asking for their attention. It’s probably next to their pillows when they go to sleep tonight too… with the excuse they need it to wake up in the morning, like actual alarm clocks don’t exist anymore. And as soon as they reach to turn it off in the morning, they’re just one swipe away from checking messages… What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

And in a way, we can’t help it. Every new notification or text triggers the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that drives us to seek rewards; so, you keep coming back for more. And of course, technology may be incredibly useful – it allows us enjoyment and connectivity, it can help us learn new things, save time and work smarter – but it can also be detrimental to our wellbeing in unhealthy doses. Did you know the pressure to be constantly connected has been linked to burnout? It’s time to break free from this constant exposure of digital overload.

The right to disconnect

Probably that is why the past few years several organizations and even countries worked on ways to avoid the compulsive lure of technology. As of 2011, Volkswagen’s servers don’t send or receive emails from company-owned smartphones between 6:15 pm and 7 am on weekdays and weekends. In 2014 Daimler introduced an ‘out-of-office’ auto-delete option, whereby all emails that are received while on holiday are automatically deleted. Or as Adam Atler described their message in his TedTalk “Why our screens make us less happy“: “This person’s on vacation, so we’ve deleted your email. This person will never see the email you just sent. You can email back in a couple of weeks, or you can email someone else.”

And since 2017, French companies with more than 50 employees are even required by law to guarantee workers the “right to disconnect” from technology when they leave the office at night.flowDuring my own five days of being “disconnected”, I found myself drinking a nice latte macchiato in a cafe downtown. On the coffee table a magazine, Flow; a magazine of unhurried time, all about doing things differently and making new choices. Small happiness, daily life and the beauty of not always managing to be perfect. Staring at the cover, I tried to remember the last time I sat down to read something else than my work e-mail or a textbook about HR to prepare for a lecture… Then my phone rings. It’s my mom, wondering if I am still alive. Because although she knows I sometimes have my DDD (digital detox day), she was getting worried now because this was ‘next level’ online absence. Talking about disconnect to reconnect.

One of the things I learned was that the more that you slow down your life, the more you fall in love with it each day. That besides the noble art of getting things done, there is a (maybe even) nobler art of leaving things undone. Like one of my favourite proverbs writes: there is a time to run and there is a time to rest. It’s the true test of the runner to get them both right.

Try digital detoxing!

Now you’re about to finish reading this article – ironically via a screen – I invite you to try some digital detoxification for yourself. You don’t have to say goodbye to the digital world altogether or quit using your device, but try to use it less and more conscious by unplugging periodically to start with. For example, take 10 minutes and get away from all screens every 90 minutes to two hours during the workday. Charge your battery to only 50% and leave your charger and power banks at home when you go out. Leave your phone in your bag or pocket during business meetings, meals with other people, or conversations. Keep your phone out of sight while commuting. Don’t take your phone with you into the toilet, or when you go to the supermarket. Turn off all pop-up/banner-like/sound alerts and push notifications. Maybe even delete social media and other time-wasting apps from your phone. Leave your phone outside your bedroom overnight or start with simply putting your smartphone on airplane mode – from an hour before you go to sleep, till an hour after you wake up. Find a detox buddy and tell everyone what you’re doing. And don’t give yourself a hard time if you fail at first or when you experience nomophobia (short for no-mobile phobia).

Have you successfully completed your digital detox? Noticed effects on your sleep rhythm, concentration, energy and stress levels? What benefits of your digital detox are you going to introduce into your everyday life? Let us know what you did and how you felt afterwards.

Good luck – and don’t forget to have fun!


The post Will Digital Detox Day (DDD) become a trend? appeared first on HR Trend Institute.

Ask Tom! Mon, 23 Apr 2018 07:05:41 +0000 Ask Tom. Regularly I receive questions, via e-mail or LinkedIn. Sometimes I answer. Some of my answers I will collect in this post.

The post Ask Tom! appeared first on HR Trend Institute.


Ask Tom!

Regularly I receive questions, via e-mail or LinkedIn. Sometimes I answer. Some of my answers I will collect in this post. The answers will be edited a little bit, to make sure organisations and people cannot be recognised. Questions can be asked via LinkedIn or e-mail.

1. We need an engagement survey, quick

The Question:

One of our consultants is doing some work at a mid-size client. She is looking for someone who can help with design and execution of an engagement survey. Do you know somebody/ Do you have some quick advice?

Tom’s answer:

Some quick thoughts:

  1. Some time ago, I published an article about Trends in employee mood measurement.
  2. The trend is from from the traditional annual or bi-annual survey to real time mood measurement.
    employee surveys
    Many organisations are introducing pulse surveys, often with questions that change per round (weekly, monthly, quarterly). There are many tools available that do a good job (as Impraise, TruQu, Peakon, CultureAmp, Peddy and Effectory). If the organisation uses Slack, you can use one of the Slack plugins (like Polly and Captain Feedback).
  3. Do-It-Yourself might seem attractive, but I think this is generally a bad choice. You lose a lot of time, and the effort is often greater than you think. Of course, you can build a quick survey with Google Forms or SurveyMonkey. Using one of the above mentioned tools might cost a little more set-up time, but you don’t have to reinvent the wheel, and you have a more sustainable solution.
  4. Response bias has to be taken into account. There seems to be a natural order of subjects, if you arrange them from positive to negative. Employees are most of the time relatively unhappy about their packages and the internal communications (especially from top management). Of course they are happier about their own contribution and their immediate colleagues. Far away is more negative than close to home. If you just start working on the aspects that come out of the survey as most negative (pay, communication), you might be wrong. Benchmarking helps, even if it is only internal.
  5. The responses also vary greatly per nationality. People from Japan and UK are on average a lot more negative than people from Mexico or Italy. Also here, it helps to have good benchmarks.
  6. Jacob Morgan is an employee experience guru. He has developed a nice short questionnaire you can use to calculate the Employee Experience Index. It is available on his website.

Added April 23, 2018


2. How does individualisation work in teams?

The question:

A question was asked in relation to the infographic 15 HR Trends.

“How do machines and chatbots make things more human? How does individualisation work in teams? How do you improve internal performance when your getting your talent everywhere and how does HR become strategic when there are all these contradicting trends?”

Tom’s answer:

We can learn a lot from dilemma reconciliation. You view some things as contradicting, but maybe they are not. Focusing on the needs and wishes of individuals, for example, can help us to create better teams.

Many people who apply for a job, get an e-mail like  “Thank you, we have received your application and you will get a reaction within two weeks“. And then they never hear again. Maybe it is more human, to be contacted by a friendly chatbot. “My name is Jack, I am the recruitment chatbot of company X. We have received your application, and hope to finalise the first selection within two weeks. Do you have any questions for me? You cal always contact me, I am available 24/7. If I do not know the answer to a question, I will find someone who can”. 

Maybe you can improve performance a lot, if you have access to a wider pool of people to staff your projects, not just the internal pool.

Added April 23, 2018

3. How to organise content?

The question:

Hi Tom! How are you ? I have  very simple question for you…
I’m trying to find a good way to organise inputs and contents. By process, technology ? I don’t know… I have an email folder structure and use pocket with categorised articles …
I like the Bersin frameworks or categories… but I haven’t found the best “container” or tag list.

Tom’s answer:

Some remarks on organising content.

  1. The best advice is: do not organise, but trust on your search engine. Just throw all the content in one big basket, and if you are looking for something, just search. It requires some discipline and trust, but I think it can work.
  2. I am a big fan of Evernote. I use it both mobile and on my desktop. If I see something interesting, I put it on Evernote. If I am at a conference, I make notes on Evernote. If you want, you can tag and put information in different notebooks. I started to do that, but now I just rely on the search capabilities of Evernote (which are good).
  3. To put HR Tech solutions is a basket, we use the employee journey as a guiding principle. Have a look at to get a view.

Added April 23, 2018

4. Stopping with performance management?

The question:

Tom, do you know organisations that have stopped with performance management? We want to start with a pilot, but first I would like to gather some more information.

Tom’s answer:

I do not know organisations that have stopped. Many organisations are redesigning the performance management process. Below two slides I recently used in a presentation about “Performance Management in agile organisations”.

performance management

performance management 2

Some more information in the links below; my personal view is captured in the first three articles:

 Added on April 25, 2018

5. What is the alternative for job descriptions?

The question:

Dear Tom,

My colleague and I attended the HRcoreLab in Barcelona. I have followed a lot of presentations in the HR Agility stream, and one of the topics in your keynote has been particularly memorable.

For our organisation, we are working on a new structure and we are establishing new job descriptions. During your keynote,  you mentioned that many of the standard HR instruments are no longer suitable, and that we need to develop new approaches.  I am all for, however, I find it difficult to achieve this. Could you perhaps indicate what criteria a job description ‘new style’ should meet,  in order to continue to be useful as a tool in HR Management?

Tom’s answer:

Hi, nice that you were in Barcelona!

Some quick thoughts:

1. I wrote an article: The end of static jobs. There are also a few references at the end of the article.
2. It is certainly not easy!
3. Question is,  what you will use the job descriptions for. Often it is mainly for the link to pay, and here I have not seen many innovative concepts.
4. The type of organisation is certainly important, and also the way in which work is done (self-managing teams require different tools than a more hierarchical organisation).
5. ‘Keep it simple’ is always good advice! Better a few very wide profiles, than than a very granular structure.
6. This also applies to reward: broad branding and not too many scales.
7. One of the challenges is, to deconstruct individuals into the different capabilities they have, with an indication of the level. Function profiles could then be a cluster of capabilities, that are often required together. A company that is developing tools in this domain is Blue Carpet.
8. I certainly know innovative consultancy companies that can help. Just let me know. One of my favourites in The Netherlands is Focus Orange (also of course because if the name).

Success, let me know if you need more, an hour of brainstorming via Skype is always possible!

Added on April 25, 2018

6. What are the latest crisp training methods?

The question:

Hello Tom… Could you please let me know what are the latest crisp training methods being used in the industry to train employees like bite sized learning nuggets, just in time content, etc…Would love to know and use them in my college assignment.

Tom’s answer:

Please have a look at:

Movement in this area is slow. In the consumer domain you can find some examples (Duolingo). Applying these techniques in the healthcare domain (hospitals) is also starting. Success, there is a lot to find online.

Added on May 1, 2018

7. Capability frameworks for Leadership

The question:

I would be very grateful if you could provide me any link/online material on “capability frameworks” for leadership and how to create one. I am pursuing my MBA in HR now and need the information for my assignment. It would be very helpful if you could give me any contacts whom i can reach out to.

Tom’s answer:

Thank you for your question. This is a very broad subject and loads of literature has been published. My advice would be to get more focus in the subject, otherwise it is easy to drown. The subject has many angles. Leadership is always contextual. It is about an individual, the team, their organisation and the environment they are working in. If you google on ‘leaderhip + competencies’ you will get a lot of hits. Some examples:

Some quick thoughts on more focus: What kind of leadership is required in flat organisations? Is there a relation between Big 5 personality profile and suitability for leadership positions? What er effective measures to increase the number of women in leadership positions?

Added on May 1, 2018









The post Ask Tom! appeared first on HR Trend Institute.

Test: does your personality fit with the HR profession? Tue, 17 Apr 2018 04:26:28 +0000 Do you want to find out, to what extend your profile fits with the HR profession? The Swipeable is a simple personality test, based on the Big-5 factor model, that can be used for that. We want to test the test with a group of 250 people.

The post Test: does your personality fit with the HR profession? appeared first on HR Trend Institute.


On April 17, 2018, we reached 250 participants, so the test is closed. 

The Big 5 factor model

The Big 5 factor model is widely used in personality tests. In its traditional format, you must answer many questions in a questionnaire. People responsible for selection, in organisations and agencies, are looking for simpler and more attractive ways to conduct personality testing. Speed and visual attractiveness are high on their wish list.

The “Swipeable”: easy and fast testing

Peter van der Bel, of the Centre for Applied Product Personality Research, showed me an interesting new development, “The Swipeable” (working name). He and his team developed an adaptive Big 5 personality test, that can be completed in a couple of minutes. On your smartphone, you are presented with a series of each time two pictures, and you must choose the picture that fits you best. After you have made 10-15 choices, your report is ready.

This new test has been validated, and is now ready to be launched. As it is possible, to determine which Big 5 personality profile matches best with certain jobs and professions, the test can be a worthwhile element in HR profiling, matching and selection processes.

Peter and his team would like to test the Swipeable’s matching functionality with a group of HR professionals, and I would like to give maximum 250 people in my network the opportunity to participate.

How can I participate?

Participation is simple:

  • You complete the test (see instructions below)
  • After around 10 days you will receive:
    • Your individual report
    • The best practice report for the Senior HR Professional role
    • The percentage that indicates how your individual profile matches with the best practice profile of a Senior HR Professional (as established based on subject matter expertise)

On May 1, 2018, or when we reach 250 participants, participation is no longer possible.

On April 17, 2018, we reached 250 participants, so the test is closed. 

We will analyse the results and report back to the participants (thank you all!!).

If we decide to do a second round of testing, we will communicate via this blog and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions, please let me know (


The post Test: does your personality fit with the HR profession? appeared first on HR Trend Institute.

How can HR give time back to the organisation? Fri, 13 Apr 2018 10:00:59 +0000 HR: stop with using (wasting) more and more time of the employees and managers in the organisation, please give us some time back! How can HR give time back to the organisation? Some ideas.

The post How can HR give time back to the organisation? appeared first on HR Trend Institute.


Give me my time back!

After a presentation yesterday, I spoke to some senior HR professionals of big multinationals. They liked my preaching about the virtues of HR tech, but warned me that maybe I should also spend some attention to the other side of the coin: the virtues of less technology, combined with the virtues of less HR. In their organisations the assignment to all staff groups was: stop with using (wasting) more and more time of the employees and managers in the organisation, please give us some time back! An example that was mentioned concerned performance management. In this organisation they calculated that all the work around the performance management process for one employee costed manager and employee around 10 hours (preparation, two formal meetings per year, completing the online forms, meeting with HR to review the results etc.). By simplifying the process (no mandatory meetings, no forms, no review meetings, just one annual rating to be submitted per employee by the manager), HR was able to give back many hours to the organisation (to the relief of managers and employees).
Especially with regards to big HR systems the promises have always been big, but most of the time the implementation of these systems and the related standardised global processes, result in more work (and agony), for employees, for managers, for HR and for the implementation partners (who are fuelling this machine, as this is the way they earn their money).

How can HR give back time to the organisation?

Yesterday’s conversation triggered me. I was inspired by the conversation, also because it confirmed some of the trends I published end of last year (“Power to the People“). Some first ideas on how HR can start giving time back to the organisation (I stopped at seven, but the list can be a lot longer). Best way of course is to approach this in a more structured way. Measure the time a sample of managers, employees and HR professionals spend on different activities, and estimate the value these activities add to core activities of the organisation (e.g. serving clients and bringing in new clients).

1. Stop with the formal performance management process

As described above, a lot of time can be saved here. Rely on the employees and their managers to sort things out.

2. No more headcount reporting by HR

Headcount reporting is never easy. The headcount report delivered by the financial team out of the ERP system is always different from the report delivered by HR. Aligning the two reports costs a lot of time. For what sake? Maybe it is best just to rely on the report from Finance.
More general: what is done with all the reports that are prepared by HR?

3. No more talent- and succession management reviews

If I could get back all the time I spent on preparing talent- and succession management reviews, I would be years younger. Most of the time spend on these processes is a waste of time. Window dressing for the Supervisory Board. The outcomes are hardly ever really used, and if there is a critical vacancy good candidates are often brought in from outside. Read: 10 trends in succession management.

4. Reduce the number of HR business partners

I quote from an article I published earlier this week (“10 trends in HR organisations“): “The work of most HR Business Partners is not strategic, but operational. Most of their work can be split in three areas:

  1. Work that should not be done by HR, but by the line managers/ employees (like talking to employees with performance issues).
  2. Work that can be managed by a HR system (like managing the performance reviews).
  3. Work that belongs in the HR service center (like answering all kind of questions from managers and employees).

Big organisations that are transforming their HR, move most of the HR Business Partners and their work to the HR Service Center (where you need less of these kind of professionals).”

5. No leadership credos and what have you

Some organisations are still busy crafting their leadership profiles, often with the help of external consultants. Stopping this is a big opportunity to give some expensive time back to the organisation. Most of these leadership models look very similar. For the communication department: same message, but replace “leadership model” with “purpose statement”.

6. No more “every manager should be a coach”

The credo “every manager should be a good coach” has cost many organisations a lot of time. This is like flogging a dead horse. Most managers are not good coaches and they never will be. Leave coaching to people who like it and who are good at it. Maybe you don’t need them inside your organisation, as there is a big pool of good coaches available outside.

7. Stop with most of the internal general management programs

The internal leadership and management development programs are big time consumers. The effect of these programs if often very difficult to measure, and looking at the average engagement level of employees the hypothesis is, that the effects are minimal. Scrap your leadership academy, and loads of valuable time will flow back into the organisation.

The post How can HR give time back to the organisation? appeared first on HR Trend Institute.

]]> 1 12180
10 Trends in HR organisations Tue, 10 Apr 2018 09:39:13 +0000 HR organisations are changing. What are some of the trends we are sensing? In this article 10 trends the HR Trend Institute sees. Some inspiration to use, when you are considering to transform your HR organisation.

The post 10 Trends in HR organisations appeared first on HR Trend Institute.


HR organisations are changing. What are some of the trends we are sensing?

1. HR is mainly HR Operations

Most of what HR does, can be captured under the label HR operations. World class HR operations are key, and many organisations are carving out and centralising HR operations. Outsourcing or partially outsourcing is certainly an option. Centers in Poland, the Philippines and India are delivering high level services at low costs. Outside the HR Service Center, what is left in HR? Maybe you only need high level HR strategic advice.

2. Focus on service and hospitality

The requirements for the people in HR operations are different, and probably we need a new breed of HR professionals who can run HR as a service organisation. In HR services both IT and hospitality are important. Organisations that measure how employees experience their journey, often find that employees are not very happy with how they can find relevant HR information (often on the intranet). A top-notch HR service centre is very important for a positive candidate and employee experience. 24/7. Friendly chatbots that help employees and managers. High level professionals that can help when the programmed processes do not offer a solution and when the issue is too difficult for the chatbot.
Read our posts: “HR Operations in the lift” and “HR, please give me a menu

3. HR Business Partners in decline

Twenty years ago, Ulrich and Brockbank published their famous HR business partner model, in their book Human Resources Champions. Although not the intention of the authors, there were clearly perceived differences in status between the different roles. Especially on the dimension Strategic vs Operational, most HR professionals favoured strategic above operational. For years, the ambition of most HR professionals was to become a real strategic business partner. Unfortunately, many HR professionals did not have the skills and experience to realise their ambition.
Today we see the first signs of the decline of the HR Business Partner. The work of most HR Business Partners is not strategic, but operational. Most of their work can be split in three areas:

  1. Work that should not be done by HR, but by the line managers/ employees (like talking to employees with performance issues).
  2. Work that can be managed by a HR system (like managing the performance reviews).
  3. Work that belongs in the HR service center (like answering all kind of questions from managers and employees).

Big organisations that are transforming their HR, move most of the HR Business Partners and their work to the HR Service Center (where you need less of these kind of professionals).

4. From HR to People to Workforce

HR as a term seems to last long. In the last years, you see ‘HR’ replaced by ‘People’ more and more. Chief People Officers and VP’s of People Operations are popping up everywhere. The next move is probably to ‘Workforce’. The workforce consists of people and robots/ bots of all kinds. The scope becomes bigger than just humans.

5. Specialists above Generalists

Most of the people that are needed in HR related professions, will be specialists. Specialists are needed in all kind of old and new areas. Old: recruitment, selection, comp & ben, training and coaching. New: people analytics, agile coaches and performance consultants.

6. EX = CX = Marketing

HR is currently embracing the employee experience (EX). Here HR can learn a lot from Marketing, who have for a long time been working on designing and enhancing the customer experience (CX). If Marketing is so good at this, why not assign the EX also to Marketing? Most HR efforts today are focused on employer branding and recruitment. Maybe this is better off in the hands of specialists.

7. Shared resources for Analytics

Data analysts are in high demand. Organisations are gearing up their analytics capabilities in different domains. HR has been lagging, and is now trying to catch up. It makes sense to share the scarce data analytics resources. Create a central team, that can be used by different groups. HR knowledge and experience can easily be added.

8. Systems take over much of the traditional HR work

Although the promises of the big HR systems have been big, many of them have not lived up to the expectations. Early adaptors have spent a lot of money to tailor the systems to their needs, and often the implementation of the HRIS created a lot of work for HR and implementation partners. Persistence seems to pay off now. The HR systems have become a lot better, and organisations realise that if they want to reap the benefits, they better not tailor too much and they better spend the money upfront, instead of half-heartedly, resulting in slow implementations. Connecting innovative specialised hr tech solutions to the bigger systems is also becoming easier.

9. The CEO is also the CHRO

Modern CEO’s are also CHRO’s or Chief People Officers. Do these CEO’s need a CHRO/CPO in their top team? In many organisations the CHRO is basically the Head of People Operations, with the final responsibility for People/ HR Operations. The role of strategic advisor in the people and organisation domain, can also be fulfilled by others, like the big strategic consultancies or HR strategic consultants.

10. From PTB to EI

The tide is slowly turning, from PTB (please the boss) to EI (employee intimacy). Really understanding the wishes, needs and capabilities of employees is getting more important, and this employee intimacy is required to design relevant employee journeys. The question is, if HR can play an important role in this shift. There might be others who are better in designing the employee experience (see 6). The boss does not need pleasers but challengers, and this role might be better in the hands of high level strategic consultants.

The post 10 Trends in HR organisations appeared first on HR Trend Institute.

How to increase the impact of HR Mon, 09 Apr 2018 15:37:12 +0000 How to increase the impact of HR? In this article 12 ingredients that help to increase the impact of HR. On number 1: HR speaks the language of the business.

The post How to increase the impact of HR appeared first on HR Trend Institute.


What is good (or even better “world class”) HR?

In this article, I review 12 ingredients of what I consider good HR.
Good HR is HR that makes a major contribution to achieving the objectives of the business: HR with impact.

1. HR speaks the language of business

The HR handbook has many chapters. Many HR professionals want to implement the complete handbook. Much time has already been lost with the design and implementation of competency profiles. Because HR wants them so badly. However, the starting point for HR should not be the HR handbook, but the current issues of the business. HR must understand these issues, and then choose and design the most impactful HR intervention.

Question 1: To what extent does your HR team speaks the language of the business?

2. HR works multidisciplinary

In many organizations, the staff is divided into different areas. Finance, Legal, Strategy, Communications, Knowledge Management, IT, HR and special projects. This division can lead to silos and power struggles between the staff departments. Which department has the ear of the CEO and the Board? Which department has the largest budget?
Most issues today require a multidisciplinary approach. Example: how can we connect our employees worldwide on different themes? Global communities can only be created if IT, HR, Communications and Legal join forces. HR is in the position to act as a connector between the different groups.

Question 2: How good is your HR team in connecting the various disciplines within the organisation?

3. HR is more leader than follower

HR is often submissive. Submission is often accompanied by fear, and fear is a very bad adviser. Regularly I hear HR say: I think it is a good idea, but how do I sell it to my boss? Once I attended a meeting for HR professionals where a CIO told how in her organisation, using Google+, several effective communities were created. The questions from the audience were focused on control. Who decides which communities are created? What do you do when people do not want to participate or if abuse is made?

Question 3: Which description fits better with your HR team: leaders or followers?

4. HR has clear principles

Each organization will benefit from clear and transparent principles. The values of organizations are important and HR can be a good guardian of these values. ‘Integrity’ is in most organizations one of the published values. In translating the values of the organization in desired behavior for leaders and other employees, HR can play an important role.
Also in the design of compensation and benefits, it is important to be guided by clear principles.

Question 4: Does HR have clear principles?

Read: To a more human and holistic HR

5. HR is flexible

If you ask HR a question, the answer is generally: this is not possible / this is not allowed. Equality and fairness are often important principles for HR. This makes it difficult for HR to make exceptions. Because if we do that for you, everybody will come along! If you want to promote diversity and if you want to get the best out of employees, it fits less and less to apply rules to which no exceptions can be made.

Question 5: Is your HR department sufficiently flexible and employee focused?

Read: One size does not fit all

6. HR has a sense of humor

There is often too little laughter. We must hurry! We must move on! It helps if HR can take some distance, and adds some humor to the mix. What are we doing? Do we not take ourselves too seriously?

Question 6: Can you laugh with HR or do you laugh about HR?

7. HR likes to experiment

Too much time is wasted in developing and discussing plans. While you are discussing plans, nothing happens. What we want is often not so difficult to determine. We want motivated employees. We want the strategy to be understood. We want the best people in the right place.
It is more difficult to determine how we can achieve our goals. Experimenting helps. Do a test with a small group and see if it works. “Whatever works” could also be the motto for HR.

Question 7: Does your HR team dare to experiment?

Read: 7 aspects of agile HR

8. HR can implement

See point 7: not the What but the How is often the problem. There is a graveyard with plans that are not or half-heartedly implemented. HR must be the king of fast and successful implementation.

Question 8: Is your HR good at implementing major projects?

Read: Making an HR Plan

9. HR dares to innovate

Many organisations want to copy other organisations. The benchmark thinking preached by many consulting organisations has done no good. Why would you want to do what others do? Why would you not want to be an innovator and front-runner? HR can take the lead, especially because many of the current HR practices need to be renewed.

Question 9: Does your HR team dare to innovate?

Read: 7 conditions that help to be innovative in HR

10. HR has a strong network

The network of HR can work as an accelerator. If HR has quick access to partners with unique knowledge, HR can quickly implement creative and innovative solutions. HR as a spider in the network of change agents and key employees of the organisation, can quickly sense if changes can count on sufficient support. If the CHRO has a good network, she can build a strong HR team.

Question 10: Does HR have a large and strong network?

Read: Organisational Network Analysis

11. HR can calculate

With the current computing power, it is possible to quickly analyse data. HR analytics provides the ability to produce facts and not opinions. Myths and prejudices can be unraveled. Predictions about the future can be made fact based.

Question 11: Does HR use of the opportunities offered by people analytics?

Read: People Analytics – 5 steps

12. HR comes with practical solutions

In the end organizations have to work. HR is there to come with simple workable solutions. Keep moving, and adapt to the increasing speed.

Question 12: Does HR come with practical and simple solutions?

Read: HR, keep it simple

Checklist HR with impact

An earlier version of this article was published on the website of the HR Trend Institute in 2015

The post How to increase the impact of HR appeared first on HR Trend Institute.

]]> 1 12143
HRcoreLAB 2018: Personalisation, HR Tech and Agility Wed, 21 Mar 2018 14:05:44 +0000 Taru Salo is the HR Director of the Finnish company Destia. She visited the HRcoreLAB that took place in Barcelona, on March 13 and 14. In this article her observations and takeaways.

The post HRcoreLAB 2018: Personalisation, HR Tech and Agility appeared first on HR Trend Institute.


Working as the HR Director of Destia, a leading Finnish infrastructure company, it’s my duty to understand the global HR trends and best practices, and to consider what impact or opportunities these present with regards to our work and business. But at times you need to distance yourself from the daily work and reflect whether you are going in the right direction. These were the key reasons why I found myself attending the HRcoreLAB conference in Barcelona, Spain, earlier this month.

The focus of HRcoreLAB 2018

The conference focused on future recruitment, agile HR and talent analytics. Browsing through the conference agenda, I selected the presentations to attend based on the challenges my team is working on now, on the fields of talent management, cultural change and recruitment. The construction industry has been suffering from low productivity development. On top of this, we are struggling with lack of talented project managers, at least here in Finland.  At Destia, we are trying to enhance attractiveness for the whole industry to ensure capable workforce, also in the future, and hope that automatisation, robotisation and AI will in turn help to increase productivity. Given this, also HR analytics and technology are important in our current plans. It was exciting to see how big a role technology had in the success stories that were shared in Barcelona. AI and machine learning algorithms will be an amazing benefit to HR, and allow us to focus more on individuals,  and act based on facts and data. We are moving into an era where real-time data based insights and knowledge about people will play a key role in making organisations more successful.

Agile is here to stay

I started off with Tom Haak’s keynote about agile elements in HR. Tom was not wasting time to justify the importance of agile HR; his message to us all was that agile is already here to stay. He went straight to business and asked: how agile is your organisation and How agile is your HR team? After this Tom focused on the HR related elements in the agile organisation and the issues we as HR professionals can make an impact. His key advice was “Lead by example, show the way!”

agile hr

The Google example

The war for talents appears to be a global issue, the next step there is to improve the employee experience and the employer brand together with marketing. Recruitment process should be reviewed through the candidates’ eyes to improve the overall employee experience. Also, the insights made by neuroscience and human behaviour studies will be essential for the development of the future organisations. Kim Wyley’s speech about Google’s company culture and change management had a big impact on me. Not just the content but also her inspirational presentation. Kylie summarised quite nicely how we act when we are facing a change and why addressing change both rationally and emotionally is important together with the feet of chance. Feet meaning skills, competence and knowledge.

Kim Wylie

The importance of KPI’s

Hearing these success stories reminded me about fundamentals. It’s crucial to follow development actions via KPI`s. Quite often we forget this simple thing while running HR development projects: in the end success is always measured via impact to business. Secondly, full engagement from the top management is critical in every HR development project. Arne-Christian van der Tang’s inspirational transformation story about TomTom was a great reminder of this. He told us how their CEO made his expectations very clear to all line managers when launching new leadership principles: “This is what we expect. Don’t make a mistake with this one”. No wonder that their leadership development project was successful as the message was clear to all.

My takeaways

Here are my concrete takeaways from the conference:

  • Development of HR technology will have an impact on the performance of the future organizations.
  • Enhancement of analytics will be seen in the future.
  • Learning will dramatically change via e-learning tools.
  • The employee experience needs to be aligned with the employee expectations.
  • The candidate experience should be analyzed and measured like the customer experience.
  • Strategic HR is an essential part of successful organisations. We need to separate operational HR from strategical to have time to review long-term questions.

A big thank you to Tom Haak and all the other presenters as well as to Teneo for the conference. As always, the discussions during the breaks were eventually the best part of the whole experience. Looking forward to staying in touch with my new, European wide network of amazing HR colleagues, let’s keep the discussion going!


The post HRcoreLAB 2018: Personalisation, HR Tech and Agility appeared first on HR Trend Institute.

Storytelling for HR Mon, 12 Mar 2018 11:44:11 +0000 An area where HR clearly can improve is storytelling. In this article 9 tips for HR professionals on how they can improve their story. What is the compelling story of HR?

The post Storytelling for HR appeared first on HR Trend Institute.


An area where HR clearly can improve is storytelling

If you ask an HR team: “Tell me your story?”, it often takes a long time before the team has put a coherent and compelling story together. Sometimes they can show their plan (25+ pages in PowerPoint), but it becomes more difficult if they have to summarise the plan in a five-minute pitch. Often I loose interest after the first paragraphs.

Some tips for your HR story

1. Design your story with your audience in mind

Think about your audience before you design your story. Is it the CEO? Is it your management team? Your global HR leadership team? Your industry network? Try to tell the story in the language of your audience.

2. Stick to the rule of three

Divide your story in three parts. The common “Why?/What?/How?” is a very useful framework. Stories that are divided into three parts seem to work better.

3. Connect your story to the business issues of today

A compelling HR story addresses a business issue of today. A business issue is not the same as an HR issue. HR issues can be very important, but they should be connected to a business issue. Lack of talent is not a business issue. “How can we grow in Asia?” is. Because we want to grow in Asia (as there is a growing demand for our services in this region), we will need more talent in Asia. How can we find talent in Asia?

4. Add facts and detail. Stories are more convincing if they contain concrete facts

Most audiences like facts and detail. “In the coming five years we will have to recruit 1,000 new engineers in China and Malaysia” sounds better than “We will have to recruit many engineers in Asia”.
Of course too many facts and too much detail and spoil your story.

5. Give some examples

Illustrate your story with some examples. “Last year we recruited 200 young engineers in China. After one year 49 had left the company. A good example is David Chang. David studied in UK and US (an MBA) before he returned to China to work for us. I talked to David last week. The main reason he gave for his departure is that the career path in our company is very unclear. He moves to company X, where the package is comparable, but they offer him an international traineeship”.

6. Imagine the future

Picture a compelling future. “If we make the required investment, in three years our Asian Leadership Academy will be able to train 500 young professionals per year”.

7. Words and phrases to avoid

  • Competency framework
  • Blueprint
  • Strategic scenarios
  • The War for Talent
  • Business Partner
  • An integral approach
  • Change starts at the top
  • Purpose (I heard someone joking the other day, after another presentation loaded with the need for purpose: “My purpose is itching…”)
  • Agile
  • We live in a VUCA world

8. Don’t make your story too long

Long-windiness and HR go very well together. Surprise your audience and be brief and concise. TED talks are maximum 18 minutes, and good presenters can tell a very good story in 18 minutes or less.

9. Use some pictures, but not too many

It can be very powerful to tell your story without illustrations. If you want to use illustrations, spend ample time on the design of your graphics. If you design a couple of nice informative illustrations, you will be able to use these make your story stronger.

The post Storytelling for HR appeared first on HR Trend Institute.

“Use your imagination, HR”. Interview with Tom Haak Tue, 13 Feb 2018 08:35:56 +0000 In September 2017, at Zukunft Personal 2017, Tom Haak was interviewed by Agnes Uhereczky, of the WorkLife Hub. You can watch the interview on YouTube. 

The post “Use your imagination, HR”. Interview with Tom Haak appeared first on HR Trend Institute.


In September 2017, at Zukunft Personal 2017, Tom Haak was interviewed by Agnes Uhereczky, of the WorkLife Hub. You can watch the interview on YouTube (8 minutes).

The post “Use your imagination, HR”. Interview with Tom Haak appeared first on HR Trend Institute.

HR and the major 2018 Consumer Trends Mon, 12 Feb 2018 06:05:31 +0000 End 2017 published a report on the 2018 consumer trends. In this article, we look at the possible implications of these consumer trends for HR.

The post HR and the major 2018 Consumer Trends appeared first on HR Trend Institute.


HR can learn a lot from marketing and market research. Employees are consumers, and why would they behave a lot differently in the workplace than in the marketplace?
Last year we used the terrific material of on the 2017 consumer trends as the basis for our article: 2017 consumer trends and the opportunities for HR. Time for an update. In this article we look at the major 2018 consumer trends, as reported by Trendwatching, and consider what the implications in the workplace could possibly be. The extensive report of Trendwatching is summarised in an article and in a video.

1. A-Commerce

“In 2018, shoppers will look to hand over aspects of the retail experience -think sourcing, negotiating, purchase and delivery arrangements- to algorithms and smart devices.”

A-Commerce stands for “automated commerce”. People like convenience, and everybody loves good service. Amazon’s cashier-free convenience store, launched in 2016, is a good retail example.
In the workplace there are many areas where, with the help of AI, the employee experience can be improved. Some examples:

  • From active to passive recruitment: as a candidate you no longer have to apply for a job, the clever sourcing software will find you, and the recruitment chatbot will ask you if you are interested in a new opportunity (and the software can probably predict that you are interested, before you are aware yourself). Read: The changing scope of recruitment.
  • From active to passive employee mood measurement. In the past, employees had to complete questionnaires, to measure there level of engagement, today it can be done in an easier and passive way, e.g. by analysing the e-mails of the employees (with KeenCorp). Read: Employee mood measurement trends. 
  • If learning solutions could be offered at an appropriate moment in the workflow, based on real time observations of the behaviour the employees, this would be a big step forward. Read: 6 trends in learning and development.
  • With some imagination, you can easily imagine many areas where the application of this trend could make a real difference, like: automatic access control, in the company restaurant, during onboarding.

2. Assisted Development

“In 2018, consumers with complex lifestyles will look to brands to help them realise personal life goals and write new narratives of adulthood.”

This trend clearly has implications and creates opportunities in the workplace. How can organisations help their employees to “realise personal goals an write new narratives of adulthood’? We see some early signals.

  • More and more organisations, especially startups and scaleups, take their staff on skiing holidays in the winter.
  • The increased attention to wellbeing in the workplace. Read: Trends in improving wellbeing in the workplace.
  • Organisations that stimulate employees to start their own business, and gives them financial support in the initial phase.
  • Organisations that provide breakfast, lunch and sometime dinner (or the ingredients for dinner).

3. Virtual Companions

“In 2018, virtual personalities will prove they have the power to entertain, educate and heal. They will make the leap from assistants to companions.”

Trendwatching gives a nice example of KLM. Last year KLM provided, as a test, passengers that visited Amsterdam with a smart care tag. The smart audio luggage tip, with GPS, provided the visitors with tips about the places they visited.
If you want an impression of what kind of conversation you have with a chatbot, you can try Replika. “Replika is an AI friend that’s always there for you”. Replika tries to learn as much as possible about you, so that it can replicate your personality.Replika

Google Home, Amazon Alexa and Apple Homepod can also be considered as virtual companions. If you are alone at home, you can play games with Google Home, and the other devices have comparable features.


In the HR domain, chatbots are quickly gaining ground (Read: The invasion of chatbots). Most of these chatbots are still very transactional, mainly used in recruiting and as interface with the HR service centre. Next step: the chatbots become your friends and allies in the organisation. Onboarding solution Talmundo, for example, is experimenting with chatbots. You can imagine that the personal guide in the onboarding journey of a new employee is a friendly chatbot, whom you can ask anything, and with whom the employee can also share personal reflections. Alexa and the other devices are also entering the workplace. Read: Amazon is putting Alexa in the office. 

4. Forgiving by Design

“In 2018, consumers expect all kinds of products and services to forgive them when their past – the product they selected, the size they chose, the service they wanted – doesn’t match their future. How? By near-magically adapt around their changing needs, wants and whims.” Expect “Design forgiving offerings that adapt to changing needs before your customer switches to a competitor”. 

This trend has important implications for the workplace, and adaptation to this trend is already in motion. When people are no longer hired for specific jobs, there is more flexibility to “adept to their changing needs, wants and whims”. Sensing these “needs, wants and whims” is key, and unfortunately the sensing capabilities in organisations often need development. There is room for improvement, but also here HR can learn a lot from the Amazon’s and Netflixes of this world.  Read: On size does not fit all and The end of static jobs.

5. Glass Box Wrecking Balls

“In 2018, your internal culture is becoming a key part of your brand.”

Transparency is increasing, and this creates opportunities and threats. When organisations become glass boxes, candidates and employees can compare the reality with the stories. If there is not a good match, the consequences can be severe (ref. the Uber story). Transparency in organisations is increasing, but the pace is often slow. Take for example salaries. On average men earn more than women in comparable jobs. If salary data in organisations would be easily available, this might cause one of the “glass box wrecking balls” to appear.  This is the same with people engagement data. The outcomes of engagement surveys are most of the time not transparent. What would happen if they were?  Read: Employer branding – 7 trends and What the pay gap between men and women really looks like.

Five consumer trends that can stimulate your imagination. These five trends alone, offer a lot of possibilities for applications in the workplace.



The post HR and the major 2018 Consumer Trends appeared first on HR Trend Institute.

Where do the visitors of the HR Trend Institute come from? Tue, 06 Feb 2018 06:00:20 +0000 In 2017 the website of the HR Trend Institute was visited by people from 201 countries! 71% of these visitors came from 15 countries. USA tops the list, followed by India and The Netherlands.

The post Where do the visitors of the HR Trend Institute come from? appeared first on HR Trend Institute.


In 2017 the website of the HR Trend Institute was visited by people from 201 countries! 71% of these visitors came from 15 countries:

  1. USA, with 21% of the total number of visitors
  2. India, 16%
  3. Netherlands, 9%
  4. UK, 6%
  5. Germany, 3%
  6. Canada, 3%
  7. Australia, 2%
  8. Philippines, 2%
  9. Belgium, 2%
  10. Singapore, 2%
  11. Spain, 2%
  12. South Africa, 2%
  13. France, 1%
  14. Thailand, 1%
  15. Italy, 1%

We are very glad with this international list. On the bottom of the list, we find countries with one person that visited our site: Samoa, Cook Islands, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Northers Marina Islands, Anguilla, Faroe Islands, Vanuatu, Montserrat and Mauritania.

Of course, everybody is welcome, and we want to thank everybody who visited the HR Trend Institute in 2017. Hopefully we can continue to inspire you in 2018!



The post Where do the visitors of the HR Trend Institute come from? appeared first on HR Trend Institute.