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HR Management Trends – Employee Engagement Goes Mainstream

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Sony Creative Software Inc.

By 2020, millennials will make up 50% of the global workforce, and along with this shift comes a desire for a different type of work culture. In today’s environment where talent is the ultimate competitive advantage, companies must figure out how to recruit, measure, manage, and retain these new generations of talent. Put simply, a shift from performance management to performance development is underway.

This new workforce is less comfortable with rigid corporate hierarchies, they expect openness information to be widely shared. They focus on happiness and seek meaningful work, where they will be recognised for what they do. If employees aren’t using their skills and being challenged, they will simply move on. In fact more than two thirds of workers believe it is management’s job to provide them with accelerated development opportunities in order to retain them.

These expectations have given rise to the death of the annual performance review. Multinationals including Deloitte and Accenture have recognised that they are rigid, look backwards rather than forward, and employees tend to perceive reviews as threatening. Instead, annual reviews are being replaced with employee development schemes – or Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) which focus on training, coaching, and empowerment. Started by tech giant Intel and used by the likes of Google, LinkedIn, and Twitter, OKRs make the evaluation of work more development oriented and future focused, rather than being evaluation-centric.

Employees and their development will be the main HR trend in 2016, as well as how companies engage. A new generation of cloud based applications will facilitate this transition in the form of employee relationship management tools and productivity apps.  Millennials prefer digital communication to face-to-face conversation so expect to see the gamification of feedback, learning, and performance monitoring.

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