Talent Edge Weekly - Issue #197
Moments that matter for in-person work, HR's expanding role, 10 Q&As on skills-based talent practices, AI's impact on the future of work, and the ethics of managing people data.
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THIS WEEK'S CONTENT
Here’s a glance at this week’s content. A deep dive is in the section that follows.
In the Changing Role of the Office, It’s All About Moments That Matter | Microsoft Work Lab | Recommends prioritizing "in-person" interactions based on "moments that matter" instead of enforcing a minimum number of days to be in the office.
A New Strategic Vision for HR’s Expanding Role | Gartner | Covers how HR needs to shift from an "own-and-operate" mindset to one that brings together the right stakeholders for new ideas and decision-making.
10 Q&As on Skills-based Talent Practices | Multiple Resources | I share my curated list of resources that help answer 10 questions as organizations transition to skills-based talent practices.
Future of Professionals Report: How AI is the Catalyst for Transforming Every Aspect of Work | Thomson Reuters Institute | A 36-page report that delves into the anticipated impact of generative AI on the future of work.
The Ethics of Managing People’s Data | Harvard Business Review | Proposes a 5 component framework for how organizations can responsibly and ethically manage employee data for various purposes.
Also, check out the 2023 job cuts tracker & Chief HR Officer hire of the week.
Let’s dive in.
THIS WEEK'S EDGE
Numerous organizations continue to mandate that employees return to the office, typically for at least a few days each week. This article underscores the significance of setting "in-person" office expectations based on "moments that matter" instead of enforcing a minimum number of office days. It suggests that teams should customize their approach to suit the nature of their work, pinpointing key occasions or reasons for in-person meetings. The article highlights research identifying three scenarios where in-person connections offer distinct advantages: 1) Strengthening team cohesion, especially vital in the context of increasingly dispersed organizations. 2) Facilitating effective onboarding for new roles, teams, or companies, as face-to-face interactions foster trust and relationship-building during the initial stages of a new job. 3) Initiating a project, particularly in its early phases, to align team members, stimulate innovation, and share tacit knowledge. Regarding projects, I am sharing a Gartner article illustrating one example of how a team embarking on a six-month, five-phase project could convene in person at pivotal points during the project. While this approach may not be universally applicable, it offers an alternative to the prevailing "days per week" model many organizations have been adopting. As suggested in the Microsoft article, organizations should ask: "What are the moments that matter for us?" This answer can provide guidance for determining when in-office interactions are likely to be meaningful and deliver value.
Yesterday, I shared a LinkedIn post where I featured 15 resources aimed at helping Chief HR Officers enhance personal, team, and organizational effectiveness. These resources encompassed a wide range of topics, including AI in HR, transitioning into a new CHRO role, and HR strategy. To add to this list, this new paper by Gartner delves into how the rapidly evolving workplace landscape is pushing HR to support areas where it may not be the primary expert or provider—such as AI, mental well-being, and social issues. It highlights the growing need for CHROs to equip their functions to collaborate with leaders and experts from across the organization to find innovative solutions for emerging and diverse challenges. This role requires HR to continue the transition from an "own-and-operate" mindset to a "convene-and-catalyze" approach—where the focus is on bringing together the right stakeholders, orchestrating decision-making frameworks, and inspiring new ideas and ways of working. While many in HR already operate in this capacity, the article provides 3 ways HR can further make this shift, such as augmenting HR expertise with an understanding of a wider range of novel issues. A related Gartner article suggests that the HR function can augment non-HR expertise by having more flexible movement of talent into and out of the function. What is your strategy for integrating non-HR expertise into the HR function?
Many organizations continue to make the transition to skills-based talent practices (SBTP)—where the focus is more on an individual’s skills rather than job titles, academic degrees, or years of experience when it comes to attracting, hiring, developing, and redeploying talent. However, the shift to SBTP can be a long journey, requiring practitioners to answer various questions about the operationalization and implementation of SBTP. As talent practitioners think through the various aspects of this transition, I have curated 10 Q&As from various reports, such as Deloitte’s 101-page report, Building Tomorrow’s Skills-based Organization (SBO): Jobs Aren’t Working Anymore. The 10 Q&As address questions such as: How many organizations have successfully transitioned to being a SBO? How effective are organizations at classifying and organizing skills into a skills taxonomy or framework? What are the top three barriers business and HR executives cite as obstacles to skills-based talent practices? Which areas are organizations starting with when introducing skills-based talent practices? What tangible, practical things can organizations do to start their journey to a skills-based organization? This reference includes the question, an answer, and a link to the document from which the information was sourced.
This 36-page report explores the anticipated impact of generative AI on the future of work. Based on an international survey of over 1,200 individuals (a relatively small sample size), the report identifies three key thematic areas related to AI's impact: 1) Productivity, exploring professionals' views on AI's potential for operational efficiency and increased productivity; 2) Value, examining how AI can enhance professionals' capacity to provide value to organizational stakeholders; and 3) Responsibility, stressing the importance of responsible AI implementation to build trust, encourage adoption, and establish necessary safeguards. In section #2 (Value), starting on page 19, the report underscores that substantial training and development efforts will be needed to unlock AI's potential value. This effort encompasses basic AI utilization training, upskilling and reskilling of existing professionals, and a reevaluation of education for junior professionals. Recognizing that the demand for these skills may not manifest until 18 months from now, organizations should ask critical questions, such as: a) How do we assess AI's impact on our workforce's skill requirements? b) How do we evaluate the availability of these skills within our current workforce and the external market? c) What is our strategy for acquiring, developing, or sourcing skills where gaps exist? While numerous other questions merit exploration, these initial inquiries provide a foundation for organizations seeking to harness AI's value.
The increasing integration of AI into organizational decision-making processes—from hiring to talent management— has raised concerns about potential discriminatory outcomes. According to this article, recent data reveals that the European Union has imposed fines on companies in over 1,400 instances, totaling nearly €3 billion due to violations of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). To help organizations mitigate future risks, the authors suggest establishing a review board, akin to institutional review boards (IRBs) in academia, to oversee ethical data handling, ensuring transparency and GDPR compliance. To this end, the authors propose that companies investing in AI should focus on the "Five Ps" of ethical data handling: 1) Provenance (data origin and acquisition methods), 2) Purpose (repurposing and consent requirements), 3) Protection (data safeguarding and disposal), 4) Privacy (data access and anonymity maintenance), and 5) Preparation (data cleaning, verification, and management). The article includes a "slider" featuring questions organizations can pose for each of the five areas. For instance, under Purpose, a key question is: Would the original source of the data agree to its reuse for a purpose different from the one originally announced or implied? Given that many practitioners are making decisions about integrating external AI-based solutions into their organizations, I am resharing this recently published 33-page toolkit by the World Economic Forum, which provides vendor evaluation questions regarding the use of worker data.
MOST POPULAR FROM LAST WEEK
Covers why and how organizations must adapt total rewards strategies to evolving workforce requirements. I share three bonus resources. You can also view this post on LinkedIn.
2023 JOB CUTS AND LAYOFF TRACKER
Here is my tracker, which includes announcements from a segment of organizations that have announced job cuts and layoffs since the start of 2023.
A few firms that announced job cuts this past week include:
Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company (NASDAQ: GT). Plans to cut about 1,200 positions across its operations in the EMEA region. Also, plans to create 500 new roles in its existing shared services organization in Romania, resulting in a net reduction of 700 positions.
Roku, Inc. (NASDAQ: ROKU). Plans to layoff 10% of its employees, roughly 300 workers. These layoffs are the third round of job cuts the company has undergone in less than a year. Shares of Roku soared almost 10% after the announcement.
Slalom Consulting. Is laying off 7% of its workforce, or about 900 employees, due to "significant shifts within our industry."
Click here or the image below to access all listed announcements from 2023.
CHIEF HR OFFICER HIRE OF THE WEEK
Prada Group (MILAN, ITALY)—the group that owns some of the world’s most prestigious luxury brands—has announced that Prada has appointed Rosa Santamaria to the Chief People Officer role. She succeeds Stefano Rastrelli, who has held the position for 10 years and has been with the Group since 2007. Rosa was most recently the Chief Human Resources Officer of Valentino, a role she has held since October 2020. Prior to Valentino, Ms. Santamaria held several HR roles with American Express over a 14-year tenure. READ MORE
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Skills-based Workforce Planning? This new article by @HRMagSHRM provides an overview of how skills intelligence tech platforms can enable skills-based strategic workforce planning. ?
— Brian Heger (@Brian_Heger)
Sep 5, 2023
TALENT EDGE WEEKLY REWIND
Here is a look at a popular resource from a past issue.
A 29-page report that shares 17 predictions that influence recruiting, hiring, and talent acquisition practices. The report is broken into five sections, including 1) The Role of recruiting, 2) Economic uncertainty, 3) Employer branding, 4) Skills-first hiring, and 5) Internal mobility and upskilling.
THE “BEST OF AUGUST”
Did you miss the “Best of August” issue of Talent Edge Weekly? If so, check out issue #195, which includes 15 of the most popular resources from August.
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Talent Edge Weekly is a free weekly newsletter that brings together the best talent and strategic human resources insights from various sources. It is published every Sunday at 6 PM EST.
Talent Edge Weekly is written by Brian Heger, an internal human resources practitioner with a Fortune 150 organization. Brian holds responsibilities for Strategic Talent and Workforce Planning. You can connect with Brian on Linkedin, Twitter, and brianheger.com