KPMG just released the findings from its "The Future of HR 2019" survey, and they point to a disconnect between the changes HR execs see coming down the pike and their current (and perhaps future) abilities to meet those changes. It's specifically about AI and analytics transforming traditional HR functions. Most respondents believe that HR is undergoing a digital change and see the need for workforce transformation, but only 40 percent said they feel confident about HR's ability to pull it off. KPMG
Now's the time pundits in all industries start prognosticating about the year ahead, and HR is no different. A couple of standouts: 2019 will be the year "human" got put back into HR, with increased focus on individual needs, wants, and wishes of both employees and job candidates. The trust factor will also take center stage, as high-profile fails from companies like Facebook make people increasingly look at their own companies with a more critical eye. It means a digital and data-driven HR department will need to be transparent with how they use that data, how they store it, and what will become of it when an employee leaves the company. The Trend Institute
Every time people start talking about AI, automation, or algorithms, the conversation turns to how robots are going to replace us before we know it. Not so fast, says a new piece in HBR. We've been automating like crazy since the Industrial Revolution and humans are still working. Better questions than "When are the robots coming for us?" are: Will workers whose jobs are automated be able to transition to new jobs? (Upskill early and often.) Who will bear the burden of automation? (Less educated workers in routine jobs, likely.) How will automation affect the labor supply? (The workday itself might change.) How will it affect wages? (It's anybody's guess.) How will automation change job searching? (And hiring, we might add.) Harvard Business Review
It's a common situation: an employee gets a glowing review and then two weeks later is cut loose as part of a companywide layoff. It brings up the chasm between the C-suite's desire to keep news of layoffs secret until it's imminent, and the decency of transparency for the good of employees who can be shell-shocked by a sudden layoff. The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (aptly acronymed WARN) Act requires employers with more than 100 employees to give 60 days notice of layoffs, but people who have been in HR awhile know that it doesn't require any sort of empathy, career coaching, or outsourcing. Downsizing with dignity is good for the company and up to HR, despite the limitations of WARN. SHRM
This list of the best business books of the year will be of interest to HR pros, because most of these books speak to common workplace issues whether they intended to or not. Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys' Club of Silicon Valley by Emily Chang addresses workplace gender bias. EQ Applied: The Real World Guide to Emotional Intelligence by Justin Bariso tells us how to be better leaders through empathy. The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias by Dolly Chugh talks about how to identify and battle biases and create diversity and inclusion, which hiring managers and HR pros need to master. The Motivation Myth: How High Achievers Really Set Themselves Up to Win by Jeff Haden talks about how motivation doesn't just happen. Inc.