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Food For Thought Series: What’s happening in HR?

Food For Thought | November 1 2018

What is Food For Thought Series?

Over the last few weeks we have attended several great events organized by professionals in the HR space, who are looking to push boundaries within their industries, promote conversation on the various challenges they face and discuss solutions they’ve tried and approaches to tackling their various challenges.

We saw inspiring speakers, heard fresh perspectives and were inspired ourselves! This is why we bring you a new addition to our content series where we share with you – food for thought as a result of attending HR events and speaking to HR professionals. This will include posts about the ideas raised in the events themselves by various speakers, but also thought pieces by us on the specific issues from a psychology perspective.

Which events?

Last month we attended DisruptHR #9 – an informal and energetic event, the ultimate aim of which is to disrupt the HR conversation and inject some fresh ideas (or at least discard the outdated ones).

What was discussed?

Topics ranged from well-being challenges such as tackling conversations about suicide and female health problems to hot topics such as flexible working and work-life balance to more operational challenges in payroll, L&D and employee engagement.

In the spirit of ‘disrupting’, here is what resonated with us and we think is food for thought for professionals in the industry who might wish to cut through the flurry of trendy titles and topics:

  • Don’t just promote your top performers to leadership roles to ‘retain’ them. A common tactic which often yields poor results. Make sure they understand the difference between their current role and the new leadership role and that you’ve prepared them before they transition and equipped them with the skills, traits and knowledge to cope with the new demands. You may wish to start by raising their own awareness of their leadership capabilities, to structure their development.
  • Finding a balance between addressing current challenges and future-proofing your business against upcoming ones – is a tricky thing. Everyone keeps talking about the ‘future’ of things. The only thing we know for sure? The change will happen. While thinking of the future, don’t forget your present challenges, and address these with solutions that have been shown to work and have evidence to back them up, not just those that claim to be the best new thing.
    This is why, we advocate that in our field when it comes to assessment solutions, look out for those that have been tested, validated and are evidence-based.
  • ‘Stop hiring talent’ – as said by Suzanne Lucas. A refreshing perspective on current trends – that the talent shortage is a result of organisations not investing in developing their employees, hence the workforce is struggling to learn the new skills they need and others look for. Stop thinking of candidates as perfectly formed and defined talent you can buy off-the-shelf or ‘acquire’. Focus on hiring for potential, and how people can contribute to your business. Focus on onboarding, training and development – and empowering employees to become the talent you need. If you’re interested in developing solutions or training on achieving this, get in touch.
  • Most organisational diversity efforts are failing, as posited by the CoStar Group Diversity manager. Why? Because it’s not clear how within the scope of many of these programmes, individual employees can really make a difference and start having an impact, beyond being aware that a problem exists. Potential solution? Empower people to think about how diverse their personal networks are, and how this might be affecting professional ones. As they say, true change comes from within.

There were, of course, many more ideas and topics being discussed, and we would personally recommend HR and L&D professionals to look up upcoming #DisruptHR events. Meanwhile, we will continue sharing with you our experiences and takeaways from various events and have a lot of exciting developments here at ABA that will be soon coming your way. We will also be addressing some of these ideas and topics from the perspective of psychology, so stay tuned!

For those who are interested in learning how to use personality assessment in your practice or organisation, check out our upcoming training event here.

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