New Years’ Day is always a time to look back on the past year and look ahead to the next. In that spirit, I recently asked Axsium Group’s team of industry strategists and practice leaders to predict the biggest challenges for 2015. Their answers are interesting and diverse, and I thought I’d share them in this special New Years’ Day blog post.
Give Control, Retain Talent
Tom Pierce, Human Capital Management Practice Director
From an HCM perspective, two things immediately come to mind. First, with a multi-generational workforce, employee and manager self-service functionality is critical. Self-service empowers employees and manager. Ironically, Human Resources better serves their customers when they give employees and managers more control. Closely tied to self-service is the ability to manage HR information from anywhere, be that a desktop, mobile phone or tablet, at any time.
Second, employers need to stay focused on finding and retaining qualified talent. One the one hand, employers are concerned with the evolution of workforce demographics combined with the requirements to use technology to accomplish tasks at all levels of the organization. On the other hand, workers expect flexibility and transparency. They want to be engaged, challenged and acquire new skills and competencies whenever and wherever they want. HR will be challenged not simply to attract talent but retail their most valuable resources—this will require a new mindset and culture.
Learning On The Go
Charles Cicciarella, Learning Practice Leader
Mobile phones and tablets are having a dramatic impact on the way that we consume information. Therefore, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the key trend in the Learning space is mobile learning, or m-learning. As the name implies, m-learning delivers content on a mobile phone, tablet, PDA or another portable device. It is a convenient medium for most employees to consume training content either for the first time or as a compliment to learning delivered in a classroom or via another device such as a personal computer. While we have seen a great deal of interest in m-learning in 2014, we expect it to continue to accelerate in 2015.
Changing Workforce, Changing Mindset
Bliss Gordon, Retail Strategist
One of the most impactful trends of 2015 will be the continued shift of demographics in the workforce. What’s particularly curious about this trend is that it is hiding in plain sight. With Baby Boomers retiring at a rate of 100,000 a day the Millennial generation is easily the next biggest cohort. The question for employers is, how do you become an employer of choice for this exceedingly bright, frugal, and to some degree, entitled generation. Labor as a cost to be controlled won’t give you the pick of the litter with this group. They get technology better than you do and they love to collaborate and connect. As an employer, you need to make sure the tools you use to manage and empower your workforce keep up with this skill set.
Simplify Labor Models To Drive Value
Ty Law, Workforce Productivity Practice Director
As retailers focus on associate productivity, they realize that understanding their labor model – the tasks that people do at work and the amount of time it takes to complete those tasks – is critical to their success. However, their approach to labor standards this time around is different, and likely more pragmatic than previous work studies.
When labor standards gained popularity in retail, the tendency was to go all in and capture as much detail as possible. The result, in many cases, was an overly-complex labor model that required dedicated teams to manage and maintain. For most retailers, these labor models were not maintained and quickly lost their value. With lessons learned, better sources of data and better tools, retailers are seeking to simplify their labor model by focusing on the labor drivers that have the largest impact to the business.
Enhance Staffing With Acuity
Chris Flanders, Healthcare Strategist
Driven by nursing leadership, hospitals are looking at how to leverage acuity systems and acuity data for staffing nurses. This is a result of increasing financial pressures on hospitals creating a sense of urgency in nursing to not only reduce overall labor costs but also justify staffing levels for high intensity patient care needs. The challenge is that nursing leadership is looking for turn-key solutions to solve this challenge for them, specifically through the integration of acuity data into the scheduling system. However, acuity is a staffing “enhancer.” As such, it will be interesting to see how efficient this approach will be.