The Employee Experience Is The Future Of Work: 10 HR Trends For 2017 – PART 1

2017 is the year to prepare for transforming HR to be agile, consumer-focused, and digital. Jeanne Meister, partner with Future Workplace, wrote an interesting article about HR trends in 2017, on forbes.comHere is a resume with infographics provided.

1. Focus On Creating A Compelling Employee Experience

The Future Workplace and study entitled “The Active Job Seeker Dilemma” found that 83% of HR leaders said “employee experience” is either important or very important to their organization’s success, and they are investing more in training (56%), improving their work spaces (51%), and giving more rewards (47%). Companies are also driven to focus on creating a compelling employee experience as the war for talent heats up. Mercer predicts that 90% of employers anticipate more competition for talent, especially in India, North America, and Asia. So making the workplace an experience allows companies to embed their culture and values in the workplace and use this to recruit and retain top talent.

2. Use An Agile Approach To Recruit And Develop Employees

An agile approach is typically used in software development to operate with speed and manage unpredictability. This approach is now being used to recruit and develop employees. When Amber Grewal was the global head of talent acquisition at GE Digital (Amber is now the VP of Talent Acquisition at IBM) she led a transformation of talent acquisition by applying an agile approach used to develop software. In the process Grewal created a new role, “Agile Recruiting Scrum Master.” The result: recruiters were able to deliver top talent to clients within 2 to 6 weeks versus an average of 10-15 weeks. Agile is not only being applied to recruiting but also to learning and development.

Apply an agile approach to corporate learning by making it easy for employees to find, rate, tag, and consume learning. They saw their job as learning curators rather than content creators. Companies like IBM, Visa, MasterCard, Adidas, and General Electric, to name just a few, are adopting new intelligent digital platforms to create a Netflix-like experience for corporate learners.

3. Partner With Real Estate To Create Spaces That Promote Culture

Companies should ask, “How can we accommodate both our introverts and our extroverts in our work spaces?”



Try asking yourself four simple questions regarding the work space you have in your organization:

1. Where do you go to do your best work?

2. Where do you go to get the job done?

3. Where do you avoid meeting or working?

4. Where do you go to recharge?

Although a majority of American workers go to offices with open floor plans (70% of us, according to the International Facilities Management Association), companies are beginning to acknowledge that this isn’t always the best for getting work done. In fact, research from Steelcase conducted with a global sample of 12,480 employees across 17 countries documents that workers who have control over where and how they work, and are free to choose a work space to fit their task at hand—either focused work or collaborative work—are 88% more engaged at work. The decision is not whether or not to design an open space, but rather how to give employees choice in where to work based upon the activity they are working on.

If you’re interested, have a look to this article.


4. Apply a Consumer Marketing Lens to HR

With job candidates and employees empowered to provide instant feedback on employers, we are seeing the “yelpification” of the workplace, where, employees can rate a company’s culture and management just as they rate a hotel, restaurant, or movie. HR departments are applying a range of consumer marketing tools, such as design thinking, hackathons, and sentiment analysis to create a compelling employee experience.



Paul Papas, global leader of IBM Interactive Experiences, says, “The last best experience that anyone has anywhere becomes the minimum expectation for the experiences they want everywhere.” This is leading companies such as IBM and Cisco to translate their relentless focus on customers to their employees. IBM uses design thinking and their own sentiment analysis tool, called Social Pulse, to reveal insights in re-imagining performance management. Cisco borrows the concept of hackathons, from the IT world, to create new HR products such as the YouBelong@Cisco app to aid new hires and their managers in navigating the first weeks at Cisco, and Ask Alex: Your Personal Intelligent Compass, a voice command app offering fast and personalized information on a range of HR questions such as vacation policy, expense reports, and health related questions.


5. Pilot Chatbots In HR

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a huge market, predicted to surge from $8 billion this year to $47 billion by 2020, according to IDC. Some say it resembles the Internet in the mid 1990’s, and will be built into all kinds of products and services. Marketers are already using bots—or artificial intelligence computer program designed to simulate a conversation through written or spoken text—to deliver personalized conversational experiences online.

During 2016, we saw a surge of interest in chatbots with the creation of digital co-workers, meaning  a piece of software that works alongside you at your job and participates in the day to day activities of your company as an active and engaged member of the team. Using chatbots to create conversational experiences is becoming the new digital interface.

Enter Amy Ingram, the AI powered personal virtual assistant launched by who schedules meetings and is so “human-like” she has been asked out for dates, says Dennis Mortensen, CEO of Or Talla, a chat bot who handles recruiting tasks such as suggesting interview questions or finding similar candidates on LinkedIn, or Howdy, a workplace automation tool for your team.

The latest prediction from Gideon Mann, head of data science at Bloomberg LP, is that “Over the next five years, automation will seep into more and more aspects of our work and personal lives. Increasingly, it will be hard to distinguish what is being done by a person and what is done by a machine. As a result, the fundamental nature of how humans work will be transformed and we’ll have to work smarter.” We are already seeing predictions that bots are poised to take over from apps in the workplace.

Will automation lead to fewer jobs? The more interesting question is how will our current jobs evolve and what type of training is needed to up skill employees who hold jobs where automation will be hardest hit. According to World Economic Forum the jobs most at risk are in  routine white collar jobs, manufacturing and truck drivers as self driving takes hold.

Next article :  10 HR Trends For 2017 – PART 2