2017 is certainly going to be a very different year for me, personally — a new view with a new pair of eyes as I move from my time-tested corporate 'Zone of Success' into a disruptively enchanting new world of Client Coaching and Business Consulting.
The hinges of the future are fixed on the door of the present. Keep men of honour and integrity in places of trust and you will not fear the future (Churchill). This quote spells out the quintessence of my People Domain predictions and trends for 2017 albeit, I will add ' man of competence' to the honour and integrity virtues that Churchill speaks of.
However, let me confess that my thoughts are, in a way, restrained by the advice of wise men, such as Josh Billings who said that “....don't ever prophesy: for if you prophesy wrong, nobody will forget it; and if you prophesy right, nobody will remember it !!!”
Couple of days to go and ten trends that I think organisations need, to get future smart and future ready in 2017 are:
Organisation structures and team designs
Market performance and economic challenges will tend to collapse central power structures and that will lead to emergence of decentralised value- creating sticky networks. Many organisations will experience structure redesigns and break up of centralised power citadels
Emergence of new cultures
This will foster diversity, inclusiveness and organisational scholarships. Employee outreach and well-being will be the themes around culture transformation.
Evidence-based bespoke people management practices
The open systems' designing will influence management thinking and to that extent, the centrifugal driving force will be offering exhilarating 'employee experiences' rather than mindless focus on process compliance. Good news and bad news during the year ???...I see many more HR senior jobs being manned by operating line managers. That's bad news.
Good news, well, I see many more people managers moving into cross- functional business roles as talent and engagement become more and more critical to leadership success in business management. In a way, both are good news. This trend has no bad news There is good news and there is very good news!!!
Stronger employer brand building initiatives
Such initiatives based on serious 'employee engagement & connect' offerings will become the 'stay' formula and critical brand EVPs. However, the current trend to be one up on competition by offering exaggerated benefits merely to win the popular people policy championship, will continue to drive brand value initiatives. It is a ‘play to the gallery’ strategy and some employers will continue playing it.
Collapse of the bell curve
There will be emergence of strong applications-based mobile solutions to support performance metrics, measurements and review process is likely to emerge.
Emergence of big-data
We will see real-time predictive workforce analysis, which through ongoing and live surveys will offer real-time employee insights. When combined with artificial intelligence, it will provide leaders predictive options to effectively arrive at their critical people management decisions. Some positive strides during 2017 will be taken— this being the larger direction of a longer journey of a thousand miles.
As differentiated from training, learning will assume more importance. It will become, in the coming years, the most critical organisational capability. Digital, crowd-sourcing, mobile technology will drive its use and popularity.
Re-emergence of need for employee relations
With the serious 'Make In India' drive, the manufacturing sector will re-emerge. However, job dislocations and job losses in labour markets particularly due to a potential two per cent fall in the GDP in 2017, influenced by the demonetisation domino-effect, will cause its own problems. Thus, workforce problems and issues are bound to show up their hydra-head in 2017.
Leaders have to provide inspiration
Leadership as ever will have to play it's critical role. Time will demand the emergence of leaders with stronger people accountability 'influencing' skills. Most aspirational leaders (will be called upon to) inspire action!!! Passion and drive shall emerge as the twin success mantras for the leaders.
Inflation will decrease. All sector-blended average compensation increase will get averaged out to approx. seven per cent at the 'total cost to company' levels. The increases will generally be pumped into 'performance-anchored variable components' rather than in the fixed components. I see individual performance-linked award offerings going up whilst general patterns of annual increments will be going slightly lower than the previous years.
The empires of the future are the empires of the mind. Happiness ahead as I see will depend less on what befalls us than the way in which we react to it. The winning attitude is ours. Where ambition ends, happiness begins. To that extent, our ambition should thus be only happiness...that is the only good.
The time to be happy, therefore, is now. The place to be happy is here and the way to be happy is to make the people around us and the ones we work with very happy. Let me monetise the moment and wish you all a Very Exciting New Year!
(The author is group president - HR, Essar group. Follow him on twitter @malia_adil)