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MJ Craig

Marketing Content Manager, DATIS

The Way We Work is Changing

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This post originally appeared on DATIS’ blog and was reprinted with permission. 

In our current business environment- the only thing constant is change. Inevitably and irrefutably, the way we work is changing. There are no more 9-5’s and no more cubicle walls to maintain departmental silos. Organizations today are made up of cross-functional teams that search for dynamic, innovative solutions through information sharing and strategy development.

Over the past two decades or so, the HR department especially has undergone a momentous evolution. HR has entered a completely new realm where they find themselves at the heart of a talent war and responsible for optimizing the talent initiatives for one of the most unique workforces we have ever seen- a melting pot of eager millennials, risk-averse Gen Xers and proud baby boomers. And yet, although they are tasked with managing the organizations most valuable asset, HR has been largely neglected in terms of technological investment.

In fact, the 2014 Towers Watson Human Capital Trends study concluded that organizations were “managing 21st century workforces with 20th century workplace practices and programs.” So, it is no wonder that our nonprofit organizations, typically the later adopters of new technological tools, are experiencing between 20 and 40% turnover. To make matters more complex, nonprofits are growing! 41% of human service nonprofits plan to add new positions in 2015.

In a famous quote, often attributed to Albert Einstein but more probably rooted in early Behavioral Health literature, we are told that:

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result”

So, are we crazy to continue to manage our workforce in the same way we did 3, 5, or 10, years ago, and expect to win the talent war and build a successful, innovative organization? The answer is simply, yes. We are. As our workforce changes dramatically, so must our strategies for managing and optimizing that workforce. HR, and other departments, can no longer function as individual silos. Our HR strategies drive talent acquisition, engagement, development, and advancement, making them central and critical to an organization’s success.

As new needs have evolved for workforce management in the past decade or more, a myriad of solutions for different functions have surfaced to improve individual HR operations. However, the 2015 Deloitte study concludes that organizations need to “expand their vision and think holistically about everything we do in HR as part of a talent system.” Instead of only worrying about how to patch together our various HR programs, we should focus on complete talent solutions that drive business outcomes.

The way that we work is changing and the business environment is becoming more complex. HR must work with the rest of the organization to adapt to this new workforce. We need to simplify and modernize our strategies with holistic solutions focused on achieving our organization-wide goals. Josh Bersin of Bersin by Deloitte advises us that in 2015 it is time to “revisit your HR technology plan, reduce core vendors, and look for innovative solutions that drive high level value.”