Came across this article, which I thought is relevant to all of us Top Consultant Sets HR Priorities for 2007
An international consultant forecasts that in the coming year, corporate leaders will focus on retention, ethics, self-development, and "bonding with employees."
What human resources priorities will America's corporate leadership (with the help and guidance of their HR people, of course) be focusing on in 2007?
One of the key prognosticators on this topic has been Christopher Rice, CEO of BlessingWhite, an international HR consulting firm with a long list of Fortune 500 clients. Rice has made it a practice of setting HR priorities for executives for the next 12 months.
Let's see what he says will top the agenda as this year rolls on:
Rice believes that the skills of today's executives are not keeping up with the demands placed on them, and execs know it. For this reason, many are looking intensely at self-development programs, and especially those designed to make them "compelling and inspirational" to employees and other stakeholders.
Ethics, says Rice, is coming up fast on the corporate radar. Leaders are looking for ways not only to meet regulatory requirements, but also to instill a corporate culture built on ethics at every level. They're also seeking ways to continually audit that culture.
Rice emphasizes to clients that if you want to keep high-value employees, find ways to make work more meaningful for them, and always do what you promise to do. Those who put their all into a job expect the same dedication and trustworthiness from their leaders.
On the other hand, he also sees a coming effort to rid business of what he terms, "subversives," perpetually negative workers who drag morale down. He believes that such naysayers make up 5 percent to 8 percent of the workforce in large organizations.
--Increase Employee Engagement.
Rice advises keeping workers satisfied on their jobs, but also building their individual levels of contribution. One way to do this is to ...
--Close the Knowledge Gap between employees' understanding of the strategy of the business and of their individual roles in making it happen. "Closing the gap improves engagement, productivity and profitability," Rice says.
--Inspire All Generations.
"Most organizations today were built by and for baby boomers," notes Rice. But with today's workforce increasingly multigenerational, he says leaders need to understand the needs and interests of many age groups. He sees flexible HR policies as way to increase both motivation and retention among younger workers.
--Fill the Leadership Pipeline. Succession planning must be a priority, with new leaders constantly developed and trained before they're needed, declares Rice. "With global competition so intense," he warns, "there's no time to learn on the job."
Building a Personal Connection
In a continuing theme of these forecasts, Rice calls for a constantly improving personal relationship between leaders and the workforce. Power and communication are both diluted as they cascade down through an organization, he says, to the point where this factor can "transform your original statement into an unrecognizable message.
"It's no longer enough to be capable," Rice concludes. "Senior executives need to build an authentic bond with their employees ... admittedly a daunting challenge for most leaders."
12th January 2007 From Australia, Melbourne