HRO Today July/August 2015 - 53

Workforce Insight
will be a strong need for new leaders to replace them.
Organizations should start developing leaders through
training programs and developmental job assignments in
order to be ready for the future.
3. Plan for the changing demographics of the workforce.
Executives at higher-growth companies tend to be
better prepared to adapt to changing workforce trends
by paying greater attention to the demographic shifts
shaping the workplace. According to the SAP/Oxford
study, 60 percent of high-revenue growth companies
believe that Millennials entering the workforce is the
top labor market shift affecting workforce strategy, as
compared to 51 percent of underperformers.
According to Pew Research, in 2015, Millennials became
the largest generation in the workplace in most countries,
including the U.S. What do Millennials look for? SAP
research shows that this younger demographic wants
feedback 50 percent more often than other generations.
Relying on an annual performance appraisal won't give
them what they need so organizations must prepare
management to provide feedback at least monthly, and
to incorporate developmental planning during those
discussions.
4. Attract quality talent. Higher-growth companies are
better at recruiting the best talent: 55 percent of highperforming
companies say that they are satisfied with
the quality of job candidates recruited for most positions,
compared to only 46 percent of firms with below-average
profit margin. The talent void for lower performers
persists beyond recruiting, as more than half of
underperforming companies say that recruiting problems
are having an impact on overall workplace strategy.
Talented people want to work for companies with high
potential. To attract the best talent, organizations must
have a compelling narrative for how a candidate can make
a real difference and receive development opportunities.
HR can help line managers understand the need to
provide an outstanding offer that will make a difference.
5. Reward based on merit, not tenure. Sixty percent of
high-growth companies say they are more merit driven
than tenure driven, compared with less than half of
underperformers. In other words, underperformers may
be more likely to focus on developing internal talent
and engendering loyalty as they look toward downsizing
(and may be outmaneuvering high performers in this
area). However, they may be bypassing more qualified
candidates to reward more tenured candidates when
filling leadership roles.
Some of the most admired companies in the world,
such as Apple and Google, have average employee
tenures of only a little over a year. According to a study
commissioned by the Freelancers Union, over one third
of the workforce in the U.S. reports having at least some
contingent work aspect. We are increasingly moving
toward employee relationships that look more like stints
than long-term engagements. Recognize and promote
people for their performance and contribution, and
they are likely to remain loyal. Recognizing loyalty above
results doesn't always yield high performance.
6. Recognize the value of data. While both groups say they
are currently impeded by a lack of data, lower performers
expect to be significantly more likely to suffer from a lack
of data required to do their jobs effectively in the future.
This includes data related to the job market, industry,
customers and financials, as well as visual representations
of complex data.
Fifty-five percent of underperformers believe a lack
of industry data will impede their employees' ability
to do their jobs in three years, as compared to 31
percent of high performers. In addition, 50 percent of
underperformers believe a lack of job market data will
restrict their employees' ability to do their jobs in three
years, as compared to 32 percent of high performers.
According to research from CSC, big data is only going to
get bigger, with an estimated 4,300 percent growth in
data yearly. Data can help organizations understand their
people as well as predict performance success. HR must be
able to provide meaningful information to the business.
Start now, before the universe of data gets so big that the
task will be unapproachable.
As the saying goes, people are our greatest assets, and
this new research proves that people are worth investing
in. In today's tight labor market, talent matters need to
be a main concern and prioritizing them will deliver better
results. Research finds that high-performing companies
are strategic about their workforce and in return, their
employees deliver better products, services, and financial
results.
Karie Willyerd is workplace futurist at SuccessFactors, an SAP
Company.
JULY/AUGUST 2015
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[53]
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