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Blog : Thinking forward – HR in 2017

Blog

Thinking forward – HR in 2017


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Jane Sunley, best-selling business author and Founder of Purple Cubed

2016, the year of Brexit, Trump and Pokemon Go… At Purple Cubed, we kicked off the year with a wide-ranging research project ‘Engage, Enable, Empower’ concluding that there’s still confusion around engagement, leading to the advent of a tweet sized definition ‘Engagement – the right people, doing the right things, exceeding expectations, enthusiastically’, which over 70% of those who attended our February business breakfast committed to adopt. This year we also published our latest title ‘The People Formula’ (described recently by one stand-out HRD as the embodiment of her approach to HR strategy).

Our October breakfast brought together panelists from The Dorchester Collection, Kingfisher and SKY who really did justice to the people analytics debate. They provided controversy, candidness and lots of practical take-aways to a packed house of switched-on HR and business leaders.

And there was great excitement within the Purple Palace when the new incarnation of Talent Toolbox was launched, fully optimised and helping to put more than 50,000 people at the heart of their business successes. Many congratulations to all who won people awards this year.  On a more general note…

Our predictions for HR in 2017:

  1. Continued rise of the gig economy – HR will face the challenges of communicating, collaborating with and, to a degree, engaging, the rising number of freelancers and flexible workers, looking to digital solutions and new ways of leading.
  2. Focus on the employee experience – the war for the best talent is still waging and today’s employee expects to have a great experience at work.  The hiring process is key (it’s your ‘shop window’).  If you don’t already, it’s time to start treating employees like customers.
  3. Wellbeing and flexibility – things have moved on from balancing home and work; it’s now about how best to integrate the two. This means that organisations will need to be far more creative and open-minded about how work works, how pressure is managed and making sure support and advice are on hand as and when needed.
  4. HR as a business leader – today’s HRD needs practical and applicable understanding and know-how around evolving a strategy, brand and marketing, IT, finance and the ability to understand business, talk business, be in the business; a business leader rather than a supporter.
  5. Employee engagement – this never really goes away and, with the rise in emphasis on boomerang workers (who move on, potentially to return later), holding onto talent and becoming a standout place to work, engaging your people continues to be a business priority. It’s everyone’s responsibility and is ‘always on’ – or it needs to be.
  6. Big data – lots of hype and discussion will continue though people will begin to make more sense of it all and start doing it rather than talking about it. The key will be to keep it simple, with the emphasis on business priorities and goals and simple, user-friendly reporting in order to avoid  ‘analysis paralysis’.
  7. Leadership development – far more emphasis on enabling, coaching and mentoring with facilitated collaborative and business focused sessions rather than standard programmes. Millennial leaders (and those aspiring) expect it and 2017 needs it.

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