"The future of work is human." 
 
I love that phrase. 
 
I enjoy working in HR. I love being able to make a difference to people and organisations. 
 
The old adage “People are an organisation’s best asset” rings true however in a recent podcast I listened to, Leena Nair, Chief People Officer at Unilever remarked that people are now seen as an organisation’s only competitive advantage. 
 
She went on to say that in the fast paced, digital world we live in, organisations can pretty much create whatever they want but they cannot create the very things that will add value to their organisations – the ideas, the commitment, the productivity etc. 
 
The war on talent is real. Organisations are seeking the skills and talents that AI cannot produce. The soft skills, the creativity, the critical thinking, the productivity. 
 
A decade ago when I started studying my Masters in HR, it was all about Engagement. Hot off the heels of the 2008 Financial crisis, employee engagement was the talk of the town. I was so intrigued by the topic that I wrote my dissertation on the topic. 
 
What is engagement? In my dissertation I used various definitions but in summary, we can define engagement as “A positive attitude held by the employee towards the organisation and its values. An engaged employee is aware of the business context, and works with colleagues to improve performance within the job for the benefit of the organisation.” Engaged employees have a belief in their organisation, possess a desire to assist in improvement and are respectful and helpful towards their colleagues. They are also willing to go the extra mile for the organisation and keep up-to-date with developments in their field. 
 
Roll on 2020 and we now have ‘Employee experience’. What are your employees’ experience of working with your organisation? How do you treat them? What’s it like working at your place? 
 
My understanding is that employee engagement is the output from a positive employee experience. 
 
Employee experience will definitely be a hot topic in 2020 and beyond. Issues such as wellbeing, flexible working, making people feel happier at work will contribute to the debate. 
 
What other trends are we expected to see in the new decade? 
 
People analytics, data-driven, using data to help companies design appropriate initiatives will also be a trend. 
 
There is so much data around and we can get so much insight from it if used in a productive manner. 
 
As per usual, with a new year comes a plethora of articles with predictions. 
 
Living in the digital age, we cannot talk about the future of work without mentioning technology. 
 
Sharing this article from Forbes. 
 
Wishing you a successful 2020 and beyond. 
 
Don’t forget to subscribe to Musings on the world of work and to get in touch if you need to discuss how we can help your organisation achieve its goals. 
 
 
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