Dimitre Taslakov, Chief Talent Officer, Progress
The trends in the human resources field that we’ll be seeing in the next five years are driven by an old and yet new reality. Fast-paced industries and rapidly developing markets combined with the shortage of relevant talent push the level of competition to new heights. Furthermore, generational traits, evolving social norms and types of interactions are also huge factors that impact some of the trends we’re seeing in the HR field and management in general.
Key HR Trends
Trend 1 – The Head of HR is becoming the new business leader and is no longer just an executive of a supporting function
It’s vital for companies that want to grow and develop their talent to have Chief Talent Officer with deep knowledge of the business context, capable of connecting strategy with execution, people with outcomes, and deployment of resources with results. The Chief Talent Officer may even possess previous experience in other positions across the organization, outside of the HR function. In fact, previous experience in business roles would be the factor that will help the Chief Talent Officer to make the HR function into a competitive advantage for the company - a point of view, supported by Harvard Business Review and companies like General Electric, General Motors, Xerox.
Trend 2 – The boss is no longer the boss
We’re going to see a big shift in how organizations are designed, structured and run. Rigid hierarchical and complex matrix structures are going to give way to self-management practices which nourish the state of “flow” and take advantage of collective intelligence. That being said, I don’t see a lot of companies jumping on the holocracy bandwagon and doing what Zappos did. The shift is going to be gradual and can be witnessed in the ways we define and develop leaders and the approaches we take to communicate with each other.
To adjust to this new reality, companies will be purposefully developing leadership skills and professional competencies not only in a selected group of managers but also in employees of all levels across the organization. On the one hand, dynamic business development needs well-prepared people to step in and lead new projects. On the other hand, in the past 10 years, on a global level, we’ve been seeing young people reaching very quickly a point of satisfaction at their working places and moving on to new ones. Human resources teams across the globe will be addressing this challenge by creating different career opportunities and equipping employees with the skills to seize them. Investing in successful employees makes sense even from a purely economic standpoint. It’s best to retain people that have already shown they’re a good culture fit instead of hiring new talent that needs time to prove it is a good hire.
Trend 3 – Traditional performance appraisal to be replaced by frequent informal manager-employee meetings
In the coming years, we’ll be seeing managers acting as coaches to develop the strengths of their employees and help them advance in their dream career. At regular informal meetings, managers will be guiding employees how to achieve their goals. The meetings will be forward-looking and won’t touch upon past period’s performance assessment.
How Progress HR Team Gets Ready for the Future
At Progress, we have a strong team of professionals who know our business in-depth and are extremely flexible in forecasting and meetings its needs. Before taking the role of a Chief Talent Officer, I have occupied various positions in different divisions at Telerik, a Progress Company. Today this experience helps me tremendously in leading the Progress global HR team and making strategic decisions. I know data is king and we’ve been leveraging the power of data as means to establish a common language with the business. Dashboards and metrics are a way for us to come to the table and provide insights and in turn value added to the business.
Looking forward to the future, it’s important for us to retain our successful employees, constantly develop their skills and provide them with opportunities to work on exciting projects. For example, after Progress acquired Telerik, some colleagues from our Bulgarian office stepped in leadership and management positions with global responsibilities. They received an opportunity to grow, learn and lead. In addition to that, to be closer to the specific needs of all teams, we have established processes and practices such as Internal Mobility Career Program which allows employees to move across teams and locations. We also organize a series of trainings for developing skills and competences to prepare employees for new roles. As of this year, our global HR team is divided into functions, not geo locations as it was before. Each function works closely with a group of managers to better understand their needs.
In 2016, we plan to introduce coaching practices as part of the employee performance appraisal process. We’ve been working with all managers toward shifting their attitude from simply giving feedback to coaching their employees. Our managers will be expected to organize frequent informal meetings at which to guide their employees to reach their professional development and interests. Research shows that the more frequent the meetings are, the more effective they are. It is important for us to provide employees with more opportunities for development and growth and let them work on exciting projects because we want them to feel satisfied with their work place and stay longer with us.