11 Predictions for 2017 You Need to Know

European Day of Languages 2019

A massive shout out to Bersin by Deloitte Deloitte Consulting LLP for a report that truly sums up the challenges and opportunities that we face in the coming year, with their top 11 predictions.

Here is our comment on each predication, along with our take out on how this impacts the people and learning space.

Prediction 1: Organizational Design Will Be Challenged Everywhere

“Teams should be smaller, flatter, and more empowered”

If you don’t reinvent yourself, someone else will. Disruption is a fact across all industries, and barriers to entry have never been lower thanks to global digitalization.

Prediction 2: Culture and Engagement Will Remain Top Priorities

“86 percent of business leaders rate “culture” as one of the more urgent talent issues, yet only 14 percent understand what the “right culture” really is” 

The bulk of our workforce will be Millennials; by 2025, Millennials will comprise 75% of the global workforce. They want to make an impact and are impatient to do so. Involving them, getting the culture ‘right’ and keeping them, is going to be the real challenge of the next decade. If you haven’t yet watched Simon Sinek’s Millennials in the Workplace, you’d better youTube this as soon as you finish this blog.

Prediction 3: Real-Time Feedback and Analytics Will Explode in Maturity

‘Real-time feedback, pulse surveys, text and narrative analytics, and network analytics tools will become mainstream in 2017’

BIG data. A term that has been around for a while, but it isn’t going away, and how you manage and consolidate it will define your future conversion success. Getting tools in place for real time feedback from your teams and customers will define your company. So what is a pulse survey? A pulse survey is a survey that is short, and very specific, no more than 5-10 questions long, and must be focused on a specific area for improvement. Looping back to the Millennials (we want make a impact and we’re impatient to do so), listen, involve but you had better be ready to act and improve, not just pay lip service, or don’t bother.

Prediction 4: A New Generation of Performance Management Tools Will Emerge

‘Companies have shifted from a very top-down, process-driven approach to employee performance management (and annual appraisals) to a much more agile, continuous, feedback based-approach.’

If we need to empower and engage this workforce, then waiting a whole year for an annual appraisal is not going to cut it. If the other key motivator for Millennials is to make an impact and have a voice, one-way feedback is not going to cut it. Growing up with the Internet, where feedback and clarification is instantaneous, new tools need to match this expectation.

As Jeff Lawson, chief executive of Twilio, puts it, ” If you get into the habit of regular feedback, it’s not confrontational; it’s just the ebb and flow of conversation and a constant tweaking of how you work with somebody.”

Prediction 5: A Focus on “Human Performance” and Wellbeing Will Become a Critical Part of HR, Talent, and Leadership

‘Almost 40 percent of employees believe “it is impossible to maintain a fast-growing career and a sound family life’

 This doesn’t just mean the odd sharing, caring lunch and a basketball hoop. (Although they are cool as part of an overall pack!) Take note of the New Economic Foundation’s (NEF) five Ways to Wellbeing: Keep Learning, Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Give. According to Eastern Kentucky University’s online Bachelor of Science in Occupational Safety program, companies spend about $300 billion annually for health care and missed workdays as a result of workplace stress.

Prediction 6: Focus on Employee Experience Will Overcome Process Design in HR

‘The concept of “total employee experience,” focused on design thinking and the simplification of work, will become a major focus in HR.’

There has been a serious change in the way people are naming their HR departments and the individuals that work in them, from People Operations, Partner Resources, Employee Experience to CPP (Chief People Person), VP, People and Culture and Director of Employee Engagement.

The shift from managing the cost of human resources and the cost of administering that resource to a mindset of talent management and employee experience is essential to keeping a workforce that expects and wants to move on at least 5 times in their career.

Prediction 7: Digital HR and Learning Will Help Us to Reinvent L&D and HR Systems

“HR organizations now have to learn how to “be digital,” not just “buy digital products.”

 Platforms, apps, survey tools…what is key is that employees have real time data to do their job and can connect with learning that makes a difference as and when they need it. Virtually all 18-34 year old Millennials (97%) are mobile users, while 20% don’t’ use a desktop at all. The demographic 35-54 has the highest % of multi-platform users at 82% (Insight from comScore 2016). An average of 5.6 hours a day is spent on digital media in the US, 2.8 hours on mobile and 2.4hours on desktop, with a global average of ownership of four digital devices.

Well, that just about says it all.

Prediction 8: The Leadership Market Will Start a Steady Process of Reinvention

“Leadership development continues to be a challenge year after year. In 2017, a focus on “digital leadership” and rethinking the leadership pipeline will be critical.”

 If only 15 of companies believe they have a strong Millennial-focused leadership program, the focus needs to shift from formal training to creating cultures of learning, giving exposure to learning tools and enabling continuous feedback and coaching, This means that middle managers and leaders also need to keep up with skills to have any chance of the beautiful yet challenging win that is mentoring and coaching.

Prediction 9: The Leadership Market Will Start a Steady Process of Reinvention

‘Diversity, inclusion, and the removal of unconscious bias will become CEO-level issues in 2017.’

In an economic climate where the popular supersedes the factual, and post-truth is a new entry in the Oxford English dictionary (relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief), cultural intelligence tools are going to the at the forefront of creating cultures that connect.

Prediction 10: The L&D Function Will Continue to Struggle 34 Prediction

‘The corporate L&D market is undergoing one of its most disruptive times in the last 15 years’

If the HR department are going to have to digitalize, this is nothing compared to the revolution needed by L&D and training. Platforms such as Cudoo, with accessible scalable online training are moving quickly to meet this challenge, with it’s use of preferred Millennial media i.e. video and microlearning. The e-learning market is $51.5B, with an annual growth rate between 2012-2016 of 7.9%. Video will account for 69% of consumer Internet traffic by 2017(Cisco report).

According to the Aberdeen Group, companies that offer microlearning to employees are 30% more likely to improve customer satisfaction scores on a year-on-year basis. Time to listen to what you team want.

Prediction 11: The Future of Work Is Here and HR Is in the Hot Seat

‘AI, robotics, and cognitive systems are augmenting and changing jobs, professions, and careers.’

The bots are coming and it’s out with the dinosaurs…Goodbye to Human Resources and hi to Human Richness.


A parting thought.

 Balancing the changing workplace and job reinvention with the need to act to reduce global income inequality will be the key challenge of the next decade.

 Affordable, accessible education is a way to bridge the gap.


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Sue Brett
By Sue Brett

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