Each year before Christmas, I retire from the hustle and bustle at the end of the year to sum up and reflect on goals for the coming year.
What was good? What have we achieved? What do we want, must we discard, change, redefine or adapt? My main focus is on how our teams and individual employees are doing. The magic word “employee satisfaction” floats above everything.
Of course, our own corporate development plays just as important a role as international trends which provide inspiration for new approaches and change potential.
In view of the increasing shortage of skilled workers, employee satisfaction and our attractiveness as an employer are becoming increasingly important. At the same time, we see China and India, which have already left the starting block, as oversized competitors with a completely different work ethic and mentality.
What can we do to counter this? Our mission is to combine employee satisfaction with measurable productivity.
The London School of Economics has published a study on the relationship between employee satisfaction and profitability that clearly shows that happy employees achieve higher productivity.
For us, this means taking a holistic approach to all our HR work.
Human Relations Needs a Holistic Approach
For us, this means taking a holistic approach to all our HR work (Which, as of 2019, no longer stands for “Human Resources,” but for “Human Relations”). Above all, this means combining different perspectives:
- We are committed to using the latest technologies AND focusing on developing people rather than replacing them.
- Creating added value for all corporate “members” and not just for management.
- Using sophisticated analytics to complement intuition.
- Being active and dynamic, but reflective at the same time.
- Keeping the external focus and never acting without an internal one.
AI and ML – Not Only for Routine Activities
In another blog article, I wrote about how employees benefit from using artificial intelligence. The business trends for 2020 assume that we will not only use artificial intelligence to free employees from routine tasks, but that we will go one step further. If work is made easier through automation and work steps are streamlined, this will lead to happier and more productive employees in the near term.
In principle, however, it is important to deal with the topic of complexity and systemic thinking in order to understand how organizations function in their change processes.
Internal vs. External Competence Development
Low fluctuation of employees and a low number of internally-filled positions are often seen as quality characteristics of a healthy corporate culture. At many times in the organization, we try to fill vacancies from our own ranks when there is an increase in necessary staff. Additionally, we make sure that we keep employees on board for as long as possible. This reduces organizational complexity, but may not really be conducive to an increase in competence: Sometimes new impulses from outside are needed.
To really be able to decide which decision is the right one in which areas, granular measurement methods are required. In principle, however, it is important to deal with the topic of complexity and systemic thinking in order to understand how organizations function in their change processes.
Self-Organized Learning and Coaching
In our company, there has never been a catalogue of measurement that provided for a specific further training in certain positions, since we have always been of the opinion that personal development also requires individual measures. The business trends in the area of personnel development even go one step further here: coaching, previously reserved for management, should be made accessible to everyone. Through digital coaching, individually adapted solutions can be found, and this practice has demonstrably achieved the greatest successes in terms of personnel sustainability.
Diverse Teams and Inclusive Leadership
Although these are not really new topics, they are a little higher on the list of trends for 2020. Inclusive leadership leads to a climate of excellence and innovation because it supports the right balance between competition and cooperation. An essential building block here is transparent and open communication and the attitude of superiors to recognize the potential in every employee, to allow it and to give it room.
This does not apply exclusively to technical issues. Rather, social responsibility also plays an important role here. We therefore integrate our entire team of employees into these processes and motivate them to play an active role in shaping and implementing our CSR issues, for example.
In summary, we do not expect any really new trends over the next few years when it comes to organizational development and leadership – two important building blocks on which entrepreneurial success is built. However, the existing ideas and intentions have become more finessed and we will continue to incorporate various aspects of technological and sociological nature, based on data evaluation, algorithms and thus create the transfer from an analysis of employees to an analysis for employees.