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We’re now nearly through 2015, so let’s look at some of the most important statistics about HR reported in the media so far. 

 1. The #1 challenge is culture and engagement.  In Deloitte’s study of global human capital trends the number one trend was “the naked organization”: the idea that organizations are terribly vulnerable in an era where it can’t hide its warts and employees will leave at the drop of hat. This has HR leaders thinking hard about culture and engagement. It easy to work on recruitment processes or learning technology solutions; it’s not so easy to work on the intangible glue of culture—that’s why concern about culture is a top trend.

2. Only 10% feel comfortable with succession planning. One of the big levers for driving culture is leadership so it’s a bit of worry when Deloitte’s research shows only 10% of organization feel comfortable with succession planning. Can new technology help here? Sure, but not on its own; organizations need a culture that values rigorous selection and development of leaders. So leaders may be the solution to culture, but leadership itself depends on culture. Is this a virtuous (or vicious) circle in your workplace?

3. Most workers are now Millennials. While HR is pondering how to build the right culture, the culture will be transforming on its own as 2015 is the first year when Millennials have become the majority of the workforce. Channeling the energy of Millennials as they create their own culture may be more important than trying to drive them into a preset mold. What are Millennials doing to your company culture? Is it something you can in any way control?

4.  40% of HR functions are being restructured. Towers Watson reports that almost half of all HR departments will be restructured in 2015 or 2016. Given deep concerns about culture and succession, its no surprise companies are shaking up the function. If your HR function was to be restructured, what is the biggest problem the restructuring would attempt to solve?

5. Most companies are spending more on HR. Deloitte also says that 6 in 10 companies plan to increase spending on HR in the next 12 to 18 months. That’s encouraging, but organizations will expect to see results. Where would an investment in HR have the biggest impact on your organization? Something to do with culture, with leadership, or with the Millennial generation? If the money is spent on normal operational matters would that yield a more visible payoff—but does that show a lack of vision?

The trends that matter most are the trends in your own organization. Take a moment to consider what trends will most affect you in the remainder of 2015.
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David Creelman

David Creelman is CEO of Creelman Research. He studies the pressing issues in managing talent and culture. His most recent book, with John Boudreau and Ravin Jesuthasan is “Lead the Work: Navigating a world beyond employment.”