May 3, 201912:20 PMProgressive HR
with Coreyne Woodman-Holoubek
Essential takeaways from the 2019 Workplace Intelligence Report
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Bulging with a wealth of data, the 2019 Workplace Intelligence Report, a collaboration between Greenhouse and George LaRocque from HRWins, offers impressive amounts of information and hard data from more than 1,300 business leaders and 4,000 employees in the U.S. and the U.K. It is one of the few HR technology reports that offers insights behind the scenes in our workplaces, about the work we do and the workflows that inform our decisions on the digital transformation that we are already bringing and will continue bring into our workplaces over the next five to 10 years.
More importantly, it offers solace to those of us who feel like we are playing dodgeball with technologies and buzzwords. It alerts us to the challenges of healthy management practices, gives measure to where we really are on the road to achieving inclusion and belonging, and delivers insight into our adaptation to digital transformation. Overall, the report brings a number of enriching takeaways that HR and organizational leaders can apply now, as well as over the next decade.
Originally, I connected with George LaRocque over a virtual coffee to discuss his upcoming and much anticipated UNLEASH America presentation in Las Vegas this May. My overarching goal of the conversation was to understand the status of the digital economy and which HR tech vendors, apps, and innovative startups would take our organizations to the forefront of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0. Our conversation instead turned to the state of work — specifically, the gaps between where our priorities are for work and where we actually are in the state of the workplace.
The report really called out how much organizations are trying to keep up with the amount of disruption based on macro trends, socioeconomic trends, and the pace of change. Additionally, the report is an opportunity to increase our awareness about what we, as leaders, take for granted regarding our organizations. We assume there are processes and programs in place to support our teams and our organizational cultures during the digital transformation, but is that really the case? Take, for example, organizational communication and employee engagement. Businesses will increase their employee engagement spending by 45 percent this year over 2018, a necessary response to continued reports that 70 percent of employees do not feel engaged at work.
LaRocque makes a point that employees are not engaged because we don’t engage them. “Communication is consistently rated as the biggest driver of engagement and might be the most overlooked,” he said. “We’ve complicated the discussion about employee engagement, looking for analytics provided by our survey platforms to tell us what elective benefits to implement or perks to offer to improve our engagement score.” But the hard truth is, where we put our time is indicative of where we put our priorities. Shockingly — or maybe not so shockingly — according to the Workplace Intelligence Report, 51 percent of leaders spend three hours or less on people-related issues on average per month.
We understand that business leaders have started prioritizing diversity and inclusion in company culture, yet 45 percent of employees surveyed do not know if their employer has a diversity and inclusion program. Many managers are stretched thin just executing the basic functions of their work. This leaves very little room for interpersonal, diversity, and leadership training. The desire and need for coaching and growth is greater than the time that is being made available, and that is why some leaders are looking toward the newest tech for solutions.
The global human capital management (HCM) sector is projected reach $30 billion by 2025 and the volume of U.S. HR tech venture capital rose to $1.741 billion, just in the first quarter of 2019. There are overwhelming amounts of HCM vendors, startups, and new specialist HR technologies in the market. For our own professional education and for the growth of our companies, we often feel obligated to know and use all of newest, best technologies available. This very large market is wonderful for innovation, but can leave us in a choice paralysis.
I asked LaRocque how the Workplace Intelligence Report could help me decide, as a business leader and HR executive, what technology tools I should bring into my organization. “First, before you get to this report, have a clear picture of what opportunity you want to seize, what problem you want to solve, or what issue you want to address with technology,” he said. “What results do you want to see from that implementation and what value you are looking for, whether it’s a real business metric or more qualitative message about engagement. Once you have what you want to measure, the report can inform your decisions with trends that are impacting work and HR today, and what you need to be ready for in the future.”