Employee Engagement Future of Work

Josh Bersin speaks at the HRD Summit about productivity, engagement, and the new role of HR in employee lifecycle management.

The Changing Workplace

It’s possible that the phrase ‘changing workplace’ is a cliche at this point, but Principal and Founder of Bersin by Deloitte, Josh Bersin, points out how technology is changing all jobs (not just tech jobs). It’s also changing expectations. Employees can no longer be solo artists; they are expected to collaborate effectively across cross-functional teams, for example, a sales team working with other departments to build success. Bersin affirms that the relationships we have with people now are probably more important than ever.

As responsibilities grow for employees, it’s easy for managers to expect more and more from their people, but Bersin reminds us that protecting productivity isn’t the only responsibility managers have. They also need to ensure that productivity doesn’t come at a cost; that of overwhelming and burning out their employees.

Productivity and Stress Reduction

HR has often allowed teams to be siloed, for example, HR recruitment teams focus solely on recruiting. However, Bersin asserts that HR needs to focus on the productivity of employees, which is all about asking “how does work get done?” HR and managers also need to work together to help employees stay healthy and manage stress.

While HR professionals are responsible for recruiting, onboarding and taking the lead on employee lifecycle management, it’s also their role to influence positive outcomes for both the company and each employee–for example–high productivity and high rates of employee satisfaction.

To that end, effective hiring, retention and workplace satisfaction can’t be assumed to follow hiring ‘the right people’. HR needs to take an active role, working in tandem with managers to make sure that employees are engaged, able to manage stress, and can grow in their jobs. It’s all part of employee lifecycle management.

Is Your HR Team Outcome Focused?

Bersin wraps up the interview with an essential question for all HR teams,

“Are you doing things that are making people more productive, and making it easier for them to do their jobs?”

Yes, it is the job of management and team leaders to influence their employees and maintain productivity, but in the long run, HR plays a major role in bringing the right people on board, facilitating their success and mitigating conflict. As more teams move toward an Agile model of testing and iteration, it’s important that HR doesn’t remain solely process-based.

Staying on Top of Changes in HR

We hope this interview helped you spot some of the trends headed your way if you’re an HR professional. It struck us as a good summary of the big changes affecting HR and employee development lifecycle management more generally. To see how companies are managing the new responsibilities and how employee engagement software fits in, get in touch, we’re happy to introduce you to Talivest and discuss how it helps organisations stay on top of new responsibilities in HR.


Laura Belyea