The Biggest Trends in Talent Management and HR

I recently had the opportunity to participate in an Argyle Conversation by Argyle Executive Forum.

I enjoyed to give and take very much, and appreciated the chance to close out the discussion with a look into the future on major trends coming for HR and talent management.

Below is my answer, but I also encourage you to read the full conversation to understand how we arrived at this point with employee recognition and engagement:

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There are three large trends that I see out there. One is the importance of big data, which is obviously not a brand new trend. But if you think back about some of the things that I mentioned about how strategic recognition differs from traditional recognition, and how big data is a key driver of that, then Globoforce certainly is a leader in bringing data to the recognition topic. We’ve invested way beyond the curve in reporting capabilities, predictive analytics and being able to use data to drive important decisions around the talent that you have, by spotting hot spots of who gets recognized for great performance. If particular groups of employees continuously recognize certain individuals for perhaps their level of energy or their level of innovation, those can be important indicators to include in a much richer talent conversation. So I think data’s a big trend in recognition being part of that.

The second major change is the social component, and within social you have the idea of crowdsourcing feedback like the travel guide example. In traditional organizations, you follow everything down the straight hierarchy where your senior management makes the big decision and it gets passed down in a linear fashion. That’s dramatically changing already with all the social tools that are going into the enterprise. So that’s a major trend, and recognition is within that conversation because it’s social recognition that offers the opportunity to capture people’s feedback and how people are thinking about the way that we’re living a company’s values.

Finally, if you think about traditional performance management and the annual appraisal, that can be impacted by some of the trends I already mentioned. The traditional performance appraisal tends to be the single manager’s view of your performance in a year. It tends to be done on an annual basis and can be very structured. There isn’t a single person that I’ve met in my career who looks forward to their annual appraisal.

I think that’s going to change as a consequence of social recognition and the opportunity to use social recognition and its crowdsourced feedback. Just imagine the ability to capture all of that feedback that employees are giving to each other about how you live the values during the year, if that can become an additional reference point.

So I don’t think the traditional performance appraisal is going to die completely. But I think it can be significantly complemented by collecting more opinions to get a much deeper and better-rounded understanding of how the employees really performed during the year.”

Those would be the three biggest trends: big data, the social component, and the transformation of the traditional performance review.

What trends do you see on the horizon for HR and talent management?

You can find more from Derek Irvine on his Recognize This! blog.

Derek Irvine is senior vice president of client strategy and consulting at Workhuman, where he leads the company’s consulting and analytics divisions. His writing is regularly featured across major HR publications, including HR Magazine, Human Resource Executive, HR Zone, and Workspan.