HR and Beyond: Game-Changing Trends | Inquirer Business

HR and Beyond: Game-Changing Trends

/ 12:46 AM October 11, 2015

In many parts of the world today, there are game-changing trends in the practice of human resources management. Unfortunately, many Filipino HR practitioners continue to dwell on the same old challenges of the 1980s.

Key findings


Deloitte recently unveiled its Global Human Capital Trends 2015 report, outlining radical trends in HR practice around the globe. The report’s key findings include:

  • Culture, engagement, leadership and development continue to be urgent priorities
  • Capability gaps in leadership and learning increased dramatically in importance
  • HR skills are not keeping up with business needs
  • HR technology has a growing market, but with largely unfulfilled promise
  • People analytics are priority but progress is slow
  • Simplification is vital, but HR remains part of the problem

Perennial issues


Leadership development and continuity are perennial issues over the years. Ninety percent of organizations surveyed admitted that this is top priority, but also confessed that many have not made headways in closing the competency gaps and developing leaders to assume top positions. Fortunately for us, this sad reality is true in almost all regions.

The need to transform and accelerate corporate learning led many organizations to seek newer & innovative ways in learning & development (L&D). Many HR practitioners admitted a decelerating ability of HR organizations to resolve this issue. In Deloitte’s survey, only 40 percent of companies are confident that they are prepared for L & D challenges, compared to 75 percent last year.

Naked organization

Organizations need to focus more on corporate culture and dramatically improve employee engagement and retention. HR must intensify its effort to create in the organization’s leaders a clear understanding of their company’s culture and what augurs well for organizational and individual effectiveness. HR must continually scrutinize its programs to determine their effectiveness in engaging and retaining the best talents. The real issue is not just about making employees satisfied, but leaders must grapple with realities that there are those they must keep and some they must ease out of the organization. The timing and the mode are crucial issues, too.

In the Philippine legislature, there is a move to make almost every position in the private sector regular, if not permanent. As we write, there are thousands in government who are employed on a temporary basis for over 15 years, doing jobs that are either necessary or desirable. Elsewhere in the world, many organizations operate using “workforce on demand.” Eighty percent of surveyed companies say that workforce capability is a crucial issue. Innovative ways of sourcing talent – make, buy or borrow – are in place in many highly successful organizations today. Contingent and contract workers abound in other economies that allow more flexibility for companies and more stable employment for workers. The market has redefined security of tenure. Security in other parts of the globe is no longer equated with a regular position, but with the ability to perform a variety of jobs over time, even as one moves from one position, department, company, country or region to another. Deloitte says, “It is important that employers who choose this option have the right processes, policies and tools in place so that they can source, evaluate and reward non-traditional talent within their organizations.”

New performance contract

Deloitte notes that traditional performance management is being replaced with innovative performance solutions. Agile performance management has arrived, and will become a core component for focus on engagement, development & leadership. Traditional performance appraisals are giving way to more developmental approaches where feedback is more constant and training is done to make employees effective in their jobs.


HR must undergo a major makeover. Instead of simply managing the HR unit, HR heads must worry about helping manage the business of doing business. In 1994, Bill Tiffany of Caltex told me, “Ernie, your job is not to make the payroll. It is to help us find the next payroll money.” Since that time, I changed my view of my role. The need to reskill HR practitioners is more felt today than ever before. Deloitte observed that business leaders’ rating of HR’s performance is 20% lower than HR leaders’ self-rating. This signals the imperative to reengineer HR to make it more capable of delivering value across the business. In many large organizations, the CEOs are becoming more comfortable about bringing in non-HR professionals to fill in the role of the Chief HR Officer. Unless HR shapes up and delivers, the practitioners could lose their jobs & the functions could be outsourced to consultants like me.


Deloitte also observed that very few organizations are doing talent analytics to address complex business problems. I have always been biased in favor of technology. Organizations must now invest in leveraging data. HR analytics can change the way HR works, but practitioners are too slow to take advantage of technology’s potential to upgrade the HR practice.

Organizations must learn to expand their data strategies by harnessing third party data about their employees or customers from available social media platforms. Social medium has not only become part of organizational culture, but it can also give clues about employee demographics, motivation, and engagement. Do you know how many percent of your employees have joined the Aldub nation or are patronizing the Pastillas girl?

As we write, there’s an information overload that increases system complexity. Organizations must henceforth simplify work environments for people to be more effective. A growing phenomenon that remains almost unnoticed by organizational leaders is the so-called “overwhelmed employee.” Job design, job sculpting, design thinking and overhauling the work environment to relieve stress will help enhance productivity. In the past, the mantra was “doing more with less.” In a highly sophisticated environment, “doing less better” is a new proposition.

Employees have always thought that machines will render them redundant and inutile. Most computers today have powerful “minds.” The typical smart phone in your hand today is 10,000 times more powerful than the computer that guided the 1969 lunar module from the Apollo 11 to the moon and back.

A year or two ago, I wrote in this column about Cognitive Computing-the use of computers to read, analyze, speak, and make decisions. The challenge for HR is to think about how to help their organizations redesign jobs in a way that will make humans and machines work together in any role or capacity for the mutual benefit of the organization and the individual. The increasing presence of intelligent software is challenging companies to rethink the way they do business and the skills their employees need for career success.

Annual Conference

HR trends issues will be discussed in the much awaited PMAP Annual Conference on October 12-14, 2015 at the Marriott Grand Ballroom, with the theme “HR and Beyond.” Keynote speakers are Jollibee Food Corporation President Jose Tanbuntiong and Albay Governor Joey Salceda. Other luminaries who will grace the occasion are Hon. Herminio “Sonny” Coloma, Secretary of Presidential Communications Office; Carmen Melissa Antonio, SVP of Nestlé Philippines; Sheel Majumdar, HR Director of Microsoft Philippines; Jesper Madsen, Country HR Director of Accenture; Javier Vincent Rufino, Editor-in-Chief,, Vibhas Ratanjee, Senior Practice Expert, Gallup; Evelyn Salagubang, SVP & Group Head, Banco de Oro; Ann Margaret Santiago, Group Head, HRMD, Smart Communications; Atty. Josephus Jimenez, PMAP Past President; Sandy Prieto-Romualdez, President & CEO of this paper; and Ramon Segismundo, Senior VP of Meralco.

Aside from interesting leadership tracks, PMAP’s conference shall tackle CEOs’ outlook on emerging workforce issues, HR trends, creating employee value proposition for Millennials, social media impact on employment cycle, and working hours and its impact on engagement and productivity.

For information or registration assistance, contact Cacay Ponce de Leon at +632 726 1532 or visit

PMAP President Obet Policarpio and Vice President Jesse Rebustillo are managing this year’s Annual Conference. This is the annual event organized by the premier organization of HR practitioners in the Philippines (since 1956), not by just any other event organizer.

(Ernie is the 2013 Executive Director and 1999 President of the People Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP); Chair of the AMCHAM Human Capital Committee; and Co-Chair of ECOP’s TWG on Labor and Social Policy Issues. He also chairs the Accreditation Council for the PMAP Society of Fellows in People Management. He is President and CEO of EC Business Solutions and Career Center. Contact him at [email protected])


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TAGS: business needs, capability gaps, cognitive computing, corporate learning, Culture, design thinking, development, engagement, HR, HR skills, hr technology, human resources, Job design, job sculpting, leadership, learning and development, overwhelmed employee, people analytics, productivity, stress, trends, work environment, workforce on demand
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