We had the pleasure of bringing togther HR leaders from our network in EMEA to the GE Power offices in Zurich to discuss opportunities and disruptions for HR over the next 10 years. There were many companies in attendance including ABB, Firmenich, Human Edge Consulting, Kudelski, Novartis, Oracle, Procter & Gamble, Schindler, Swatch and Zurich. Key discussion points included the future of organisational structures, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and whether the traditional resume has become obsolete.

The rise of the tech-dominated workforce is having significant consequences for the way organisations are structured. The traditionally hierarchical organisations are having to evolve and we are observing more self-managing teams that are agile and aligned to work tasks. There are growing reports of internal ‘Uber’ type business models for projects where employees are able to take on additional work in their spare time and be compensated for it.

Hiring practices are also undergoing innovation. A move away from the status-quo can be seen in progressive organisations that are putting less emphasis and importance on resumes and instead adopting a hiring for potential strategy. The question of whether the resume will become obsolete in the future produced a lively debate, and the consensus from the group was that we will see an adapted version of resume in the future. Interestingly, Schindler has a program where employees can enter their role into a portal and which gives them visibility into potential future roles they could be in and what stepping stone roles they need to be in to get there.

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In many ways GE Power is at the forefront of HR innovation and disruption. The business has removed performance systems and has instead adopted ongoing 360 degree checks. Simple surveys allow employees to conduct constant checkpoints on how they are tracking and to understand culture change. Senior management have daily one hour meetings with groups of employees to listen to what employees have to say and also weekly meetings to share feedback.

We thoroughly enjoyed this roundtable and were inspired by the insights shared by the attendees. Many thanks to Victoria Tawney and Cathy Desquesses at GE for making the session possible.