The year 2023 has just begun and it is time for budgets, plans, and resolutions: the value of the new year, however, is what we are most interested in. Looking back serves only to look forward with greater clarity.
2021 – Stop and go
We were born in June 2021 when the world was smelling back to work, new normal, new ways of working and surroundings … shortly afterwards we realized that the pandemic emergency was not over.
On the strength of an acceleration on ways of working and collaborating even remotely, a year and a half of forced continuous innovation, and a market that was eager to get back on track after a very challenging period.
Sure, there were still problems with supplies and supply chains, delays, skyrocketing prices due to various speculations … but somehow we were back on track.
2022 – Welcome to the new normal
The year 2022 started out under the banner of revived optimism (under the banner of “this time with COVID we can live with it, if it really doesn’t pass …”) and with a small wake-up call for what seemed like a small threat of a Russia-Ukraine border war (for the record, officially erupted on Feb. 17, 2022).
2022 was the year of “War,” the return of history (including in Europe), gas prices, wheat and oil prices, commodities and energy, galloping inflation, etc.
At the end of 2022 we stopped to look back, the first 19 months of HRI’s life. And we thought that it was born at a time when the market was at least turbulent!
2023 – Does it make sense to make plans about the future?
And then, we started thinking about the near future, 2023.
A year when companies are paying attention to costs (even those that historically have been little); the labor market has not yet fully absorbed the Great Resignation; the socio-political-economic scenario is not particularly clear.
We asked ourselves whether it makes sense to make plans. And again we told ourselves that yes, it makes sense, because they help us to be focused, without losing the flexibility to adapt to the context.
It makes sense because, in spite of everything, the economy, markets, and companies exist, but above everything else there are people who work.
We take care of them. Of the people who go to work, who learn, who produce value, who make careers, who reconcile non-work commitments with work commitments, trying not to “lose” the pieces, the people who have expectations that are met or disappointed, the people who believe in them and those who no longer believe in them.
We note among other things that today, people have to adapt to using simultaneously ovvewro in a “hybrid” way many more traditional working models (presence and direct control) to more advanced ones (remote working for objectives).
On the other hand, at HRI we read people through numbers, to make evident what is often not, and to help companies notice what is happening. We help companies see people and not just an anonymous “human capital.”
The two perspectives are not antithetical; on the contrary, the more you can see people, their stories and uniqueness, the more that “capital” takes on value. But you can’t really value a capital if you don’t have elements to measure its value.
“People come first. It’s that simple!”
This focus of ours, it almost sounds like a claim, and is actually our deepest reason.
Through data, numbers, a language that makes more tangible a matter that is otherwise very intangible or questionable, we want to generate an impact and consolidate in companies the belief that taking care of people is not in conflict with profit generation (in fact, many researches also say so).
HRI meetings and projects
In these 19 months we have worked with HRs, CEOs, DE&Is, Managers, etc. … that is, with so many people working within so many companies in different roles. Yet, we have found several commonalities:
- People-related management processes are often perceived as “depersonalizing,” both by those who govern them, those who have to act on them, and those who “undergo” them;
- People do not feel “seen,” listened to and considered;
- Managers feel “uncomfortable” in acting their managerial responsibility through management processes that they find ineffective;
- The HR function feels that it is “chasing” rather than “governing.”
In summary … no one feels satisfied within this management model!!!
On the other hand, it is evident to all that:
- We have more and more data and information available (and we are using it little);
- Technological evolution will make even more data available (and we can’t not use it);
- Technological evolution will make many professions obsolete faster and faster (do we want to talk about ChatGPT and beyond!?).
If we look at ourselves as users/consumers, we are all already very used to making data expressing our preferences available so that it can be used to offer us “tailored” services. The logical consequence is: we make better use of data to understand phenomena related to our people and to target actions aimed at enhancing them. That is: HR Intelligence
It sounds easy and logical, but it is not, perhaps not yet, and in any case not for everyone, be it cultural legacy, lack of skills, resistance to the new.
Opportunities and challenges
Where we have been able to take our approach, interesting opportunities have arisen:
- We have shown that even the best processes can generate deviations due to collective unconscious bias;
- Migration flows of people who – unhappy and dissatisfied – sought other paths were highlighted (and prevented);
- The “invisibles,” i.e., people who in management processes end up among the forgotten, the unseen, the marginal, were made visible, enabling actions to be taken for enhancement.
- On the HR agenda are challenging scenarios:
- Market turbulence and conservative strategy consequences (more tactical than strategic, with focus on the short term);
- An aging corporate population (demographically) but with a long tenure horizon (requiring a long-term strategy); and
- Young people (Millennials) and very young people (Z-gen) who are getting fewer and fewer, and have an average “stay” time in the company of 2.4 and 1.2 years, respectively (source: Universum)
- Increasingly widespread instances on issues of Diversity and Inclusion that further push towards a systemic rather than tactical vision
Budgets, plans and resolutions: the value of the new year for HRI
In order to deal with increasing complexity, it is necessary to have meaningful, timely information that can bring out the key points and facilitate decision-making.
It is known what happens to resolutions: as we utter them, we already know we will not achieve them.
So let’s put them aside and talk about plans. In HRI we love to have plans, ideas to implement, because they help us to be focused, make us resilient to adapt to the context … and what a context!!!
Barbara, Mario and Michele