Time to sharpen our focus
As we enter the middle part of Q4, the impact of a global recession is starting to feel very real for a lot of people.
All eyes are on how different industries approach a downturn. If, like several high profile tech companies, layoffs have to be conducted, it will say a lot about organizations, not only around how many are laid off, but also the manner in which they do it. I wonder how visionary founders like Sacha Romanovitch are approaching this period of upset.
At UNLEASH, recession or not, our mission won’t change.
We’ll continue to be the guiding light for HR and business leaders to execute on productive, impactful people strategies that break new ground and get the best of the workforce – wherever they may be.
Going into a financially tough environment that has an undefined end, the language around that mission will change for many. You’ll see more stories about reassurance, automation, resilience, productivity hacks and talent strategy. All of these topics you can find already on UNLEASH (here, here and here for example), but I think our global audience will appreciate more of where that came from.
Headcount changes, layoffs and redundancies are destabilizing for all, but honesty and communication go a long way. Give people time to plan their future, even if that future exists somewhere else.
The show must (virtually) go on
As a major advocate of the metaverse, it’s clear that Meta is taking stock of its position. In this new and indeterminate virtual world, surely the metaverse will exist in some form, but it’s such a vast idea that for many people who aren’t VR engineers or coders, there’s too much scope. It’s too much to think about, and probably easier to write it off as expensive, useless and unnecessary.
Well – try telling that to Macy’s. As reported by Marketing Dive, Macy’s has once again programmed part of its Thanksgiving Day parade in the metaverse. Does it include NFTs? Yes. Is it a bold move? Certainly. Will it take off? Who knows.
Macy’s are taking another creative risk and fair play to them for doing so. Will there be a backlash? Undoubtedly.
It’s still the Wild West for Web 3 and not everyone finds the gold. Regulation and rules of engagement are still few and far between. Excitingly though, the tech of Web 3 is firmly on HR’s radar – upcoming for UNLEASH is an interview with WorkAxle about HR on the blockchain.
These are kinds of dreamers and disruptors we like to deal with here at UNLEASH and even though it’s tempting to ‘on-the-blockchain’ anything to make it tech-relevant, applications are myriad and the opportunity is real.
Attendance, scheduling, reward and recognition, so many areas of human resources could benefit from secure, immutable personalization. Keep an eye on our Spotify channel for more.
(Editor’s note: I know this is now two columns back to back extolling the virtues of Web 3 but it’s a brave new world which merits examination.)
When does a buzzword become a trend?
Whenever I think of HR and learning, and what topics become popular over time, I always visualize it as two streams of interest: perennial concerns and buzzwords. Long- and short-tail keywords, if you like.
The big, broad topics are concerns that will never be solved, only improved upon over time as new tech and techniques come on the market.
Those age old questions: What is good leadership? What’s your coaching and mentoring strategy? How do you make the most of a multi-generational workplace? You’ll never answer these questions fully – but you’ll probably get better at resolving them.
And then there are buzzwords, some of which fall by the wayside or get subsumed into other trends e.g. gamification (game theory is alive and well and so popular as to now be unremarkable), mobile learning (learning delivery has mostly become device-agnostic or at least mobile first), or equine leadership (I’ll have to pass on this one).
Other terms and trends that catch fire become a part of our HR and L&D work life e.g. artificial intelligence, mental health, D,E&I, employee recognition.
The eternal question is – can we predict which will stay popular, which will vanish, and which we should lean into to make a difference to our people strategy?
The International Festival of HR is back! Discover amazing speakers from the world of HR and business at UNLEASH America on 26-27 April 2023.