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theHRDIRECTOR – November 2018 – Issue 169

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Synopsis – Issue 169 – November 2018

Expanding compensation capabilities
Where it comes down to the retention and attraction of essential skills and talent, the capacity to be not only competitive, but attention-seeking, and even exciting in the remuneration and reward factor, is now critical. Businesses have been treading water for so long time, desperately holding on to personnel through more holistic and innovative ways, in order to compensate for a flat-line in salary. Consequently, for many, the compensation function is a withered muscle that needs revitalising. It’s rather late in the day to ask the hard questions, but in this issue, we do just that: So how effectively is your business utilising data on remuneration and reward? How aware are the decision makers of market competition and do they have access to in-depth reporting and analytics, to build and maintain a robust compensation strategy? There is little doubt that the struggling UK economy is facing increased crisis, and the combination of high inflation and stagnating pay will hit hard. So what measures are available to retaining and attracting the best, in the face of the skills drought and increasing competition?

Global business
Unchartered waters lay ahead and businesses are desperate to reach out to the world. But on the global stage, the stakes rise exponentially – the old adage “the further the reach, the weaker the grip” aptly applies. In the past, the stalwart, tried and trusted strategy rested on the premise of standardisation, but this cautious and foot-steady approach is woefully outmoded, as speed of action will be the defining element of success. Equally retrospective is centralised control, for despite digital means of communication, localisation – although unavoidably more risky – is also the most direct strategy when speed is of the essence, as it inevitably always is. This means the recruitment engine needs to be firing on all cylinders and there is no room for ambiguity in roles and responsibilities, so a mind-set of clear lines and communications is essential. As they forge further afield, businesses are increasingly challenged to balance the needs for a unified global culture, with a local strategic approach, particularly where cultural differences do not align with core values.

Collaborative and matrixed organisations
Just as a football squad of podium players never makes a great team, the change in the way most businesses now resource and operate, has the potential for a disparate, disconnected group of talented individuals and gig specialists, all pulling in opposite directions. A centralised HQ of command is old school, so leaders need to forge a new definition of accountability, build a culture of collaboration and ensure teams don’t migrate into closeted silos with tight focuses. Communication platforms need to be utilised to support a culture of voluntary information and knowledge sharing to increase reciprocal cooperation, which will ensure resources, knowledge and talent are unlocked and made accessible across the organisation. This shift from a directive to a collaborative leadership is significant to making the flatter workforce structure sustainable, and will define what an effective and cohesive operation looks like in the future.

Decision science
Increasingly, excitingly and tantalisingly, decision science is proving the most effective tool for addressing the hidden and the not so clearly defined issues. Why this is so critical to the future is that the future itself is not clear, so the capacity to curate and share knowledge learning and harvest operational and market data quickly and with agility is operationally and business essential. Decision science will continue to grow in sophistication and potential, essentially facilitating the design-thinking paradigm, removing the necessity to rely on hunch and gut feel – the natural go-to in the absence of reliable, qualitative information – to becoming heuristic, judgment based, algorithmic and codified, the essence of data that will inevitably lead to better decision-making. Therefore, if data and decision-making are now inextricably linked, it is baffling and somewhat alarming that, in this digitally-dominated world, most businesses lack even the basic, essential data and analytics skills necessary to compete. With data-driven decision science at the fulcrum of the future, surely no business can afford to be deficient in such a critical area of operations? How visible is the devil in the detail in your organisation? As with all the subjects in this issue, we welcome your ideas and synopsis for potential articles.

As for all the topics we are covering in this issue, your expertise and insight will be gratefully received in the form of briefs outlining your proposed articles.

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