Are employers caring for the mental wellbeing of their employees? If not, perhaps it’s time to reconsider well-being programmes and extending them from yoga classes and smoothie bars. Latest reports from the UK and Germany show, that the majority of sickness absence in organisations are motivated by psychological or mental health issues, rather than physical sickness. A 2017 study in Germany by the AOK, the federation of social security secretariats, has shown that out of 12.5 million employees that took a sick-leave following a life-event, 79% had to take time off work due to mental health and emotional problems. In the UK a staggering 70 million work days are lost each year due to mental health problems, costing employers approximately £2.4 billion per year.
Photo: John Stepper
A podcast interview with John Stepper
How to give everyone in the company a voice and allow their expertise to be sought by other colleagues? In this blog post we are bringing you an exciting podcast conversation with John Stepper, creator of the Working Out Loud movement. This is a special episode for Europe’s biggest HR event of the year, the Zukunft Personal Europe 2018, where John will be one of the key-note speakers.
“Working Out Loud is an approach leading to the purposeful discovery of opportunities. Its combined elements are like superpower. A lot of people don’t know that they have it, or not comfortable using it.”
You can listen to the conversation on iTunes, Acast and other podcasting apps. What follows here are excerpts from our conversation with John, edited for length and clarity.
Photo: spring Messe Management GmbH
With the warmer weather the conference season is also upon us. If you are like us, you are also looking forward to the events of the HRM conference calendar of 2018. Where is the most useful place to learn about the latest HR industry trends, get inspired by opinion leaders and network with like-minded professionals? The Zukunft Personal events, of course! On this blog we talk a lot about Zukunft Personal Europe, the international flagship conference and expo of the Messe Management events, but did you know that the organiser team pulls together several other top HR gatherings as well?
Photo: Andrea Enderlein – Zukunft Personal Europe
Please raise your hand if you’ve ever felt paralyzed by a conference call for paper. When you open up the application document you are hit with the stark black Times New Roman font on a white background, bumping off any creative writing you may have felt a moment ago. It’s a daunting-enough task to create a 20-slide deck to report your monthly business metrics – never mind putting together a 600 to 1000 words topic proposal for the Zukunft Personal Europe call for papers to be competed with thousands of similar applications.
Photo: Peter Porst – Zukunft Personal
To cater to the ever changing needs of their attendees, HR events, just as much as other meetings are constantly pressured to broaden their spectrum of topics covered and pump up the volume on everything they do from conference design to participant engagement strategies. The same trends that are shaping the world of work, like digitalisation, globalisation, demographic trends among others, are also influencing how HR conferences can best deliver on their promise to educate, inform and inspire visitors.
Talking to the main sponsor of Zukunft Personal 2017, SAP, represented by Stefan Schuessler, Business Development Manager Human Capital Management, one thing becomes blatantly clear: Digital transformation is in the hands of people. It needs to be embraced, explored and used by humans. So in a way, even technology platform providers and enablers, just like SAP, need to reach out to the professionals and engage them in learning about the technology and the role of people in making technology useful and a value add to businesses.
You can’t hide away from it: everywhere you turn Artificial Intelligence (AI) is embraced by industries and companies. Even the least anticipated sectors are taking advantage from the benefits of AI as, for example, in the music industry classical albums are being fully composed by computers, or in the news production sector where computer programs are collecting and personalizing sport related results, recaps and events to avid fans.
Artificial Intellingence is also shaping functions within HR such as recruitment, training & development or compensation & benefits. It shouldn’t be surprising, then, that by today Artificial Intellingence has become one of the main driving forces in lifting the burden off from the shoulders of HR, and there are two general directions towards which these developments are taking us. First: What is the best way of using the information gained from AI programs? And Second: What HR should do with its freed up time and resources thanks to AI? Is it really time for HR to take its well deserved place in the Board Rooms of companies and become a strategic partner, a role foretold years ago by HR thought leaders? Easy questions, but with no simple answers.
Illustration: Studio Fee Overbeeke
When you ask CEO’s and CHRO’s what their key priorities are for the coming year, talent management always is one of the issues high on the list. Talent management is an easy and safe choice. Nobody will argue that talent management is not important. Supervisory Boards love to talk about succession and talent management. Talent management is generally seen as something long-term. When you hear terms as “strategic”, “long-term”, “future” and “investment”, you must be careful. For talent management this means: it is important, but not urgent. For the CEO, it means: I have ticked the box, but now HR can deal with it. Of course, I will visit the final session of the senior management program, of course, I will personally mentor one or two high potentials, but please, do not bother me too much about talent management, I have more urgent matters on my plate. A big challenge for organisations is to make talent management urgent, and to make it a priority of today, not of the future.
Photo: Nell Watson
In the second episode of the interview series in which we welcome some of the keynote speakers of the Zukunft Personal in 2017 we spoke with Nell Watson. In a truly mind-opening conversation we touched upon human resource management, her experience in teaching in Brazil and many more. Nell is a super insightful, inspirational, imaginative and broadly-aware communicator whose talk you surely don’t want to miss at the conference.
Foto: Gary Kildare
Before his much awaited presentation at Europe’s largest HR gathering, we interviewed Gary Kildare, Chief HR Officer at IBM Europe, for our interview series with the keynote speakers at the 2017 edition of Zukunft Personal.
One of the key secrets to IBM’s long-term success can be found in the company’s ability to constantly reinvent itself, to continually transform and to search for strategic technologies that enhance human labour. It is a 106-year-old journey that now takes IBM to its present top position in the Artificial Intelligence and cognitive computing market designed to support, inspire and lead current generations. Gary Kildare has spent much of his professional career with IBM as an HR leader and I was pleased to speak with him about AI, the history of HR, Germany’s AI talent shortage and many more.