The famous author and anthropologist Edward Weyer Jr. once said, “The future is like a corridor into which we can see only by the light coming from behind.”
Current issues and challenges illuminate our look toward what is coming in the next decade in human resources.
As we inch toward 2020, we are observing a growing pay gap between CEOs and workers. According to a report published by the Economic Policy Institute, CEO compensation grew 72 percent since 2009, reaching a level just 3.3 percent below the high compensation levels seen in 2007 before the Great Recession hit. In contrast, the average worker’s annual compensation grew at an annual rate of just 2.1 percent between 2009 and 2018 and by a mere 0.4 percent between 2016 and 2018.
In fact, the institute found that between 1978 and 2017 chief executives’ compensation rose by 979 percent, with the S&P 500 Index rising by 637 percent. Over the same period, the average worker’s pay grew just 11.2 percent.
Corporate profits and power have facilitated this situation, causing an erosion of worker trust. Because CEOs are taking a larger portion of the corporate cash from workers, we are seeing lower growth and investment rates worldwide.
Another challenge facing HR leaders is to ensure that workforce equality is part of a strategic role as companies grow. The World Economic Forum’s theme this year, #BalanceforBetter, encapsulates the idea that a gender-balanced world benefits everyone. Nevertheless, there is still an enormous amount of work to be done in order to eliminate workplace inequalities.
The final issue facing every HR technology buyer is that as technology evolves at such incredible speed and organizations’ needs change rapidly, vendor selection is more challenging than ever. There is the constant emergence of new workforce solutions and it takes effort to distinguish sales hype from reality.
So how do we fix these challenges? Bring in “trusted brokers” to help address HR’s challenges before you start trying to fix and patch up holes. Consistently we hear from companies such as PepsiCo, Deutsche Telekom and Fiskers that the best way to find a great HR technology solution is to ask questions before starting the selection process so you can dig into the vendor’s potential flaws.
The trusted broker or adviser who, unlike consultants, take a stance on vendors and don’t play favorites. They will allow for better technology adoption, something most consultants are hesitant to do because they want to earn a fee no matter which vendor the corporation chooses.
This will make sales teams rethink their strategies and relationships. It’s not about who has the best marketing collateral, but the brokers will help companies choose transparent technology options that will ideally make implementations and eventually adoption across the workforce easier and less painful.
The trusted broker can be a reliable companion as you face the challenges any HR organization faces in the upcoming years.
And I hope many will be able to find someone that they can trust.