Let’s start with a clean slate.

One of the exciting aspects about a “new year”, is that you can start with a clean slate. Just getting rid of the unnecessary excess that you accumulated all year long, can be very satisfying. 

As far as we are concerned, we selected five concepts that we will happily put on the stoop come January - along with the sad bald Christmas tree. 

1. “War for Talent” 

Everyone has "talent" : something that he or she enjoys and excels in.  You don’t have to wage a war for that.

If you pay genuine attention to your team members, talents will come spontaneously to the surface.

But you need to be aware of your team’s purpose. What’s expected of this team? How does it contribute to the organisation?  When there’s clarity around that, you can really find out how your team can make a difference and how you can use all the talents each member has to offer.

Just work together.

2. HR-analytics 

I suggest you check out this film.

I’ve never heard IT professionals or accountants utter doubts about their "raison d’être". How different it is for HR ! It almost seems like they need to justify their existence.  Their strategy for doing so is to take on the role of the underdog.  "We need to talk the language of the business" or "We need to support our proposal with hard data."

No sooner these words are spoken and behold ! Already, brilliant economists and MBA wizards are banging on your door with ‘HR analytics’.  Their master brains produce incomprehensible reports with suggestions on  how to cut training budgets and on how to shorten coffee breaks.  

“Is there a problem with a thorough analysis with quantitive data ?” you might ask. Of course not. But engaged, motivated employees are the result of a healthy balance between the goals of the organisation and the personal goals of those who work for the organisation. HR needs to safeguard that the scale doesn’t tip in the direction of purely economic goals. HR analytics can be nothing more than a limited and limiting tool. 

3. Disruptive (and VUCA)

It’s easy to be a clever CEO these days.  Just blend the above concepts together and add "Uber", "Self-driving cars", "Amazon drones" and "Airbnb" in a presentation and your change strategy gets the guaranteed support it needs.  It’s a good thing for the employees, that you are not Uber, Amazon or AirBNB. 

Yes, the world is a-changing and what was ground-breaking last year, is no longer valid today. It’s an excellent idea to re-invent yourself but do so starting from your own reality, your own mission and values. If they are solid, they still stand.  You will only need to realise them in a different way. That is just fine. You don’t need the fashionable buzzwords to make it happen. 

4. Millennials

I myself am blessed with two of them.  They just left home and started their first job. What do they expect of being part of the workforce?

That they can learn a lot, that they get a change to contribute to innovative projects and that their manager treats them with respect. Is that so different from that what I wished for at their age ? Aren’t employees of 40 or 50 just as interested in being part of exciting projects ?

Let’s stop nagging about millennials and let’s focus on making the workplace a space where all generations can thrive. 

5. The yearly evaluation. 

This shouldn’t even have a chance to make it to the list ! Managers hate it. Employees don’t look forward to it.  As if that weren’t enough, research demonstrated that, if evaluations have any effect at all, it’s almost always purely negative.

Let’s get rid once and for all of the entire conundrum and let’s give managers time and support to conduct authentic conversations with their team members throughout the year. 

“What’s keeping you busy right now ? What are you happy with ? What is causing you difficulty ? What could help you ? How can I help you ?”

That’s how simple an enriching conversation can be.

Sometimes, you will dig deeper. 

“What motivates you ? What is important in your life ? What is the role of your work in that which matters ? How do you want to evolve ?”

The answer to these questions enables a manager to coach his/her team members to greater engagement and job satisfaction. Let’s leave evaluations where they belong : at school.  

This list could have been much longer. Empty tweets, manipulative advertising messages on LinkedIn and slogans without any proof such as ’70-20-10’ could have easily made it as well.   

But I’m sure you yourself are able to trump us with your own list … let us know what you’ll be sweeping out in 2018. 


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