HCM Trends: Work

February 21, 2012      By Cecile Alper-Leroux

With the start of every new year, predictions are made about the hottest new trends for the next twelve months, and the HCM world is no exception. The social media trend is shedding the loaded “social” term to become embedded “collaboration” or “connecting” in HCM solutions, and the concept of work management is taking hold in various permutations across the industry. The concept of “Work” is among these trends and one I am particularly taken with for a number of reasons.

First, we humans have been at some form of work forever (ok some people may not need to work, but I don’t run in those circles), and we continue to spend the bulk of our waking hours at work.  And second, people are the primary drivers of work, be they working collaboratively or alone.  So I’m ever surprised by the fact that work management systems—where many of us live out our work lives—have very little awareness of people, what they do best and how they prefer to work. They are all about “managing” and tracking the work.

At the same time, much of the new “work management” in HCM seems to be geared at closing the loop for goals, commitments, and tracking work communication.  Again, this is all with a focus on the work—which is fine overall—but does not necessarily shed light on optimal patterns of people doing work and how visualizing work across teams of people versus just for one person or a project can truly change and improve an employee’s engagement and motivation.

And as an organization that puts people first, I believe that bridging that disconnect and humanizing work management is the next frontier. I challenge all of us to think about how we can better understand the connections between people and work—we don’t just do work and we certainly don’t treat all work in the same way. And I am convinced that there exists ways to make people more successful by knowing empirically what work they are best suited to and visa versa… so stay tuned!


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