In the first part of this article, we discussed the many forces acting on the corporate world that would transform and shape HR practices over the next 10-20 years. We then showed how the employee handbooks of the future would need to change to reflect the new working environment and explored four excerpts from the employee handbook of the future. These were:
- Unlimited leave policy;
- Total BYOD, in that employees must supply all their own work devices;
- Flexible working plans as the norm (No more fixed 9pm to 5pm);
- Multidirectional career lattice will replace the snakes and ladders approach to careers.
In the second part of this article, we look at the next four excerpts from the employee handbook of the future.
1. Business within a Business
“Employees who score at least a 4 on their appraisals will be entitled to take part in the 20 percent time program, which allows them to spend one day a week working on a new project idea. If an idea of merit is produced, employees may receive funding to develop the idea and have some ownership of the product.
If you haven’t scored a 4, you can still apply for funding for an entrepreneurial venture, but research and development will be carried out on your own time. All funding grants are approved by the innovation council.”
Now, this exists in many forms today: Google’s 20 percent time, 3M’s 15 percent time, and GE’s Imagination Breakthroughs, for example, where employees are allowed to use a day of their time each week to work on blue-sky thinking that could eventually lead to a new product or innovation for the business. Many of these companies’ most successful projects came from these systems.
This is a great way to engage innovators and entrepreneurs who might otherwise leave to set up their own businesses. In response to the increasing desire for self-determinism among professionals, I predict that this “business within a business” policy could become the norm.
2. Career Intensity Policy
“We know that work-life balance is important to our employees, but we also know that work-life balance requirements vary according to each person and according to their stage of life. This is why we classify all our jobs under three categories: low, medium, and high intensity. Jobs are placed in these categories according to a number of factors, including pressure and stress levels, overtime obligations, required travel, number of late nights, etc. This means you can select career paths or roles within our company which suit your particular work-life balance preference.”
This speaks for itself and is a policy which I believe will help to cater to the varied work-life balance expectations which I believe all workers will be paying much closer attention to in 20 years’ time. Deloitte currently offers this type of policy.
3. Flexible Compensation and Benefits Policy
“All our employees are individuals with different preferences for benefits and different attitudes to financial risk. We recognize this, and that is why we have designed a completely flexible compensation and benefits system. This means that you receive an annual total compensation cash figure and you can choose to buy reward components to build up your personal reward portfolio. Available reward components include items such as: health insurance, pension contributions, gym memberships, bonus scheme entry, share options, profit share credits, salary package, etc. You can build your compensation and benefits portfolio to suit your needs. You can also choose from our range of pre-set compensation and reward plans.’
As the average person becomes more financially educated and empowered, they will expect to have more control over how their reward package is structured and delivered.
Employers who may be struggling to cater to the needs of five different generations working alongside each other may find salvation in this completely flexible DIY compensation and benefits policy.
4. Data-over-Instincts Policy
“We collect detailed information about employee performance and demographics to help us spot trends and patterns and develop statistical models to help improve our HR and business decision-making and build ideal candidate profiles for each role based on performance data. We urge all employees to make use of the available analytics to help in decision-making. We believe that instincts are good, but our statistics show we can make superior decisions over time by relying on data.”
Right now, we are simply scratching the surface of big data and predictive analytics. In the workforce of the future, these things will be very much engrained into the decision-making culture of the business. There may be some resistance to this more mechanical modus operandi, which is why I believe it will be the job of the handbook to reinforce the policy.
Anyway, I’d love to hear what kind of polices that you think may be in the employee handbook of the future.