What Does It Mean When a Tech Analyst Talks About People More Than Technology?

What Does It Mean When a Tech Analyst Talks About People More Than Technology?

I’ve been attending a lot of talent management-related
conferences recently, and that means that I’ve gotten a heavy dose of hearing
everybody’s favorite HR technology analyst, Josh Bersin, speaking
here, there, and everywhere.

This has been an enlightening experience.

As someone who has been covering the talent management space for
a long time, I’ve heard Josh speak quite a bit over the years.

Of course, he always has a great perspective on HR technology,
but something seems to have changed, because what resonates with me when I hear
Josh Bersin speak today isn’t what he says about HR tech.

When
Tech analysts start focusing on people

No, what strikes me about Josh today are his insights and
observations about  … people.

I first noticed it in early October when I covered his keynote speech at the annual HR Technology conference
in Las Vegas, and I referenced it in my coverage of the conference here at FOT.

As I wrote then, Josh made the case that, “The old career model
is over. Generalists are going to rule the world — not specialists … There’s
no real defined career path anymore … two-thirds of employees surveyed said that
it was easier finding a job outside of the company than it was inside.”

It was an interesting perspective at the time, but it didn’t
strike me that Josh was doing anything other than adding a little more talent
management context to his technology insights.

“Trust
is the new business currency”

But earlier this month, I heard Josh speak again at FuelX New York, the user conference of
employee experience company Fuel50. (Full disclosure: I do some contract
work for Fuel50.) 
And building on his presentation at HR Tech, Josh
offered up a lot more talent management insights, so much so that the HR
technology part of his presentation seemed to really take a back seat to his
take on what organizations must do to better take care of their people.

Clearly, one of the most well-known and respected HR technology
analysts is starting to spend a lot more time talking about what he calls
“the changed world of work.”

Here are five things he said that FuelX that jumped out at me:

  1. “All the huge technological changes going on are important,
    but there’s something a lot more critical than that
    — how companies treat
    their employees.”
  2. Careers and growth are one of the most important things
    for companies to address
    … it’s about finding the right role for everyone
    in the company.”
  3. When it comes to the employee experience, we need to do
    things FOR employees
    and not TO employees.”
  4. “What matters most to people? It’s meaningful work. But the best career
    experience brings them to the right job.”
  5. Trust is the new business currency … (and) the
    workplace needs to be a place of trust.”

A sign
of the times

Here’s my take: OK, you’re probably thinking: What’s the big deal here? What
does this mean and why should we care?

I have learned that you should always sit up and pay attention
when somebody who has done things one way suddenly surprises you and starts
doing, or saying, something different. There’s generally something behind the
change, and in many cases, it’s something pretty significant.

I’ve heard Josh Bersin speak a great many times over the past 15
years, and although I hardly would call myself an expert on his thinking, I
have always listened pretty closely to his presentations and can’t recall ever
hearing him focus so much on employees and the importance of things like trust
and finding them the right role.

He’s certainly talked about these things here and there over the
years, but from my perspective, this is different.

It’s a sign of the times, and perhaps, an acknowledgement that
we need to be a lot more focused on people and what they bring to our
organizations rather than so consumed with AI and the latest, greatest
technological advances.

Or to put it another way, when the most respected HR technology
analyst says that our talent management practices  “need to help
people to achieve their personal goals,” maybe we all need to sit up and
listen.

There
might just be a lesson in there for how we handle our own talent and people
issues.

The post What Does It Mean When a Tech Analyst Talks About People More Than Technology? appeared first on Fistful of Talent.