Spotlite – Why does HR Innovation matter in 2021?

A bitesized report built out from insights provided by HR Innovation executives looking to develop, people, process & potential.


Challenges to HR Innovation in 2021 include:

  • Hybrid working
  • D&I
  • mental and physical health concerns

All solutions the CHRO is expected to resolve.

Here, we’ve rounded up the some of the key insights* from global senior HR leaders – perfect for the HR leader on the move.

*Insights from the GDS Group North American HR insight summit

An Inflection Point for HR in 2021 Minh Hua, Chief Talent Officer for Stanley Black and Decker

A keynote on opportunities for HR leaders, operational culture and supporting global teams.

  • Change: Across industries, the single biggest change is a reset in our mindset”.
  • Employees in ‘The New Normal’: “One thing that we as HR leaders can’t underestimate is how empowered the talent in the marketplace is to make their own decisions, and think differently about their careers and companies.”
  • Responsibility & Culture: “The most sustainable thing we can do is create the right culture where everyone feels they belong”.

HR and the Workforce of the Future Jerry Patterson, SVP of Workplace Savings & Retirement Solutions for Principal – Jennifer Nuckles, EVP for Sofi

An HR innovation keynote on technological breakthroughs and shared purpose / values for the future workforce.

  • Positioning for the Future: “Only about 9% of CHROs are saying that their organizations are prepared for the future and about 60% of board members believe their industries are going to substantially transform in the next five years”.
  • Mental Health:, “We’re all struggling with things like burnout and the weight that this time has put on us mentally. To get back to where we were before Covid is going to take effort on all of our parts”. Addressing mental health issues in the workplace must be a priority.

What is the Purpose of your Purpose?Alison James, former CHRO for BIC, now Executive Director of Bic Foundation – Hannah Grove, Previous CMO and now Special Advisor for State StreetJonathan Knowles, CEO for Type 2 Consulting

Three industry leaders on defining purpose in your organization.

  • The Morality of HR: HR sits as the arbiter of morality in the organization. “I see HR as the moral compass of the organization. In playing that role, I think we need to collaborate very carefully and differently across the business.” – Alison James
  • Leadership: “It’s up to the leadership team to really exemplify the culture that they want to uphold”. – Hannah Grove
  • Defining Purpose: “There’s a lot of confusion around the topic of purpose, because there are at least three meanings. There is purpose as function, as in what is the purpose of this. There’s then to act with purpose, so that’s intent. Then there is this idea of purpose as a higher purpose”. – Jonathan Knowles

Hybrid By Design Michele Hay, Global Chief People Officer, Sedgwick – Trina Hoefling, Founder of the Smart Workplace & Author of Working Virtually: Transforming the Mobile WorkplaceMichael Arena, Author of Adaptive Space and VP Talent at Amazon

A keynote discussion on substantial workplace transformation and hybrid working in 2021.

  • The Future of Hybrid Work: “I think the next wave of this experiment, whatever it manifests into will be forcing us to think about the long haul, how do we continue to learn, how do we continue to cultivate and maintain a culture and then how do we also innovate most importantly.” – Michael
  • Efficacy and Hybrid: “you want responsibility for effectiveness to be shared with everybody in the organization, with everybody on the team”, hybrid is not just for leaders – Trina.
  • The Hybrid Balancing Act: “from the employee perspective, we’ll have to think about convenience, functionality and well-being and then balance that with, what the organization needs” – Michele.

Unlock Workforce Potential at Scale with AI Bernd Schmitz, Director Early Talent Acquisition, Bayer – Mihir Ghandi, VP Marketing, Eightfold

A keynote on Artificial Intelligence helping HR innovation to unlock workforce potential.

  • AI Today: “while AI is in its early days, it is clear that it’s a big part of our future, The earlier you start, the earlier your business benefits from the advantages”.
  • The AI Advantage: “technology cycles are getting shorter and shorter and I’m convinced that in 5 years we, as large companies, will no longer be able to manage talent & transformation efficiently without AI”.
  • AI Difficulties: “there’s no silver bullet to magically fix everything and these things do take time”.

The War For Tech Talent 2.0 Chloe Rada, Global director for recruitment marketing and employer branding, Syneos Health – Alex Smith, CHRO, The City Of Memphis – Allison Dunsmore, Talent Programs Manager, Petco

A keynote discussion on the war for talent.

  • Trial and Testing: “I’m a true believer in focus groups, polling your people, and hearing what’s going on and adjusting your benefits or your flexibility options accordingly.” – Name
  • Step Vs. Destination: “one of the things we need to change from is instead of being a step in somebody’s career, we need to be a destination. – Name
  • Talent Transition: Whilst we do need to focus on future workers, it’s important that we don’t forget our legacy and current staff. “I think it is important for us to look at considerations in terms of part-time work, flexible work arrangements, other things that we can do to help ease the transition back into the workplace”. – Alex

HR: H1 2021 – In Summary

Bitesized insights from leaders discussing transformational change at one of the most senior HR innovation networking events in the world.

A more extensive report HR Spotlight is coming soon.

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