Survey: HR, CEOs Have Different Future Views

December 19, 2018       NPT Staff      

About two-thirds of human resource executives agree that the discipline is undergoing or has undergone a digital transformation but only 40 percent say they have a plan to apply it into their business.

Those are among the findings of the recently released “KPMG Future of HR 2019: In the Know or in the No” survey. KPMG surveyed 1,200 global human resources executives on the strategic plans and implementation of new technologies, including analytics, digital labor, and artificial intelligence (AI) and how they are using them in their business.

About 7 in 10 HR executives recognize the need for workforce transformation into new technologies but only 37 percent are “very confident” about the trade’s ability to do so. Some two out of five executives consider workplace culture a top barrier to digital transformation.

More than half of the HR execs surveyed (60 percent) believe AI will eliminate more jobs than it creates. Yet, 62 percent of CEOs in KPMG’s 2018 Global CEO Outlook survey believe AI will do the opposite.

For 42 percent of respondents, preparing the workforce for a future with AI is one of the biggest challenges HR will face over the next five years. Within the next two years, three out of five executives said they’re planning investments in predictive analytics, more than half (53 percent) in enhanced process automation, and almost half (47 percent) in AI.

Two-thirds of respondents who believe that HR has a strategic role in business say that they are more likely to pursue digital transformation compared to almost half who say that the HR role is unchanged.

One in five HR leaders believe analytics will be a primary HR initiative over the next one to two years while one in eight said analytics is a top management concern.

Slightly more than half respondents believe that capability is a key barrier to transcending into new technologies while 43 percent identified capacity as the primary barrier.

To successfully transition into digital, KPMG suggests HR executives focus on:

  • A new mindset that embraces the accelerating speed of change;
  • Reshaping HR into using technology and new skills that exploit the value and competitive advantages of data and analytics;
  • Recognizing and embracing workforce shaping as critical to a successful transition to new technologies in the future;
  • Pursuing an understanding of employee skills, strengths, goals, and purpose while creating employee experiences;
  • Recognizing the value of employee experience (EE) and employee value propositions (EVP) to future success and competitiveness;
  • Preparing for the advance of AI/ML (machine learning) and its integration into a collaborative future workforce that combines human and digital labor; and,
  • Valuing employees as “customers” in the increasingly digital, global and agile world of work, embracing technology to increase connections and supporting an overarching people agenda as tasks and roles are redefined.

The 1,200 respondents to the survey, conducted in July and August, represented human resource executives from a wide variety of trades. About 4 percent were from education and nonprofits as well as other areas indirectly associated with nonprofits, such as, hospital and enterprises, 4 percent; government and public sector, and healthcare, 7 percent The largest segments were from financial services, 16 percent; consumer goods, 15 percent, and manufacturing, 12 percent.

Approximately half of the sample were companies with a headcount of 5,000 or more employees and 42 percent of participants are from organizations with revenue of $1 billion.

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