How to cope with a VUCA world in HR
“I know that I know nothing” is a well-known sentence attributed to the Greek philosopher Socrates. Nobody actually knows anything, but he actually knows this thing, so he knows something. This is called the “Socratic paradox” – and it’s pretty confusing. Even back then people couldn’t predict the future, didn’t exactly know what the next day will bring, but it was less complex then today. Nowadays people have much more opportunities, much more choices. The globalization offers everyone to start a new life on the other side of the world. The internet offers everyone, who has access to it, knowledge and information that can help you to learn something new and to start a new life. The horizon got bigger and so did the world for each single person. Travelling in the ancient Greece was something special and not as comfortable and fast as it is now. When the world back then was confusing then the world now is just a mess. Religion and tradition plays a minor role in a lot of societies in the world. Every individual can choose his own moral concept, if he is living in a free country. He can choose which media he believes and what kind of relationship he wants to have. In the Western society everyone can be as free as a bird.
This new freedom has a lot of advantages. But more and more people crave for orientation. They are not happy living in a VUCA world. This acronym stands for vulnerability, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. People are unable to cope with this amount of chances – chances to succeed and chances to fail. There are so many professional possibilities including countries to relocate to, industries to go into and ideas to develop. The reality is we just do not know what is going to happen and the complexity is to manage yourself and become self-aware, while working and learning with people from all over the world. If you zoom out from the individual to a company you see that it’s also one of the biggest threats for business.
The best thing to cope with a VUCA world for a company is gathering as much information as possible before making a decision. Some advices by ADP to make the best out of the VUCA world in HR:
Navigate by looking forward, not backwards. A lot of people are making decisions based purely on past information. The data available merely tells them what happened before, rather than helping them to see the next big turn. Data analytics will provide agility. It’s all about becoming quicker. CHROs need systems that free up their time for strategic issues, with global payroll and training information online and accessible for all employees and managers.
Alignment is critical to provide all sizes of multinationals flexibility as they grow. Standardization and outsourcing of HR and Human Capital Management will relieve expanding businesses from acquiring local payroll knowledge. This will provide CEOs with the ability to have a snapshot of the talent within their organization and a direct link with KPIs and business objectives to ensure employees are working towards the same goals.
Data is key to navigating complexity. A company needs to know who is being paid, where, how often, and how much, prior to each pay cycle. A truly flexible employee system, instantly updated when the law changes, will open up a range of tax-efficient benefits while promoting employee engagement and productivity.
Modern IT solutions are a double-edged sword. There were never so many tools and so many different ways of crunching organizational data. Let your data tell the story of where processes can be tightened up, errors eliminated and external spending reduced. Sometimes it is only through building a complete picture of operational activities, that the business can spot the patterns that indicate wasteful or inefficient processes.