Be Bold: Reinventing HR for a Shifting Workforce

Our takeaways from Bersin by Deloitte’s Impact 2015

The team at Raytheon Professional Services (RPS), recently attended Bersin by Deloitte’s Impact 2015 in Miami where we networked with some of the industry’s thought leaders and participated in meaningful discussions around the need to evolve HR strategies for today’s modern workforce. Josh Bersin, principal and founder of Bersin by Deloitte, opened the four-day conference by introducing the theme of this year’s Impact: Be Bold. Bersin’s message of, “reinvent yourself, take risks and don’t be afraid to fail” was a focal point of many discussions as industry leaders learned how to effectively adopt new HR practices into their organizations. For those unable to attend Impact this year, we offer our takeaways from the event for your consideration.


Millennials are preparing for leadership
One reason HR is at a crossroads and needs to evolve its capabilities across organizations is because the Millennial generation is now the largest generation in the United States. They are fully integrated into the workplace and are evolving into leadership roles.

It was particularly enlightening to see new data revealed at Impact 2015 that supports the pressing need to better understand and meet the expectations of the Millennial generation.

  • Eighty-five percent of HR leaders have already made changes to accommodate Millennials in the workplace.
  • Millennials also have a different perspective when entering the workforce. In fact, sixty percent said they would choose a company based on sense of purpose, and feel seven months of work means they’re loyal to the organization.
  • Even more boldly perhaps, 80 percent of Millennials want to give manager assessments.

According to presenters, part of creating newer, bolder HR strategies for Millennials will include taking a fresh look at your organization’s programs to ensure they add value for your employees, that these programs remain engaging and that they align with this changing culture.

Leverage learning everywhere
Although the four pillars that make up the BOLD acronym are collectively important to introducing new HR strategies, the L message, or “Leverage learning everywhere,” was a powerful topic of discussion that took many forms at Impact. As mentioned, Millennials now expect more of a feedback-oriented atmosphere in the workplace, where their superiors can also learn from them. Constant feedback is a must for this generation and, as Dell mentioned during the conference, organizations should embrace these “Glassdoor-like” experiences and treat feedback as a gift. Bersin further explains within the BOLD HR model: “If you can’t engage people with your learning, then you likely can’t engage them on the job.” PeopleFluent also emphasized this point at Impact 2015 by defining engagement as understanding your organization’s learners through their goals, habits, preferences and priorities. Focusing on engagement within your organization will help drive learning that occurs continuously on the job by implementing smarter systems, tools and job design that reflect the expectations of employees.

Data is shaping how we reinvent HR
Data is becoming a critical resource in determining how to better approach learning and development programs in the workplace. The HR function can help leaders understand why employees are disengaged – and leave companies – by sharing credible data that supports decisions to reinvent HR programs within their organizations. For instance, clothing-retailer Gap mentioned during Impact 2015 that data reveals the traditional employee performance review lowers creativity and innovation. Research like this supports the need to replace antiquated programs in order to foster engagement within the transitioning workforce. Effectively collecting and analyzing data will not only help you better understand your employees, but also help determine if you are implementing the right learning strategies to drive results that meet your bottom line business goals.


With 80 percent of non-HR executives perceiving HR as lacking skills, along with only 7 percent of business leaders feeling that HR is at its full potential – it’s clear that these employee learning and development programs have room for improvement. We are hopeful that implementing action plans based on these three takeaways from Bersin’s Impact conference, however, will encourage leaders to refresh strategies and implement Bold HR initiatives to fuel the future success of their organizations.

Do you have other ideas for making your HR program strategy even bolder? Let us know in a comment or share your thoughts with us on LinkedIn.