Last week Seyfarth Shaw hosted its inaugural HR Leaders lunch which explored the key issues affecting Australian workplaces and HR. The lunch discussion focused on recent research and was attended by HR leaders from organisations in a range of industries including logistics, financial services, hospitality and manufacturing.

The attendees generally shared the view of the research that suggests culture and engagement are the number one issue closely followed by leadership, as can be viewed below:

Top Global Trends in HR (2)_1

While leadership and culture are always inextricably linked, attendees at the lunch felt as though it was possible for organisations to have a strong culture and engagement without strong leadership, although this is obviously a much harder road. The impact of several different generations of leadership within the one organisation takes time to stabilise, particularly from an engagement point of view. While it was noted that generalisations are dangerous, it is clear that there are challenges in the way different generations work and what they want from their workplaces.

The digital revolution that we’ve written about previously got some discussion going around the future of work in Australia. The consensus was that there will be new jobs found in emerging sectors, but will there be enough for those that are affected by changes in traditional sectors? Unfortunately, we didn’t answer that question but there’s no doubt that the leaders attending our forum are aware of the issues and are making changes based on another element of the research that suggests that Generation Z are consistently online:

Global Engagement Innovative Leadership in HR_1

Perhaps the key discussion point was the increasing number of organisations helping their talent, both while employed by the organisation and importantly, when it is time for them to move on. In some organisations it is considered a measure of success if employees progress to another job. The commitment shown to this approach is reflected in the way that an employee’s movement after leaving an organisation is tracked, measured and reported and as the old cliché goes – what gets measured gets done. It was a valuable discussion and shows that engagement is now going to another level.

Let us know if the research resonates with you and your organisation.