2015: HR to Re-Examine the Work Environment

Virginia Vega advanced the well-being of employees at Genentech Inc., identified as HR trendsetter

By Roy Maurer Jan 22, 2015
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Companies will be pushed to help overwhelmed employees this year, according to Josh Bersin, principal and founder of Bersin by Deloitte. Deloitte’s global human capital trends research shows that more than two-thirds of all surveyed organizations believe their employees are “overwhelmed” by a 24/7 work environment exacerbated by technology.

“In 2015, as more technology floods the workplace (smartwatches, wearable devices and even smarter phones), HR should take a hard look at the entire work environment and do everything possible to make work more humane, rational and simple,” wrote Bersin in his article, “What’s in Store for HR in 2015?" published in the January/February issue of HR Magazine.

Creating more open workspaces, introducing work/life balance programs and simplifying work processes are some of the ideas Bersin put forward. Take a seven-step process and reduce it to three, or take a competency model with 20 competencies and reduce it to 10 or less, he recommended. “Simplification does not mean being simplistic. It means taking a sophisticated view of a program or process, detailing all that it entails, and then carefully and ruthlessly stripping out what is not urgently needed.”

The feature identified Virginia Vega, senior manager, career and learning of HR at Genentech Inc. in San Francisco, as a trendsetter for helping employees manage the extra demands of being acquired by a much larger global organization in 2009. Vega and the HR team launched Wellbeing @ Work, an interactive online toolkit that gives employees access to resources such as a well-being assessment and energy audit, and classroom and online learning, to address five aspects of personal well-being.

Roy Maurer is an online editor/manager for SHRM.

Follow him @SHRMRoy

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