Culture

Marina Rakić: Transformation to New Era of Cognitive HR – Culture

Employee experience and engagement are driving client experience and business growth, as a result.

With the high impact of social networks, there are no more secrets and controlled communication. Each employee can share his/her point of view to the public about his/her employer, employee experience, the culture of the organization and similar which can highly impact brand and the recruitment efforts.

This is why it is very important to have the open culture in the organization where employees will be free to share their ideas, and most importantly be part of the design of the programs. Yes, we still need employee engagement surveys, but we need to go step further and actually include employees in strategy and program design. This is also the way how responsibilities will be not only on senior management but responsibility will be shared across the organization.

This will give a high level of empowerment to people that they are the ones influencing the mission of the entire organization. Feedback sharing top-down, but also from down to top will have to be implemented so senior leadership is more aware of the changes in the field and on the markets.

By using different platforms for ideas sharing and most importantly, easy collaboration, this can also help by tracking the sentiment of the people in real-time and react timely to create moments of impact for employees. 

Leadership will still be one of the most critical points of focus for all HRs in terms of coaching current leaders to adapt to cultural changes and develop a new generation of leaders. HR’s role in this term would be rather a change agent of the organization.

Secondly, one size fits all does not work anymore. As stated previously, HR will have to develop individual career/learning/development plans for each employee in the organization with the help of a variety of technological tools. Employee experience should be a high focus for all HR managers and the best employee experience is with an individual approach.

This can include work options (flexible working hours and place of work) and adjust to employees’ lifestyle and needs with the help of technology. Specifically designed performance, talent and especially learning platforms where an employee can access, use on his/her own time.

Thirdly, focus on skills and continues learning is also of the top priorities for culture change. An organization should work with their employees on the learning roadmaps and be creative in learning portfolios. In the last couple of years, we were very much focused on the technical skills needed for the job, but in the next decades, we will face opening new jobs which do not even exist currently and we would be the ones to prepare our employees for this.

Saying this, new skills such as creativity, effective communication, ability to embrace change, team collaboration, innovation, social and emotional intelligence with the help of psychologists and coaches would have to be included in the assessment and learning portfolios. 


Leadership will still be one of the most critical points of focus for all HRs in terms of coaching current leaders to adapt to cultural changes and develop a new generation of leaders. HR’s role in this term would be rather a change agent of the organization.


All these cultural changes will also lead to the changes in the HR departments and HR managers will have to change the operating models of their HR teams according to business needs. This also means HR managers will have to go out – be visible on the market, keep tracking of the trends, collaborate more with other colleagues and business partners, extend their network, connect with people from other industries and roles. HR programs would have to be reinvented and the phrase “this is how it has always been done” would have to vanish.

Marina Rakić

HR for Sales Units Europe at IBM
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