Web Summit was both a blast and an outstanding learning experience: the human resources sector needs to evolve and change rapidly, in order to keep pace with the ongoing revolution in the labour market: here is how

I had three fabulous days exploring new frontiers at the Web Summit conference in Lisbon, an outstanding learning experience that has done nothing but fed my willingness to innovate and disrupt human resources. So many new inputs I have been received and so many brilliant minds (like Swiss entrepreneur and business theorist Alexander Osterwalder, who shared his secrets for building an invincible company) I have been encountered in the Altice Arena, that it will take me weeks – if not months – to digest every visionary idea and morph it into a compelling long-term business strategy. 

At the same time, as of right now that this massive event is still warm in my mind, trust me when I say that I had a collective epiphany of how to apply my theories of motivation for increasing productivity, fulfillment and happiness in the workplace. The employees’ drive to succeed goes hand in hand with their overall morale. The more they are passionate about what they do, the more they are efficient. At Ampersand World we have been saying this for years.

We are happy to see that people like Lagos-based outsourcing firm Andela Co-Founder Christina Saasone of the many charismatic female entrepreneurs who blew my mind with their engaging speeches, shares similar views. Her speech on centre stage about how to find and train world-class talent people was especially inspirational.

The Need for Innovation in Human Resources Is Real

Human Resources sector needs to evolve and change rapidly. We are in the middle of a revolution in the labour market and smart organizations have already started looking for ways to reinvent themselves. The new generation of employees pretends better working conditions and a healthier work life balance. It’s up to human resources to rise to the challenge and offer services that are more in line with the needs of nowadays talented people.  

To achieve that, all of us should put a strong focus on growth and innovation. A good start is to offer the right amount of flexibility and mobility, which, by the way, goes a long way in increasing work performance. You can get creative with your flexible work arrangements.  

  • One example is remote work. If properly arranged, it offers great advantages for everyone, such as savings on travel and infrastructure costs, more productivity, more autonomy, and low carbon footprint. 
  • Another win-win situation is providing day care in the workplace. It has been shown that it can improve employees morale and lower absenteeism and turnover. As a mother myself, I would have loved to have this program put in place in the earlier stages of my career. It would benefit everyone who’s struggling to find a balance between work and family life, one of the most common sources of stress for working adults. And yet, despite this, there are not many organizations which offer a concrete solution.

Most importantly, thanks to those kinds of services, talent-aware human resource managers will be able to access to a larger candidate pool. By providing on-site childcare, companies would indeed be able to recruit highly skilled people who otherwise wouldn’t be available.

Everything has been changing so rapidly in our industry the last few years, that we all have to act fast and be smart if we don’t want to lag behind. Technology skills are paramount, especially in Europe, where approximately 35% of workers do not have even basic digital skills – we are well aware of that. But in a world of automation, machine learning and virtual reality, it’s the human skills who will make the difference.

In conclusion, for me and Ampersand World the event was a big step forward: not only has it increased our team’s knowledge base, but it also has given me the drive to break with past models. Innovation is all about change and change can be uncomfortable. The only way to discover new opportunities, though, is to get out of your comfort zone. I hope that this bold and to-do attitude will inspire anyone who does business with us.