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As an HR manager you’re always looking for new ways to streamline your HR department. New technologies and tools might be the answer, provided you educate your team and make the right choices. In this article we’ll discuss the possibilities cloud-based HR has to offer.

Cloud-based HR management systems are fully supported by an external provider. Managers and employees have online access to all departments, across all subsidiaries and locations.

Those who used cloud HRM for a few of their systems, are now fully implementing it across the entire organization. That’s because these systems make data storage and gaining insights easy. Some examples of HR data that can be easily stored:

  • Payroll processing
  • Position management
  • Performance management
  • Cost-per-hire (in recruitment)
  • Time and attendance
  • Benefits

What’s the difference between cloud-based HR and regular data systems?

For regular data systems, you will always require on-premise hardware and software. This is not the case for cloud HR: these types of data centers store your data in the public cloud.

You won’t need difficult-to-use software or expensive hardware that takes up a lot of space. An extra advantage is that cloud-based HR is more cost-effective and scalable than traditional data systems.

How cloud-based HRM can accelerate your digital transformation

Over recent years, HR departments have disrupted HR. From bureaucratic to business driving, they’re in the driver’s seat when it comes to digital transformation. We now see over half of purchased core HR systems to be cloud-based solutions.

And of course that has its reasons! Apart from the advantages we’ve already mentioned (scalability and external storage) there are lots of other benefits to be considered.

The advantages of cloud-based HR

Besides the widespread access to different divisions and locations, cloud-based HRM systems cut costs within IT support due to the external provider. On top of that, the general costs are lower than other solutions and systems.

Besides costs, cloud-based HR systems can boost overall employee productivity. Adopting and adapting to innovative and efficient tools leads to optimizing your workforce, your competitive advantage, employer branding, customer and candidate satisfaction and so on.

And if lower costs and more productivity weren’t convincing enough, consider these advantages:

  • Enhanced digital security
  • Lessened paperwork
  • Real-time performance assessment
  • Efficient recruiting

So what does this mean for HR?

The self-service element to cloud-based systems will enable and equippe HR with time and tools to focus on their strategic tasks, lessening repetitive, manual and administrative tasks. Aiding them to drive business value instead, to deliver goals and focus on strategy.

And we love nothing more than enabling HR and showcasing its value.

Want to do digital transformation the right way?

Berlin consulting can help you find, implement and adopt the right HR technology to allow yourself to attain sustainable growth. Do you have any questions? Contact us!

Data security is crucial to the inner workings of your HR department and your organization on the whole. In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of data security for your HR department. We’ll talk about the digital tools themselves, as well as the human factor that’s always involved.

Data breaches are much more mundane than one might think. In fact, only 8% of data breaches are caused by external cyberattacks. Most of them are actually the result of human errors, like:

  • loss of devices;
  • mishaps;
  • employee mistakes.

Even with filtering and/or scanning technology, it’s mostly a matter of human error. So what better department to initiate security than HR? After all, HR has all valuable personal information of your employees and recruits, so that makes it extra important to invest in data security.

But there are a few things you should definitely consider before making a choice.

01 Growing pains in Data Security

The nature of work is changing, and driving that transformation are the digital tools and softwares organizations are using to create, communicate and collaborate. But being digital is much more human than one might assume.

The scalability that comes along with digital transformation makes room for expansion of the staff itself. Without a well-equipped workforce, technology can easily be misused or even abused. So scalability is essential to any digital HR tool. 

 02 Where data gets lost: the human factor

Whatever digital security tool you use, it’s still your employees that will actively use your digital HR applications. That means that they’ll have access to all sensitive data, and their actions or mistakes might trigger data loss.

It’s important for employees to report when things go wrong or get lost. Many of them hardly ever change their passwords and reuse the same passwords for every platform and account. Often choosing impatience over security, sensitive information easily ends up in the wrong hands.

Training your employees and implementing a thorough security strategy is as essential as using the right security tool.

 03 Protecting your Data Security and Data Privacy

Informing your staff about these matters is crucial in order to build better workforce habits, which will eventually make their way into the daily routine and the culture. That way these habits will be expected of new employees, and that’s where progress arises.

That being said, data security training isn’t just a matter of the IT department informing the staff about best practices like passwords and safe browsing habits. I know what you’re thinking: then how do I do it?

 04 How HR can make a difference

With HR at the center of organizations, they manage all the employees. They’re the ones who create and influence training, onboarding, corporate culture and even redress conduct. Those elements all lie at the core of good data security and privacy: Creating habits as well as a work environment that enables and empowers employees to use technology efficiently, without sacrificing the security and safety of their own data or the organization’s data.

Reboot your habits, build good practices, update your attitude and watch your security stabilize.

berlin consulting can making your HR department safe and agile

We’ve created our own proven EDDI© methodology. This allows us to audit your organization on several HR domains. From first assessment to impactful decisions, berlin consulting can help transform your HR.

Want to know more about what we do? Get in touch with us!

Digital HR can take many forms. We’ve already told you about the importance of digital transformation and scaling. In this article, we’ll focus on the Internet of Things: what it is, why it’s important and why it’s beneficial in HR.

What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?

Essentially, the Internet of Things is an integrated network of smart devices, created to make life easier in a myriad of ways. In short, the Internet of Things is:
  • a network of systems embedded with software, sensors and other technologies;
  • a system that exchanges and connects data with other devices over the internet.

This system is created to bring technology together, much like HR does with people.

How can the Internet of Things be beneficial in HR?

The Internet of Things isn’t a brand new concept. Across different industries, IoT is being implemented and leveraged in order to improve HR management. Yet it’s ever changing. So what is IoT and what value does it bring to HR?

Implementing IoT makes itself useful to a plethora of responsibilities within HR.

  • It provides accurate and objective assessment feedback.
  • It boosts employee engagement and communication.
  • It enhances employee growth, productivity and satisfaction.
  • Processes such as payroll and recruitment can be automated.

Efficiency, you gotta love it.


Through the Internet of Things, organizations can use workforce analytics (with real-time data and feedback) to gain insight into employee productivity and skills. This makes for a more efficient HR approach. This also means that the HR response time will go down, tasks become easier and employees become happier.

Automation and efficiency

We’ve already touched upon the advantages of automating repetitive and/or recurring HR tasks. This can mean a completely automated payroll system, where absenteeism and worked hours are tracked efficiently and effortlessly.

But also recruitment can benefit from automation: the entire recruitment process can be outlined and followed up automatically.

Digitizing HR – through the Internet of Things – will not only make HR cost-effective and scalable, it will make it a lot more efficient.


Be prepared

In order to fully benefit from IoT, the workforce must be willing to adapt flexibly to new technology, creative collaboration and innovation. Don’t shy away from a challenge, because they keep things interesting. Some tips to prepare your workforce for the future:

  • Organize trainings;
  • Make sure all employees are aware of what’s going to change;
  • Keep them posted on every development


Interested in what the digital revolution can help your HR department to remain flexible, scalable and efficient? Whatever your questions are, we’re here to help! Simply get in touch with us to learn more about digital HR and the Internet of Things.

Getting ready for the future means being agile by automating certain processes.
Adoption of HR technology is an integral part of the equation for reaching sustainable growth. And that’s for any developing company. In this article we’ll discuss the importance of technology adoption for your HR department.

Why is HR technology adoption important?

First things first: why is technology adoption and digital transformation for HR so important? We’ll give you 5 important reasons! 

Automation leads to more efficiency

As we’ve already discussed in our previous article on the scalable HR model, technology adoption is an essential part of an HR model that makes room for strategy and innovation, instead of losing valuable time on repetitive tasks.

Automated HR processes make your organization faster, more efficient and more productive because they facilitate:

  • tedious processes through automation;
  • onboarding;
  • recruiting;
  • employee experience;
  • training and education;
  • performance reviews.

This all leaves room for developing your growth strategy and focus on innovation. That way, you’ll be prepared when unforeseen circumstances take place. As a growing company, it’s essential to be flexible and ready to move with changing demands. 

HR technology drives business strategy

We can’t stress it enough: HR technology adoption allows you to strategize and grow. Not just by giving you more time to do so, but also because HR data and technology allow you to:

  • gather data;
  • get insights;
  • select metrics and KPI’s;
  • track your growth.

With the right tool you’ll also use easy and intuitive dashboards that allow you to get a 360° view of all HR processes.

HR Technology lets you prepare for the future

Some questions you’ll undoubtedly ask yourself as a growing organization: 

  • What skill sets do we have today
  • What skill sets will we need five years from now
  • Where do we need to deploy resources

HR Technology makes sure you can answer these questions in a well-founded way. Based on your previous experiences and data, you can make educated assumptions on what will come next.

People before technology

Of course, technology can’t solve everything for you. It’s all about choosing the right tools, and not overcompensating. 

Tools that are redundant or too difficult to use will cause frustration: it’s not just about the technology—it’s about people and what they think of the technology, and whether and how they use the technology that matters most.

Achieving success with HR technology

So in short: what’s the gist of this article? These are the things you’ll need to consider when adopting the right HR technology:

  • Choosing the right technology;
  • Using it to drive your business strategy;
  • Knowing how to read your data;

Facilitate training and raise awareness with your employees.

Want to do digital transformation the right way?

Berlin consulting can help you find, implement and adopt the right HR technology to allow yourself to attain sustainable growth. Do you have any questions? Contact us!

In every sector, digital transformation is becoming more and more important. We are all looking for newer, more valuable ways to deliver to customers. The same applies for scalability: being able to rise to any new occasion and giving your company the space to grow: who wouldn’t want to do that? But why isn’t this scalability used in connection to HR? Don’t you want all your departments to have the ability to grow, especially the department that deals with your human capital? In this article, we’ll discuss the traditional HR model and why it’s not the ideal way to go. You’ll discover how a scalable HR model allows growth and efficiency

Traditional HR model

The traditional HR model is centered around day-to-day administrative operations. More specifically: more than 80% of daily time is being spent on transactions, personnel administration and other processes, while less than 20% is spent on what counts: strategy and transformational HR. This means that you won’t be able to rise to the occasion when things change.

For example: your recruiters acquire a set number of regular employees, thereby catering to manpower needs of the business. The rest of their time is spent on administration and other processes. But what if a certain unforeseen situation occurs and you have to act quickly? You won’t have the agility to rise to the occasion, just because all your time is being spent on repetitive tasks. It boils down to this: if you don’t streamline your processes, you won’t be able to be scalable, flexible or agile.

Scalable HR model

HR scalability allows your human resource model to change as the demands of your business evolve. You can respond almost immediately to changing situations. Scalable HR makes you flexible and agile, while at the same time you prepare for growth. 

When using the scalable HR model, the bulk of your time will be spent on strategy and transformational HR, instead of on repetitive administrative tasks. That way, you can rise to the occasion when things change. In short: you’ll be able to create strategic value for your organization through innovation. 

We’ll give you a few pointers on realizing this:

  • Use HR management tools and process automation. That way you can automate repetitive tasks and focus on what’s really important.
  • Rely on experts to help you. berlin consulting has ample experience in HR digital transformation and HR process management.

Why is scalable HR essential to the growth of your organization?

You might ask yourself: why is scalable HR so important? Well, consider the following: 

  • Needs and demands of people and businesses naturally change over time;
  • Scalability encourages operational fluidity and efficiency;
  • Employees can explore and develop other skills and use them when necessary;
  • It saves on operational costs: the cost-per-hire is lower;
  • You can focus on strategy instead of on administration.

Working with berlin consulting means creating the following opportunities: 

  • Embracing technology;
  • Ensuring optimal service delivery;
  • Getting actionable insights;
  • Improving your digital skills.

berlin consulting can help scaling-up your HR department

We’ve created our own proven EDDI© methodology. This allows us to audit your organization on several HR domains. From first assessment to impactful decisions, berlin consulting can help transform your HR.

Want to know more about what we do? Get in touch with us!

When you ask employees about their experiences with HR, most of the time you can expect a shrug or an eye roll. For a long time, HR has been perceived as a mere service provider, with little to no added business value. Over the years, HR has even generated a negative perception. We’re happy to see that many organizations are looking for ways to create more added value with their HR departments. In this article we’ll track some of the newest evolutions in HR, and give you a few pointers on how to look at the future of HR.

The negative perception of HR management

These are some of the negative perceptions we’ve discovered during our conversations with HR professionals: 

  • “HR generally doesn’t know the inner workings of the business outside of their department.”
  • “HR creates more obstacles- instead of removing them.”
  • “HR is a cost rather than a factor that can create added business value and profit.”

These perceptions are, however, wrong for the most part. Any successful HR department will know the inner workings of the business they operate in, remove obstacles, be at the forefront of the office cult and will create added value. The prerequisite is, however, that HR knows the different trends and acts on them. 

(Future) Trends in HR management

We’ve listed some of the HR trends we’ve noticed the last couple of months: 

Remote work management

Lots of companies have figured out that a remote work policy is the way to go. Remote work management is therefore leaning towards a shift  from ‘Work from Home to” “Work from Anywhere”.

HR Technology

We’ve also noticed a major emphasis on using data and Artificial Intelligence such as chatbots to improve routine HR efficiency. The goal? Keeping HR fast and lean through automating repetitive tasks.

Employee experience

Customer experience is something that all organizations are aware of. But lately, employee experience is becoming more and more important. Making employees feel useful and able to grow improves your office culture, breeds brand ambassadors and ultimately generates more customers.

Emphasis on skills and development

Since organizations want to be more flexible, there is a definite need for the skilling and re-skilling of potential as well as existing employees in all areas of work. 

These are just a few of the trends in the everchanging HR landscape. It’s key to have an HR department that is agile and lean. That way you can adapt easily to new evolutions and unforeseen changes. We have some other tips for you to prepare your HR for the future

Ready to discover what berlin consulting can do for you? Get your digital HR audit now!

Prepare your HR for the future

We’ve condensed the current HR trends in some insightful tips that will help you prepare for the future: 

  • Get accustomed to technology and innovation (HR chatbots, data analytics, specialized HR software);
  • Focus on overall organizational success by aligning HR goals with the company’s vision and mission;
  • Prepare for the changing work methods and styles of a new and diverse workforce;
  • Focus on training, personal development, re-skilling and upskilling;
  • Automate processes as much as possible;
  • Make intelligent use of HR data and turn it into valuable insights that have a positive impact on the bottom line.

Berlin can help you reach for the future of HR

We’ve created our own proven EDDI© methodology. This allows us to audit your organization on several HR domains. From first assessment to impactful decisions, berlin consulting can help you to transform your HR.

Want to know more about what we do? Get in touch with us! 

HR has long been the emotional kid in the management of organizations, making decisions on “soft” reasoning instead of using data. But HR realises that if it wants to earn (or keep) a seat at the big table, it must become more strategic by focusing on data driven decision making. This change, powered by digital transformation, made analytics the new kid on the block.

People analytics allows you to better understand your most valuable asset – people – boosting your performance and improving the bottom line of your organization. People analytics, or even analytics in general, is considered the holy grail in many management disciplines. But it’s not something that you implement overnight. Even if you want to. On the one hand it requires you to ask the right questions. You need to think carefully about the business problem you want to solve, or you will end up reporting at random. On the other hand you need resources with the right skills. Traditional HR professionals typically don’t have the digital or analytical mindset needed to perform data analytics.  

So what happens if you’re doing it all wrong? Then things might go awry. People analytics has the power to create tremendous business value, but it has also the power of doing the exact opposite. Data will talk if you ask the right questions and if you’re willing to listen. If not, and used in the wrong way, you might end up demeriting your business instead. Don’t go wasting time, resources and money. Think once before you act, think twice before you start analyzing, and think three times before you present the data. 

Think once before you act, think twice before you start analyzing, and think three times before you present the data.

Data will talk if you ask the right questions

HR is the land of milk and honey when it comes to data but unfortunately barely a thing is done with it. The use is often limited to creating operational reports which is great for tracking checks and balances but it won’t tell you anything new. It will just confirm what you already knew, missing out on the opportunity to create valuable insights. 

In order to transcend operational reporting you should start by asking questions in line with the business goals. It seems fluffy but it is not. Imagine that your organization plans on opening new locations in the nearby future. The shortlisted locations are often chosen without consulting HR. However, People analytics can provide valuable insights as you can scout the locations without even visiting them. Demographic information is widely available online, use it and start asking the right questions. 

  • Do they have the right work profiles in the area? 
  • How do we expect people to travel to work? Is there public transportation available nearby? 
  • What are the labour costs?
  • What makes an employer attractive in that region?

By asking the right questions, the data might show that the shortlisted locations are not a match with the projected business goals or even with the corporate values / culture. These kinds of analysis bring invaluable insights to the big table, making HR a true strategic business partner. 

People analytics is definitely not limited to the business strategy. Don’t use People analytics to just please management and the business but also use it to step up the game in HR. Because you can’t manage what you don’t measure. Rise above the traditional key HR metrics and ask yourself if your current reporting creates valuable insights. If yes, kudos and keep going. Otherwise, ditch the metric and start over. Find the metrics that matter. You’re probably reporting in meticulous detail on absences just like every other organization worldwide. But what is the added value if absences are not even an issue in your organization? None. If it is not an issue, then don’t be bothered tracking it. On the other hand, have you ever calculated the replacement cost of a leaver? You will probably lose sleep over it if you do! But imagine the business value of these kinds of metrics. Limited in Europe by GDPR, but you can even use predictive analytics to flag potential leavers and take action to avoid the replacement cost.

Data will talk even more if you never stop asking questions

We are all familiar with the key HR metrics. But what business value do they deliver? None. Don’t report on key HR metrics because everyone is doing it. The true business value of People analytics lies in the fact that you never stop asking questions and discover correlations that nobody ought possible. Ask questions. The odder the better. Have you ever asked yourself if overtime triggers more illness? Or if employees are less absent if they have premium coffee at the office? Imagine the business value if you can prove these kinds of correlations. This allows you to take actions that actually impact the bottom line and make the employee experience better.

Data will talk if you’re willing to listen

HR is known for taking decisions based on ‘soft’ arguments, relying on years of expertise and gut feeling rather than data. The habit of soft decision making will be difficult to break for many HR professionals. But there is no point of ‘doing’ People analytics and in the end not using the valuable insights it delivers. The good thing about data is that it never lies, and carefully chosen metrics will tell you what to do next. This sounds cold to the average HR professional, missing the human factor. But it’s nothing more than a necessary paradigm shift in HR – data driven decision making based on facts rather than deciding on ‘what feels right’. Is your HR department ready to take the jump?

Data will only talk if you’re prepared to fail big time

Never stop asking questions means that you will fail big from time to time. Especially if you go nuts with the questions. And remember, the odder the better. You will (and must) mess up at least 10 times before you have a winner,  a Golden Metric. A Golden Metric is that one metric that proves an unexpected correlation, gives you invaluable business insights and allows you to create impact by taking data driven decisions and actions. Never stop until you have the Golden Metric and then repeat.

HR without data is like driving with your eyes closed.

You don’t need full time resources or a US military budget to implement People analytics. Have a look at your People analytics maturity level, and define your roadmap in line with the business strategy. Make sure you ask the right questions and solve the right business problems. By implementing fit-for-purpose metrics and tools, and with the necessary training, your operational HR team will be able to start using analytics in their day-to-day work. Improving the overall quality of your HR operations.

The impact of People analytics

  • Improved decision making
  • Better employee experience
  • More efficient operations
  • Impact on the bottom line


Many organizations want to know why astronomical budgets are wasted on so many failed projects, while trying to understand the mind-blowing project failure rates. HR projects are no different and have a tendency to fail. From simple projects like documenting business processes to more complex projects with a huge operational impact like the implementation of a new HRIS or time registration system. One might say that failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently. Think again. There have been tons of books written, studies done, surveys completed and lessons learned debriefs held on how to manage projects. And based on LinkedIn profiles half of the world’s working population holds project management skills (believe us: they don’t). But projects still fail big time. Ever wondered why?

HR projects are not easy.

HR projects are not a walk in the park. They are different and they are done differently. HR projects might even be one of the most difficult projects to manage (probably with the exception of Nasa projects like building a sustainable human colony on Mars).

  • Your project team must have relevant HR expertise or your project is lost before it even begins. And this most definitely applies to the project manager as well. No free pass here. And you need at least one Googler (keep reading!)
  • HR projects always involve many stakeholders. And yes, they all want their say in the matter. Large and complex projects involve almost every department in your organization. If that is not the case, then you’re doing it wrong and they will come after you at some point. Avoid that. Or run as fast as you can.
  • HR data is used in many different non-HR processes: IT user provisioning, access control, finance, etc. etc. Every change will have ripple effects downstream that need to be managed. The domino effect.
  • The impact is often huge. With a direct impact on your employees and an indirect impact on your business and customers. Unhappy employees are unhappy customers.

It’s all about ownership.

There are of course many reasons why projects fail. The traditional reasons (or better said: excuses) are scope, budget and time. Often given by theory-driven, spreadsheet-based project managers. We have seen our share of mismanaged projects going South. And they all had one thing in common: missing some serious ownership at all levels.

Ownership is crucial for the success of every project, and this at every stage of the project. Without ownership of the team, business or operations, the project is doomed to fail.

The A team

Great projects are not done by one person. They are done by a team of people. The right people. The team defines the success and the quality of the project. Make sure that the project team is selected wisely.

Doing projects is a challenge to some, but a death sentence to many others. It requires a totally different skill set. Don’t expect all your employees to be eager to take on additional projects or even have the ability to take on project responsibilities. Organizations often make the mistake of assigning the employee with the most experience and knowledge on the subject to the project. Although their input might be valuable, they might not be the ideal project member. If they don’t have the necessary skill set, or just don’t want to take on the extra work, don’t force them to because this will end in a lack of ownership and involvement which will impact the project for the worse. Yes, you need subject matter experts on almost every project, but having a Googler is even better. As said before, many subject matter experts don’t have the time or eagerness to take on additional projects meaning that useful knowledge is unavailable to the project team. So instead of trying to convince them to commit to your project and lack ownership, find someone who is eager to be involved, is an assertive go getter and has excellent Google skills. They might not have all the knowledge you need but nowadays you can Google just about everything. And going old school is also an option: picking up the phone, sending an email or dropping by someone’s desk. It still works in 2020. Crazy right?

At the same time, don’t make the mistake to underestimate the value of internal employees that are eager to take on projects. These are the subject matter experts you need! They know the organization. They are experienced. These kinds of resources are truly priceless for every project. However, projects always come on top of the day-to-day work so statistically speaking your employees can’t have the time to take on projects (unless you’re very bad at workforce planning). Make sure they get the time to focus on the project responsibilities. If necessary reduce the day-to-day work pressure by taking on temporary operational support. Because no time means no ownership.

The business

The ownership within the business has two layers, both equally important: leadership and (middle and lower) management. Leadership needs to sponsor the project, while providing the team with the resources they need to achieve a smashing success. Management is mainly responsible for the buy-in from the business, crucial for the success of the go-live and normal operations afterwards.

Leadership support is crucial from ideation over implementation to normal operations. If they don’t back you, you’re doomed. Leadership is often enthusiastic by the idea and happy to sponsor the project until things tend to go below the Mason Dixon line. Doing projects is not a playdate with unicorns and every project flirts with the Mason Dixon line at some point. But a strong leadership team continues to support the project, and more importantly continues to believe in the capabilities of the project team and will back you up during these difficult times. When your leadership is weak and feels the heat below their feet, they might do a 180° on the project to save their own career. We are not talking about pulling the plug because the project is as dead as a doornail, but rather about putting individual needs above the collective needs of the project (and organization). The latter means trouble. And big time.

Leadership is a walking billboard for your project and crucial to get the message across the organization. In support of the leadership, management is also key to the success of the project and especially if they are the end user. They will translate the business needs and why of the project to their team, creating a much needed support base by getting them excited about the project, upcoming rollout and operational use later on. Kick off change management as soon as possible to get everyone in the organization aligned. Open communication is key and works both ways so listening might get you valuable input.

The operational team

When the A team takes off, the operational team comes in. A project can be delivered successfully, and still fail big time afterwards. This is due to the lack of ownership of the operational team.

So what went wrong? More than often projects are done without even involving the operational team. By the end of the project a handover is scheduled, dropping everything in their lap and off you go. Problem one, they don’t have any feeling with the project as they were not involved. So they might not understand why they need to use new tools or business processes while nothing is wrong with the old ones. They are clearly missing out on the why of the project. Problem two, missing ownership might kill your project faster than you can count to ten. People don’t like change. If you don’t give them the right context, tools and support, they will go back to the old way of working in no time. This is why projects might still fail after a successful go live.

The operational team does not need to be part of the project team to be involved or kept in the loop. It is often even a good idea to not include them in the project team, but always make sure you involve them by:

  • Organizing workshops to gather relevant input. They know way more than you. All you have to do is ask, listen and take notes.
  • Include them in regular status meetings (not more than once a week!). They take part in the meeting and get an update on steroids.

Believe us. This is not a waste of time!

Project management is obviously our firepower. We love doing projects, big and small, and are very good at it. It’s like our brains are wired like that. Over the years we have done (and saved) a lot of projects, even those that were already below the Mason Dixon line before it was dropped in our lap. This gave us the chance and expertise to develop our own project methodology EASD. Is this the answer to the huge failure rates in project management? Hell no but it is a good start! EASD is an agile methodology that allows you to effectively manage your projects while optimizing the ownership from stakeholders. It stimulates involvement and increases the quality of the output drastically, while reducing time spent on the project.

Disclosure: We know that the mind-blowing project failure rates are not limited to HR. Projects fail elsewhere too. And big time. But we’re in the HR business, so we limited our point of view to HR. 




  1. the anxiety that you will go unnoticed or become invisible
  2. the fear that you will become irrelevant or lose power
  3. the fear that your efforts and performance are overlooked

2020 will be forever the year that launched the digital workplace into the stratosphere as the new normal, moving us all from the boardroom to the spare room. Nonetheless, digitalization of the workplace creates endless opportunities for every organization and employee worldwide by finally building a long-overdue corporate culture that allows and stimulates flexibility, is focused on output rather than input and is completely based on trust. But every silver lining has a cloud. Meet #FOME.

What is #FOME?

#FOMO, the fear of missing out is nothing new. We all know it or have it. But our new reality, where we mainly work from home, created the derivative #FOME – the fear of missing exposure. The anxiety that your performance will go unnoticed or that you are suspected of not being productive (enough) while working remote. The fear that the social cohesion in your team will disintegrate, making you lose your power or influence, and thus making you irrelevant in the (digital) workplace. Basically you are panicking about your visibility.

What happened?

The last several weeks have been a struggle and learning curve for us all. We did our best to adjust, even setting up an office in the laundry room if we had to. We all hoped this situation would be temporary but after a while reality kicked in making us realize that this is our new normal. The upside. We are no longer stuck in traffic and we can work in our PJs. The downside. Adjusted office hours with meetings from 8AM until 6PM, even skipping lunch time, being the new cool. Making your head spin and mailbox explode by the end of the day while you realise you haven’t done anything productive except that you now know the color of your colleague’s kitchen wall – Tranquil Dawn by Levis (available in stores now). And yet you accept every meeting invite as if your life depended on it while you know that many of those meetings can be replaced by a simple email or a quick chat message. So why aren’t you declining those meetings that aren’t adding value to your work and induce stress as you can’t focus on what matters – getting the job done? Because you’re anxious that when you decline meetings, you will lose visibility in the digital workplace.

Some organizations already were olympic gold in scheduling meetings for every decision or discussion. And the new normal initiated even more meetings pushing regular office hours to its limits. Why? The fear of missing exposure.

  • How am I going to show I’m working enough / long / more hours? Meetings.
  • How can I show my performance to my manager? Meetings.
  • How do I stay top of mind? Meetings.
  • How do I stay visible or relevant? Meetings.
  • How do I keep information flowing? Meetings.
  • How can I track the performance of my team? More meetings.

These are of course irrational, but totally human, reactions to an unprecedented situation. Many things changed overnight and catalyzed the feeling we are no longer in control of our work environment and career. We have the feeling that we are no longer on top of things, that we are not included as much or are missing out on things. This is driven by no longer being able to have small talk at the coffee machine, have lunch together or drop by your manager’s office for a quick chat. Adapting to a new situation is a process and we are still adapting and finding our way in the new normal.

How does digitalization impact work visibility?

Digitalization of the workplace introduces new technologies and a new way of working reconfiguring the visibility of your work in relation to your organization, colleagues and superiors. Digitalization doesn’t by definition mean less visibility of your work. New technologies might even allow you to make your work more visible to a broader corporate audience. However, #FOME is triggered by a feeling, the fear of not being visible enough. And whether that is true or not, is irrelevant to the fear and anxiety that an employee might have. Who knows what and who knows who remains crucial for your internal career and visibility. As a consequence the employee might change work behaviour for the worse in hope to successfully manage the impression of others by focusing on “the doing” instead of “the work”. In other words, showing off input instead of focusing on the output.

The digital workplace requires a new way of working. The old rules won’t work here. We have to discover new ways of how we can have a constructive conversation and discuss performance. How we can have regular check ins without overflowing agendas or the need to schedule daily huddles at 8AM. How we can manage our team effectively to make sure work gets done by focusing on output rather than input. And how we can make sure that information keeps flowing without flooding the mailbox or agenda. The digital workplace requires employees to better manage their personal work time and schedule, while making them feel comfortable about their visibility and at the same time trying to avoid the trap to make the digital workplace one big meeting.

How does digitalization impact work visibility?

New rules have to be written and since this is an unprecedented situation, there are no guidelines to use. Resetting the terms of how we work requires HR to step up as a strategic business partner.

  • Don’t set office hours. Don’t go for the easy solution but at the same time make sure that your organization doesn’t obtain olympic gold in organizing meeting marathons. Create a corporate culture that is focused on quality and not quantity. Don’t do meetings because you’re supposed to have or attend them, do meetings because they add value to your work. Don’t stop focusing on the employee experience. Implementing the digital workplace doesn’t mean you aced the work-life balance. Make sure you ban #fome from the digital workplace.
  • Design meeting guidelines. Don’t expect everyone to adjust overnight. Easy to follow guidelines might give your employees a kickstart on navigating the digital workplace. Don’t write a 10 pager. An informal infographic will do the trick.
  • Redesign your performance management before the digital workplace will force you to. Digitalization brings new rules and the old traditional performance evaluations won’t work here. Thank goodness! Because to be honest, no one likes them anyway. Take this opportunity to step away from traditional performance management tools and methodologies and design one that fits your organization perfectly. Think out the box and involve your employees. They will tell you exactly what they want. All you need to do is ask and listen.
  • Ban performance tracking tools. Whatever you do to ban #fome, this is a big no go. We don’t track and monitor the performance of our employees during business hours. Trust is worth gold – trust the strength and agility of your organization and have trust in your employees.
  • Ace the digital workplace by implementing the right software and tools for your organization and employees, and not just the next best thing in (HR) tech. Make sure that you know what your organization needs by assessing the current situation and defining your needs in line with corporate strategy and vision.

#FOME is a reality and a normal reaction to the digital workplace. But it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It is another opportunity for organizations to strengthen their corporate culture, redesign the way of working, and reinvent themselves. Make use of the collective intelligence that your organization has to offer. Involve your employees and it will create tremendous business value.

The Covid-19 virus is still travelling around the world, already having infected almost 4 million people and having killed more than 250.000. In the meantime governments are working around the clock on exit strategies, while citizens are getting anxious about resuming life (and work). However the news headlines aren’t very optimistic about the future as economists around the globe are warning for the worst recession since the Great Depression. Economics 101: depression is worse than recession.

What will life look like after Covid-19?

We are all curious about what life will look like after the pandemic but we can’t deny the impact of Covid-19 on the economy. Recession is a fact. But recessions come in many shapes and forms. Since economists are warning for the worst recession since the Great Depression, as a consequence a lot of companies are preparing for a U shaped recession which is long with a slow return to growth. We don’t agree. We believe it will be limited to a V shaped recession where the economic recovery is much faster after a sharp but brief period of economic decline.

Who are we to not agree with world renowned economists? We are part of the optimistic millennial generation that doesn’t (want to) believe that things will come that far. The previous generations are traditionally more conversative. If things go south, they stop spending and cut back on their lifestyle. But luckily for us they are retiring (or their way of thinking is anyways). The MTV generation, the millennials and the digital natives have one thing in common: #yolo. They were raised with MTV and social media. They are creative, innovative, entrepreneurial and digital. Getting the most and best out of life is their reason for existence. They are travelling the world, combining multiple passions, interests and jobs. They don’t limit themselves, they are slashies. They want it all and nothing can stop them. This #yolo mindset fueled the transformation over the last decade where we moved from a service economy to an experience economy. It’s no longer about products but about the quality of life and value adding experiences. This makes the economy pick up growth faster than ever before. And If Covid-19 proved us something, then it’s definitely that people and businesses are resilient, adaptive and innovative.

Want additional proof?

  • Local coffee bars and hipster joints are opening shops and people are lining up around the corner. They sell out before closing.
  • eCommerce is booming. Forget Christmas shopping, Corona shopping is the busiest time of the year.
  • In 2020 supermarkets are the new place to be. Where you even meet friends (in case you decided against the local Covid-19 guidelines).
  • Local businesses are being creative in order to survive. And the creative ones, who reinvented themselves during the crisis, will survive.
  • Social media showed us the world and changed the travel mindset forever. Covid-19 won’t change this.
  • We have money to spend but local businesses are closed. Hence eCommerce has a shortage of resources and stock to meet demand. During previous recessions it was the other way around: businesses were open, but there was no money to spend. And we all know millennials love to spend money.
  • Millions of people have been laid off amid the Covid-19 outbreak. Not so different from previous recessions you might think? Think again. Some big corporations are finally taking CSR seriously (thumbs up!!) and are doing everything they can to avoid naked layoffs. With Airbnb being the perfect example. And instead of throwing in the towel, people are taking matters into their own hands. They are vocal about the layoff experience, joining forces and setting up businesses.

What does this mean for the future?

Some traditional businesses or even business models will go under if they weren’t able to reinvent themselves in order to survive. But the silver lining is that businesses are adapting to new forms of operating. Yes, life after Covid-19 will be totally different. But will it be for the worse? Probably not. Covid-19 breaks with the old and is the catalyst for new ways of working and doing business. Even local bars are delivering cocktails to your doorstep. All you need to do is mix the ingredients.

What does this mean for HR?

When new ways of working emerge, HR is at the forefront of it to facilitate the change but often fails to do so. What are the future opportunities for HR?

  • Don’t do digital. Be digital.
  • Embrace the new ways of working. Don’t be the last in class.
  • Lead the transformation of your organization. Be a strategic business partner.
  • Reassess the functions and the job profiles of your organisation. Transformations often require new talent.
  • Working remotely requires you to reimagine collaboration and information sharing. By nature, HR data is sensitive and confidential. The HR department of the future will find a way to handle and share this information in a digital and secure way.

Employer branding will remain a hot topic. The experience economy and growing influence of millennials in the workplace drive the consumerization of HR. Employees are more demanding than ever. More than just a job, they want a great on-the-job experience. The employee experience your organisation provides has a direct impact on your organization’s success. And now more than ever, you will need your employees to be your brand ambassador. Make sure they represent the brand the right way. A strong employee experience drives a strong customer experience.

Start your transformation wise and assess your current situation. Make sure you invest where most business value is created to avoid costly mistakes.