Josh Bersin provides a summary of his keynote address to the US HR Technology Conference, ‘HR in the flow of work’. Overwhelm, busy-ness, and fast-paced environments for HR mean that HR technology is underused and needs to be co-designed with users to be more ‘in the flow of work’.

His five key points are:

  1. Businesses and employees are overwhelmed
  2. The pace of work is accelerating.
  3. Individuals are way too busy
  4. AI is making HR systems conversational
  5. Design thinking is here to help


“I’m at the US HR Technology Conference this week (over 9,000 attendees) and spending time with dozens of technology providers and HR leaders and I want to highlight the theme of my keynote on Thursday: HR in the Flow of Work.

I believe this concept, which I’ll explain in this article, defines the role of HR for years ahead. Let me explain with five basic observations.

1. Today, Businesses and Employees are Overwhelmed.

I met with a global CHRO recently and asked him why he was pushing a wellbeing program. His answer? “Our people are exhausted.” Everyone is working extra hours, we’re all getting too many emails, and productivity is just not going up. He told me they are now starting management meetings at 9 am so people can go to the gym every morning. (8 am meetings themselves force people to lose sleep).

Most of you have seen the data on productivity: it is one of the biggest differentiators of high performing companies. Today people feel stressed (94% of US and UK workers report high levels of workplace stress) they work on weekends (over 1/3 work weekends), and young people (Gen Z and Gen Y) are saying “enough”. They cannot work any more hours and our electronic work environment is just too relentless and unyielding to keep us happy.”

Continue reading Josh Bersin’s article.