Digitalisation changes everything. Structures and processes must constantly be reconsidered, adapted and amended as a result of technological progress. This is also true for the labour market. Gone are the days where people management (HR) was primarily a human experience. Today, it is affected by disruptive technologies, digital trends and a fundamental change of rhythm and pace.

How exactly, you may ask. One only has to think of the role that artificial intelligence (AI) will play in interviews by supporting pre-screening of candidates and capturing feedback in real time. And the implications that come with it: what about trust, ethics and bias in the use of AI in recruitment and assessment? Values and ethics are a moving target in our fast-changing world, and where does the machine fit in this up-to-now primarily people-focused process?

And it doesn’t stop here. As buildings become more digital and work spaces more flexible, the employee’s role is changing too. 9am to 5pm days in one’s own office space should be a thing of the past (or at least up for discussion), but inflexible working hours and everyday presence is still the flavour of the day for many companies. Regardless of productivity, it is important to formulate an explicit code of expected behaviour and a vision for a team’s cohesion. Especially when pushing innovative concepts and ideas that go beyond traditional ideas and norms of work.

Some questions remain the same

Employers and employees need to learn constantly in a fast-paced and transforming work environment; that is something that will not change anytime soon. Even though digitalisation and everything that comes with it brings new variables to the equation, some questions remain the same: if everyone needs to upskill or re-skill, who pays for it? Can there be tax incentives for companies and people who invest in training? Can there be a minimum amount of days each company gives, regardless of size, to employees for further training?

Let’s talk

To find answers to some of these questions, and formulate new ones along the way, digitalswitzerland proposed a workshop for HR professionals using the BarCamp format. Like its predecessor, Open Space meetings, the BarCamp allows a group to come up with discussion topics and have an exchange tailored to the attendees’ needs and wishes. And as we are looking at flatter hierarchies, flexibility and new ways of working, we are testing new formats such as BarCamps, where people can float in and out of sessions according to their interests and motivations.

“It is a great format to explore ideas, air concerns and delve deep into subjects,” says Reto Ruegger, BarCamp expert practitioner and CEO of Softfactors. “Generally, people work in several rounds, there is food and drink to fuel enthusiasm and the exchanges are very rich. Contrary to our targeted, objective-driven world, the BarCamp offers a space for thought, imagination and discussion without particular aim, driven by the group itself.”

The BarCamp allows participants to reflect on processes and questions and enables them to raise concerns and share visions in a safe space with like-minded people. We are excited about fruitful discussions that will look at new ways of working. Ways that will be right for the 21stcentury and can adapt to the ongoing digitalisation of our society.

Stay tuned! 

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Author Danièle Castle, digitalswitzerland

Senior Director Education & Talent

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