I was just flicking through some of the insights on the initial research carried out of approximately 300 enterprise companies (+5000 employees) in the HRN community.

Perhaps not as provoking as Luk Smeyers post yesterday on the HR Tech World blog about a 34yr old CHRO getting a mega budget from his CEO to completely rebuild HR as disruptive! Therein, affirms the reason as to why we make the annual pilgrimage to Paris and London in showcasing some of the real excitement, disruption and inspiration that is to be found in the marketplace.

In 1st Place – 53% HR Leaders in Europe want to be more strategic – this makes me smile as I always think of Nick Holley (Professor of HR at Henley) and his analogy over the years on HR leaders with solutions looking for problems … where most HR functions are playing the roles of prophets on Strategic HR, Talent Management, Engagement, etc. This is a trend I have observed in my own research of the past 10yrs – an HR function designed by HR for HR v’s an HR Function of the Future designed for/by the employees and connects up with leadership/business strategy.

The results connect up well with HR research across the waves in the US via this report between SHRM and The Cranfield Network on International HRM.

The report confirms the use of technology as a foundation for increased strategic HR leadership, with 83% of organizations using HR-information systems or electronic HR-management systems and 67% using employee self-service options. Also demonstrates why HR Tech World in Paris next month has really shaken up and helped bring about positive change in the marketplace.

In 2nd Place – 41% of the network are working hard to improve employee engagement, which is up 12% from 2014 and at levels similar to that of 2008 recession. The numbers sit well with some of the more current and respected research that’s out there, for example the recent New York Times article on Rethinking Work.

Tied for 3rd Place – 40% of the network are focused on increasing the consistency of HR Processes which makes sense because of the massive differences we have seen over the years on how streamlined process management has made to the global enterprise. Most importantly, reducing the time spent on administrative activity in processes that already exist and available. Yes that!

The other tie at 40% – Better leadership & management – year on year always in our top 3!

Other preliminary findings/quick-picks suggest that 74% of the research sample are moving to the cloud in 2016. Less than 10% were dissatisfied with existing provider as a critical driver – this is more from a user experience analytics and agility stand point. 81% see current solution as a major challenge in progressing with Big Data/HR Analytics.

More to come soon ….

See you in Paris!