Today’s economy, innovation of technology and the new generation of employees are forcing HR departments to think about the future of HR. It is time to develop new ways of working with other skills and specialism. Complaints about HR Managers focusing too much on the administrative part and lack strategic vision are not new. However, HR is in the loop when companies are facing labour related issues, like reorganisation, recruitment or problems with employees. The visibility of the HR department is key in showing insights on customer satisfaction, continuous improvement initiatives leading to more business results, reducing costs and getting profit.
Preparing for the New Generation
The new generation entering the workforce will have characteristics requiring innovative and vibrant leadership. Attracting, motivating and retaining talent has always been difficult, but doing so the new generation work characteristics, poses new challenges: salary and title are not as important to them as they are to previous generations.
The new generation wants to be fulfilled by making a meaningful impact. They would like to work in an organisation that invests in development and the current 9 to 5 approach of is not that much inspiring. HR should take the lead and make the business aware that they have to change their environment to attract the new generation.
A lot of organisations are still thinking of competition too much, and engage with their employees in the ways of tenure and hierarchical processes. They need to see that this “old” way of thinking is no longer sufficient.
Paul Bessems, writes in his book Every day when the sun rises about the Community Economy: (..) “we should stop thinking in processes based upon our own company. We no longer live in a closed market/economy. So we need to think based upon our environment; labour market, users, customers, suppliers, competitors and we need to organise our processes, so that we will work together. Welcome to the world of communities, Wiki’s and unlimited new techniques.”
This ultimately results in more time, money, profit, motivated employees and satisfied customers for your organisation. Another principle leading to successful Human Resource Management is to change management style and People Strategy.
To deal with the current market, business needs and the future of the economy; HR should be prepared of trends of what’s coming their way.
HR Generalist is a Strategic Business Partner
The new HR partner has to have the ability to think and act like an entrepreneur; having the skills to be a full strategic partner. Besides being an entrepreneur HR should have a new way of engaging with employees, as this can only be done to eliminate the “ administrative part’ of the job and to train HR in entrepreneurial skills. HR Professionals have to understand HR implications, but also business operations models and strategy. Strategic planning, draft business cases and projections are essential tools to prove the value of HR to the business and employees. The HR generalist will disappear, as companies will be in need of HR specialists.
Digitalisation: HR utilising metrics, analytics and data
HR professionals need to be prepared to use more data and analytics to show their value to the management. Metrics as of turnover rates or hiring results will still be valid however more data is required e.g. tracking of productivity, programs/ initiatives that will have an impact and tracking filters/ mechanism to get the best candidate out of the big pool. HR professionals will have to deal with more analysis and data tracking and need to have the skills to analyse, predict and work with data and tools.
The current situation in the economy has given a boost to digitisation tools for onboarding, performance management and offboarding. Many departments are emphasising on speed and efficiency. The positive employee experience will occur by digital tools offering personalisation and simplification. In any case, onboarding will only be a success if the entire onboarding is a great employee experience, it will not solely rely on just the application or tools.
Future of HR: Outsource Common Administrative Tasks
Due to the innovation in technology nowadays, more and more administrative transactional activities could be outsourced to HR agencies and experts. The HR department has to innovate also with more self-service tools for employees, as this will free up time for HR to act as an entrepreneur and strategic partner.
Employee & Business Partner in a Remote Environment
The new generation employees are looking for inspiration, innovation and leadership in companies. That means that working from home (remote work) will be the new standard. Companies have to prepare activities to make their environment attractive in order to persuade the new generation of working for them. HR has to tackle this challenge as HR matters need to be clear in a productive company environment where employees working in and outside the office. Working from home has brought about profound changes in many aspects: for the desired preservation of organisational culture, leadership, office and collaboration tools. Digital transformation is overtaking traditional thinking. New skills are needed to collaborate virtually and on how to manage and motivate remote teams.
HR professionals have to identify their specialty and expertise as the HR environment will change in the upcoming years. To become an HR specialist it is key to build a network and learn more about entrepreneurship, business, data, analytics and strategic leadership. This approach will lead to the best way of engaging with the business and employees as HR professionals are investing in their own development to serve in the best way for all Human Resources in the company.
People & Culture Department
The HR trends have been around for a while, and HR departments are increasingly thinking about whether their own departmental name is representative of their view of employees. New department names like People and Organisation, People & Culture and Human Relations are making their appearance.