Nowadays the partner role of HR in planning and driving strategic growth is as important as technology or business leadership. In the past years, HR has undergone dynamic shifts in its roles, functions and overall impact in shaping organizations. The need for a digital transformation from operating in a traditional cocoon is no longer a viable option. The sooner the shift happens, the better.
By simplifying database maintenance, reporting and analytics, technology has improved accuracy, efficiency of HRs and boosted their strategic capabilities. As technology continues to evolve HR’s role as a strategic partner of the business will continue to grow.
Over the years, the HR department has evolved tremendously, from only personnel management and administrative tasks, to business partnering, managing employee engagement and strengthening culture.
Obviously, technology will have a huge impact on all business processes including HR. Let’s not forget, for example, that recruitment is one of the most important HR processes and we already have artificial intelligence, robots, ATS used in recruitment. I think technology, social media, globalization, best practices are helpful as long as we do not lose the human approach and the human interaction, as according to lots of surveys done at international level lost of people complain about the lack of interaction and fair treatment during the recruitment process and they consider robots are “cool”, but not capable of evaluating correctly the “soft skills” of human beings.
As Human Resources people we need to become more proactive, creative, innovative, flexible, open-minded and instead of complaining we need to get out there, using all channels and tools possible to understand the business and to come up with effective solutions. As this coronavirus crisis has revealed, HR people need to be mobile, to understand the current trends and expectations from the business environment, to personalize their approach according to current needs. You simply cannot do this if you are stuck in the old school methods, you are not used to Technology, you do not understand people and their motivations, you do not speak a foreign language (ideally English), you do not believe in continuous learning.
According to the World Economic Forum “more than 65% of our children prepare for jobs that will no longer exist in 10 years from now”. Therefore the HR people need to prepare for the generations to come and continue learning, sharing, experimenting, improving their competencies and skills in order to find the right strategies and contribute to business development and growth. Some of the most important competencies and skills would be adaptability, flexibility, an open mind, foreign languages, business acumen, agility, continuous learning, social media, networking, communication, empathy, patience.
HR cannot just focus on day-to-day activities anymore and we cannot wait for things to happen. We are required to offer our inputs on high level business guidance and leadership on defining the very future of work, that is why anticipation is a must . What does it mean to support HR in the current global environment? It means helping organizations make a move from traditional, rigid systems to new agile organizational structures.
We live and work in a highly competitive world. The only way we can stay competitive in HR and in business is by ensuring that the right people are hired, motivated, engaged and retained. Understanding what employees want and what drives them should become our business priority in order to survive in the unpredictable times coming up.
And last, but not least, we need to be more aware that everything is about people and getting results through people. It is not only about numbers and results, even if all the businesses in the world are meant for profit. At the end of the day if you invest in your people, they will bring results, as happy, motivated and engaged employees deliver and overachieve and they stay beside you during the most difficult times.