One of the world’s most iconic CEOs Jack Welch said Human Resources is the most important function in any company as he believed HR is the force behind what makes a winning team.
The Human Resources department has progressed over the decades – from being a support system for companies to handle their people to being the department companies bank on to build and retain high performing talent who will directly contribute to positive business impact and shareholder value.
Today’s HR primarily plays the role of being a consultant and gate keeper for all things related to policies and processes, with key focus on engagement, retention and day-to-day problem solving. In the years to come, HR’s role will evolve to be more strategic in nature. In the sense, the emphasis will shift towards being a strategist who will help companies drive higher business values with the most important resource of the company – People !
Organizations will envision the future HR personnel to be synonymous with the following 7 personas:
1) The Culture Champions – One of the most challenging tasks for a HR will be to build and sustain a culture of Innovation, liveliness, and meritocracy. Designing an organization’s overall people plan to drive the cultural shift and be the custodian to uphold company’s culture and experience.
2) Data prodigies – Big data is shaping the world and will play a pivotal role in decades to come. Analytics will become ever more integral to HR function. Using people metrics to build insightful and rich governance dash boards will become HR’s key forte. The management will rely heavily on precise people data to make better strategic decisions.
3) Talent drivers – In an orchestra, the lead directs the performance of the musicians through his hand gestures, which makes the ensemble to deliver a synchronized music in unison. The HRs will be the ones to play the role similar to an orchestra’s lead – identify the core talent, right potential, and create opportunities for them to excel to deliver business goals. Career and Performance counselling will take precedence.
4) Wellness warriors – Wellness related initiatives have catapulted to be one of top HR priorities for most companies around the world. Pandemic, Geopolitical issues, workplace anxiety have created a greater need to focus in mental and physical health. This trend will continue as empathy towards employees becomes critical for business functions. Building a wellness charter will be an important part of engagement drivers.
5) Digital transformers – We are the nascent stage of the 4th industrial revolution. IoT, AI, ML – are few acronyms which we hear everyday, and these will most certainly impact the way HR works with business. If HR acted as a ‘support’ function during 20th century, HR of the 21st century will act as ‘key driving force’ to transform and adapt digital age processes. HR will help navigate the digital transformation for organization to formulate key inputs at board level
6) People Scientist – Using science, HRs will be expected to create a cohort of highly driven resources, which companies can leverage to drive business maximization. HR leaders will also be building scientific models to drive higher and consistent productivity.
7) Human Capital Manager – As new age generation joins the workforce and technology continues to change our day-2-day business in a fast pace, HR’s will face a unique challenge to pact with these two scales. Automation taking over more and more roles will mean diminishing human intervention in Jobs. This poses a threat to overall society and HRs will have to think tank beyond their organizations’ realm.
The HR function is undergoing major transformation like most other functions. Most of the operational tasks are already being delivered by bots who seem to be more efficient. This is leading to reduced manpower while also requiring new age skills which traditionally weren’t expected from HR executives. Data engineering, RPA, Knowledge of cloud-based Apps will become part of HR’s skill sets in the decade to come.
However, HR’s basic expectations to up the dopamine levels of their employees and be their support system to help them perform better will continue to be a core objective.