HR is no exception to the rule!
“It’s our people, it sounds corny, but we believe that by hiring for the best, by nurturing an engaged environment, it helps us drive innovation.”
The way business & organizations operate has transformed drastically in the last few years. In this transformation, the Human Resource function is going to play an even more important role in leading and shaping the future of business as we know it. Disruptive innovations are creating new industries and business models, and destroying old ones. The recent success of various start-ups is a clear example. New technologies, data analytics and social networks are having a huge impact on how people communicate, collaborate and work. And the result: the way we manage, lead, and organize ourselves is undergoing a radical change.
In order to play this role, however, HR will have to increase its real and perceived value with the coming years’ ahead.
HR’s role in 2016 +
How to you believe HR will be disrupted in the Period Between 2016 & 2020?
2016 is a good time to step back and assess whether HR leaders are making the right bets. Enough of the year is behind us to get an early feel for what to expect, yet there’s still time to course-correct.
Before we dive into potential investment areas, check out the (Source: World Economic Forum’s comprehensive report ) on the future of jobs. It looks at the forces disrupting business models and talent strategies through 2020.
The research showed that many companies’ HR departments were dealing with the pre-planning or aftermath of organizational change. Transformation is a chief imperative for many organizations, with many planning major initiatives to overhaul key elements of their service delivery models and to upgrade leadership capabilities to meet business goals.”
Has Anything Changed?
The top priorities for companies moving ahead are to keep growing the top and bottom line while expanding their global presence as expected, revenue and margin growth were dominant financial objectives where HR functions were challenged with flat budgets and FTE counts by the organization on the overall value they delivered to business operations.
Yes, “Nothing demonstrates HR’s value more than helping the organization accomplish its strategic and operational objectives.”
What’s next for our HR department?
The primary role of HR is NOT to be a people-facing function. So is it time for our HR practices to be revamped? Are we ready to take that plunge every employee has been asking for?
So the message is clear based on everything we’re reading and seeing, in order for HR to thrive and add value in today’s new world of work, we have to be bold in our thinking, bold in our strategies, and bold in the redesign of what we do.
The Four Principles of Bold HR
First is B: Build the Irresistible Organization
The first principle is to focus heavily on the employee engagement and culture.
Employees today are more demanding than ever – so the #1 thing we must do, regardless of our role in HR, is focus on building programs and strategies that make work fun, engaging, and more enjoyable. Making work easy is actually very hard work – but when we trust and focus on our people, the business responds rapidly.
In my keynote, building an Irresistible Organization is not always easy. Today it means creating great jobs, hiring for fit, supporting managers and leaders, creating opportunities for growth, building a flexible and fun environment, and delivering on inspirational leadership. These are difficult tasks to do well, and every company will create engagement in their own unique way.
Part of this new world of engagement is a focus on real-time feedback and giving employees a voice.
The second is O: Own the Leadership Agenda
One of the biggest areas you impact the business is in your ability to help select, coach, and develop leaders. More than 87% of companies rate “gaps in their leadership pipeline” as a critical business issue and the challenges of leadership are a perennial problem.
Today, as Millennials make up the largest segment of the workforce, we have to think about leadership from the bottom up. First line leaders (who typically make up 40% or more of the leaders in your company) are continuously under stress as they learn their new role. If you take the time to coach and develop leaders early in their career you build brand ambassadors for life.
Facebook, for example, has a business rule: a movement into leadership will not be a promotion. This simple idea helps make sure that people who move into team leadership or managerial roles are doing it because they truly want to add value through the success of others. We, in HR, have to constantly focus on helping the company identify great leaders and make sure the organization understands that leadership is not a destination, but rather a journey.
Today there are literally hundreds of vendors, models, and consultants to help you build great leaders. Bold HR means you innovate, identify the characteristics of great leaders in your own company, and build a leadership development program that speaks to your own company’s culture.
Third: L – Leverage Learning Everywhere
The third part of Bold HR is to focus heavily on learning.
Income inequality and the fast-growing economy has shown that now, more than ever, people are in a mad scramble for skills to help them improve their professional careers. MOOCs, video learning portals, online learning academies, and learning marketplaces are everywhere. (LinkedIn just acquired Lynda.com for $1.5 Billion, 10-times sales.) This disruptive growth in online learning has forced corporate learning departments to catch up ahead.
Today HR organizations must reinvest in learning and provide engaging, relevant learning experiences (and assignments) to employees at all levels. Millennials expect developmental assignments and job rotations every year, and most companies are struggling to redesign their strategies to make this work.
Fourth: D – Demand data.
The fourth dimension to Bold HR is to get good at data.
Listen, we in HR are the last part of business that hasn’t totally gotten our data act together. Nobody would run finance or sales without good data, so now it’s time to do the same with HR.
This new area of People Analytics is far more serious than the “HR Analytics” we’ve done in the past. As one of our top HR leaders put it, we have to “spend time where the money is being made”
We are being asked to directly advise on critical business questions:
- Why some sales are teams outperforming others?
- Why do we lose certain high performers?
- Why do some nursing units or service teams deliver better outcomes?
- And why do some parts of the organization suffer from higher fraud or errors than others?
The answer to all these questions lies in people analytics, and that is our bold new charter for the coming years.
And One Final Thing
Let me leave you with the most important element of all: YOU.
You and your HR leadership have to “be bold.”
This is really an exciting time for the HR profession. The global economy is growing, recruitment is more competitive than ever, and a new generation of workers is demanding opportunities and changes to the way we work. Now, more than ever, is the time for HR to be bold, reinvent, and lead our organizations into the new world of work.