The HR function faces urgent, interconnected challenges.
On top there is the need to become effective in their role, in fostering Collaborative Engagement to achieve targeted business objectives.
People management will present one of the greatest business challenges
The challenge for HR is to figure out how to make itself integral for tomorrow’s world.
The challenge for HR is to own the people management agenda and have the tools and updated know-how to become one of the most influential parts of business operation.
The role of human resources has been evolving for some time. The shift from personnel administrator to human resources management was part of a new perspective that viewed the value of employees as an asset.
This shift has been accompanied by a call for HR to become a strategic partner with the leaders of the business-to contribute to significant business decisions, advice on critical transitions.
The key focus is in delivering HR services – strategy execution, administrative efficiency, employee contribution, and business transformation – that meet the needs of both employees and employers, and positions HR as an essential contributor to organisational growth.
According to the Stoddart Review, productivity has been a long-running UK issue and contests that a well-designed and fit-for-purpose workspace contributes to productivity just as skills, and work tools do. And according to the Leesman Workplace Effectiveness Index, only one in two employees agree their workplace enables them to work productively.
“Productivity isn’t everything but in the long run it is almost everything”
Paul Krugman – Nobel prize-winning economist
IDC research reveals that the knowledge worker spends 2.5 hours a day just searching for information, mostly due to the lack of a centralised workspace where to easily find the tasks, files, notes, information and applications they need for each interaction.
According to BBC Newsnight economics correspondent Duncan Weldon, a 1% productivity gain would add almost £20 billion to UK national output, could reduce the annual deficit by £8 billion, contribute an extra £250 a year to the average paypacket and increase countrywide business profits by £3.5 billion.
The world is much more global and interdependent and the worker profile is changing. Demographic shifts are creating a diverse, multigenerational workforce with differing needs and expectations.
Digital technologies and capabilities that improve processes and enable collaboration to engage talent across the organisation, drive new value-generating business models, but at the same time give rise to new expectations reshaping the employer-employee relationship.
Millennials- aged 18 to 34 – are entering the workforce in greater numbers and reshaping the employer-employee relationship with new expectations. Millennials are projected to make up 75% of the workforce by 2025, and as new research shows, they want accelerated career growth, to be creative, to set up their own businesses.
According to the Inkling Millennial Report, a quarter of the UK population are now millennials, with the total number set to hit the 17 million mark by 2019.
”We will also need to prepare ourselves for a new generation entering the market place. A significantly more mobile generation with differing expectations from an employer, and we will need to adapt to reflect this.”
Michael Poulten, Personnel Manager, Reward and Benefits, Tesco Stores
HR can provide value by understanding how changing organisational and workforce attributes will likely impact the business, anticipate the associated HR needs and provide resourceful solutions.
This calls for the need to evaluate the impact that particular changes are likely to have on people and processes by conducting meaningful research related to areas of human performance, and be prepared to deliver appropriate processes and services to meet the needs of business units.
It is important to measure the value delivered by HR and make this more apparent by working with the management team to hire the right people, pay them appropriately, develop them and overall build a high performance workplace.
In this highly regulated business world, corporate responsibility and ethical behaviour are sought after attributes to attain, given the stringency of government imposed fines for improper behaviour.
Employment law drives responsible employer behaviour and makes it difficult to lay people off in times of recession. Companies are under pressure to establish policies and practices which go beyond regulatory requirements and develop innovative support mechanisms in times of downturn for re-accommodating employees back in when the economic environment improves.
Organisations are increasingly reliant on their external network of partner organisations to deliver what they need; a sourcing function focusing on the management of contractual agreements required.
HR will exist in a new form outside the organisation and in house HR will be focused on people sourcing.