The Transformation of HR: Legacy to Modern!

Transformation of HR

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Transformation of HR article and permission to publish here provided by Alex Chapman.

How we worked has changed drastically in the last decade. Even though the pandemic was a harbinger of transformations in business models worldwide, organisational cultures also changed.

Working culture worldwide was affected by a recession, technological advancements, and an evolving workforce that now views employment differently. Ten years ago, research suggested that the best companies in the world named succession planning challenges along with providing leaders the tools they needed to be successful.

But nowadays, according to HR coaches and managers, the most prominent challenge is the aggressive competition for skilled employees. As a result, organisations nowadays are a lot more individualised and employee-focused.  This pushes employers to provide flexible working schedules to employees with personal obligations and help fresh graduates with post-grad education.

That said, that’s not where it stops. Here’s how the transformation of HR is evolving.

Turning Analysis Into Strategy

While people’s insights can provide in-depth information about an organisation, the next step is to utilise this valuable information to build workforce strategies. If the data you’ve collected says the organisation has low levels of engagement and poor retention, you can connect the dots and create a plan.

Considering that all HR professionals have to juggle different roles, it won’t be easy. On the other hand, being a part of employee training and payroll gives HR managers a unique perspective. Once there is a blueprint to follow, HR professionals can execute and adjust according to need.

Empower and Decentralise Over Command and Control

Legacy HR is fixated on getting the proverbial seat on the table whenever it’s about creating policies for people. They were interested in creating structures in which HR was the conduit through which every approval flowed to gain power. Be it bonuses, policies, or promotions, HR had the final say in everything. In most cases, these actions were rooted in a sense of insecurity, and even though it created forced authority, it didn’t come without a cost.

Resentment grew as the complex regulations slowed employee-related decisions, and modern HR had to step in. HR leaders today are a lot more conscious about their impact on a business and its people. To them, their role creates frameworks and enables programs that let employees and leaders thrive. They don’t feel the need to interfere in every initiative and program just for authority and power, and because of that:

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HR Has Become Integral for an Organisation’s Success

Growth-minded organisations of the modern time have started to focus on increasing their HR’s importance. So much so that C-suite members of several companies are assigning HR directors titles like “Chief People Officer.”

In market-leading companies, the role of HR is far more complex than the basic management of employees. The value of HR is rising, and its benefits (improvement in engagement, productivity, and retention, for example) are being recognised as critical for business. The ROI of every HR-related software is understood in great detail, and the question is not whether cloud HR software is needed; instead it’s about which partner to choose. 

People Are the Most Valuable Asset

HR today is an integrated and proactive approach towards the management of the workforce. Quickly, it’s becoming an organisational wing that is a part of long-term strategy and allows HR to focus on people rather than the administration. HR professionals today talk about employee wellbeing, human impact, workplace culture, and improving employee engagement.

Since skilled people have become scarce, employers are keen on providing a healthy work-life balance and experimenting with remote working possibilities. The best companies are investing in remuneration packages that benefit employees in the long run. The gap between skilled and non-skilled employees has widened in the past decade, and experts think more changes are waiting on the horizon.

For instance:

·         The workforce now is multigenerational, which means younger generations are now focused on learning, technology, and flexible working options

·         The severe shortage of skilled professionals is affecting every kind of business. Because of this, hiring, training, and retaining the best people is a constant challenge

Policies for Many Over Policies Against the Few

Legacy HR methods are often focused on compliance. They consider the worst-case scenarios of an employee’s behaviour and then regulate all employees to protect the company. Modern HR leaders, on the other hand, think differently.

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They don’t intend to ignore their compliance responsibilities, but their initial assumption is that they’ve hired adults who can make reasonable, mature, and good choices. This change in the way of thinking shows how HR is only focused on supporting the business. Even when an employee does anything wrong, that case is dealt with individually. An unnecessary rule for every employee isn’t created.

The Importance of Business Acumen

Employment law? Essential.

Talent mapping? A given.

Succession Planning? Fundamental.

HR professionals have HR acumen, but in today’s challenging world, a lot more is needed. A glance at the HR leadership in industry-leading companies will show you how people take on non-traditional career paths. Nowadays, complex business problems require the HR director to know about the business’s inner workings and knowledge of the industry and the market. In the C-suite, the job of the Chief People Officer is one of the toughest. They must be familiar with the financials like a CFO, know about the product like a CMO, and gauge the revenue like CRO, all while being the right hand for the CEO.

Additionally, they have to take on all of these responsibilities while developing programs that optimise the work experience for a volatile workforce. Even if an HR director has business acumen, their job is tough, and if they don’t, it’s almost impossible.

Wrapping Up the Transformation of HR

It’s important to remember that HR is a wide spectrum. While its crux lies somewhere in the middle, the goal behind modern HR is to have a transformational impact on operations and people. Modern HR teams are indispensable for companies, and their effect on the organisation is magnitudes above legacy precursors. 

Modern HR enables fluid operations and a working culture that is more flexible than previous rigid approaches. 

Transformation of HR article originally written for Supply Chain Game Changer and published on September 30, 2021.

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