The world of business is changing, and the work of HR professionals must keep pace with the dynamics of business. The modern business world requires a forward-thinking approach, and HR leaders need to ensure their teams step up to the plate.
The role has to move beyond its administrative past and its handling of simpler tasks to take on a more strategic dimension and contribute to the profitability of the company. To remain successful, the modern organization must be nimble, customer-focused, resilient, and adaptive, and HR needs to transform accordingly.
Why did employees have a problem with how HR works?
Traditionally, speaking to the HR team for any work-related issue was considered the death knell for the relationship with the reporting manager. HR professionals appeared to be working only to handle the requirements of top leadership, and employees were often disappointed by poor responses to and handling of their concerns. This is why employees tended to be displeased with the apparent lack of professionalism in and support from HR. The latter was often believed to not be keeping sensitive data confidential, hiring the right people, or bringing in the right benefits practices and packages.
What was the root of this way of HR work?
HR leaders were often viewed as paper-pushers, working just to direct the proper implementation of executive policies for employees. Their tasks were regarded as administrative and personnel oriented, comprising mostly paperwork. This also happened as initial HR teams were spun off from administrative or finance teams, unsurprising as initially, HR teams were tasked just with interviews, salary payments, and benefits administration.
How did this make HR a roadblock?
Leadership teams were happy, but others were fairly displeased with the functioning of HR. HR teams were still very much needed, for matters such as:
- Interpreting and implementing employee handbooks
- Administering benefits and payroll, even with electronic handling
Why must HR take on new roles?
The new business environment requires HR professionals to take on a more strategic role. They must partner with the leadership teams of organizations to ensure the attainment of organizational goals. They play the role of employee advocates, ensuring employee concerns and needs are heard and taken care of. They also facilitate change, be it in work practices, training plans, or other aspects of work in an organization. HR leaders who champion these new dimensions of HR work ensure excellent talent management and organization development.
Here are three new roles for HR to discharge:
- Drive change: The performance of the organization is constantly under the scanner, and HR leaders must become change champions to ensure good performance. It is important to understand the theory as well as the execution of change strategies, along with linking these to the attainment of strategic organizational goals – the latter being important to make employees more welcoming toward change. Along with this, they must create the right organizational culture and constantly monitor how new initiatives have a bearing on the culture and on employee satisfaction.
- Strategic partnering: The HR team must help in developing the overall organizational plan and work toward attaining it. This can be accomplished by designing work systems accordingly and facilitating the growth of and contribution from workers. To this end, there will also be changes needed in performance appraisal, succession planning, reward and recognition, and other aspects.
- Speaking up for employees: HR knows the workforce more closely than anyone else and is thereby best positioned to take up the causes and concerns of the latter. What is imperative here is excellent communication and goal-setting, which then helps to grow the commitment and competency to create customer delight.
To learn more about the roles modern HR professionals must play, it is a good idea to opt for a good HR certification. This ensures the candidate is prepped to take on higher roles and responsibilities and can drive the HR function in line with the goals of the organization.