In the era of typewriters, organizations were structured with a President, VP of Finance, and a VP of Marketing. As the amount of data that needed to be collected and processed grew, the need for more sophisticated means began to grow. Enter the mainframes. It was during this time that IT began to make a name for itself with organizations. By the time personal computers were being purchased for employee use, the head of the IT group had already gained a seat at the proverbial table and was now considered a strategic member of the executive team.
I believe we are on the cusp of the same pattern of growth with regards to the Human Resources department. In my opinion, the traditional HR functions, like recruitment and performance management will continue and flourish within HR, but more of their focus will be in the procurement of software and tools for the employees rather than HR themselves. The generation of new workers entering the workforce, the Millennials, won’t be satisfied with sub-par platforms, apps, or devices, and they think that the Internet is a right not a privilege. This new generation of workers are entrepreneurial and the lines between their work and social life are blurred. They also tend to work whenever and wherever they want, agile is not just a development term anymore. Knowing this, HR will have to provide the right tools, on the right platform, for employees to self-service.
In addition, by using technology like big data, HR will be able to provide strategic business value for resource planning, smarter recruitment, and talent development and retention.
This will earn HR a place at the executive level. Now is the time for HR to reinvent themselves as the cultural and spiritual leaders of the organization. HR will help shape what the workplace environment looks like for our future leaders. HR has the opportunity to be creative when attracting and retaining talent, how their employees communicate and learn, how employees are rewarded, and ultimately the health and well-being of their employees. In order to lead, HR must be proactive and not sit around waiting for direction from the C-suite.
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