The changing world of HR: Where is it headed?


In the last 5 years, there has been a notable shift in the way organizations define their human resource functions. We are seeing departments such as "People Services" or "People Operations." Human Resource professionals now have titles such as "Chief People Officer" and "Vice President of People" and we see entire departments focused on enhancing an organization's people. The role of Human Resources is changing, and no matter what an organization call it, one thing is clear: people are at the center, finally.

We’re seeing a shift from the traditional HR functions of rolling out generic HR models and universal best practices to HR professionals now looking to customize solutions that support the value drivers of the business.

It’s no surprise that Deloitte’s report on trends in global human capital and found that culture and employee engagement are ranked as the top issues organizations face when it comes to their people. What was once considered the "soft" side of business has now become an urgent priority for many organizations.

HR are starting to focus on delivering unique talent solutions tailored to each company’s circumstances and requirements.

Employee engagement is centered on fulfilling five basic human needs in our work: meaning, autonomy, growth, impact, and connection. Organizations that meet these basic human needs and create a culture defined by meaningful work, deep employee engagement, strong job and organizational fit, and compelling leadership are outperforming their peers and will likely beat their competition in attracting top talent and reducing turnover.

The question is, in a company, who is responsible for ensuring these needs are being met and driving the overall culture? Is it HR? CEO? Operations Manager?

Although we’re making progress, there is still a need to continue developing methods for HR professionals to become valuable strategic partners within their organization.

Finally, as KPMG’s “Rethinking Human Resources in a Changing World” report confirms, there is a clear case for HR functions to work more closely with business leaders to generate value in the wider business.

The people agenda (i.e.: top talent recruitment and retention; re-imagined incentive and benefit packages; development of global career paths etc) in most organizations contains some truly business critical issues and the need for HR to rise to these challenges has never been more critical.

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