Time for HR to get more pro-active
With the complexity of business environment growing at an unprecedented pace and with business environment becoming more volatile and intensely competitive, there is bound to be an impact on the role of HR as well.
One significant shift would be for HR to be more closely aligned with business strategy and plan. Hence, focus would be on HR initiatives to impact business results i.e. more measureable HR tools and processes directly adding value to business processes would occupy larger time and focus. HR innovation thus will come into play in a big way and the operational HR will make way for strategic HR value add.
Another shift will be in terms of capability building aligned to the new business order. India is a manpower surplus country but need for “right talent & skill inventory” will be a serious challenge in the future mainly because of the wide gap existing between demand and supply. As of now, supply sources are still largely depleted to meet the surging demand for right talent and skilled manpower.
The future HR roadmap will also need to equip itself to study and analyze workforce trends like workforce demography, employment & employability trends, demand & supply equation, attrition trends, compensation & benefits forecast, etc. at the local, national and global level. It may have to analyze and utilize the HR outsourcing strategy customized to best suit the given business context of any corporate rather than blindly following a generic trend from the west.
Last but not the least, one very significant aspect of HR value add will be to partner and assist the CEO towards establishing a positive, fair, open, participative and high performance work environment and effective people leadership and internal communication processes. It will also help to cascade the vision of the CEO and prepare towards future challenges and leading changes in the company.
Finally, the difficult part which HR will have to selectively delete from the past will be the isolated identity, HR for the sake of HR, excessive focus on operation HR role and the conventional non-value added administrative processes. Thus, it will be important to remove the cobwebs and break away from the comfort zone of the past and revisit, challenge the status quo, restructure the HR offerings and value add in the context of the changing business environment and in specific reference to the business model and strategy of a given company.
To conclude, I believe that the HR function should closely align with the business framework and acquire sound understanding of key business drivers. Also, understanding of the changing global business scenario will enable HR to offer pro-active leadership in change management while retaining focus on people development, people engagement and people performance towards business performance and growth.