High performance companies that focus on the drivers affecting employee performance, now believe that a more powerful link exists between their employees and their brand identity, thus creating new relevance for HR’s role in these organizations.
Managing people, setting goals, finding information, training, and collaboration are key HR functions. As a result of this consolidation, HR tools will be used by both HR professionals and employees.
When asked about HR’s role with respect to the business strategy, the top three responses were all related to implementing the strategy:
- HR helps plan and implement the strategy2. HR helps design the organizations structure to implement the strategy
3. HR help assess the organization’s readiness to implement the strategy
Over half of the respondents in high market performing companies indicated that those three implementation roles were the most important for HR with respect to strategy to a high or very high extent. One of the interviewees suggested that HR holds a unique position in organizations today, a position that allows them to see all the various points of view (marketing, financial, operations and IT) and can play the role of consolidator of the perspectives. At that point they can facilitate the strategic discussion to find common ground.
Among the key environmental factors identified as impacting HR’s work are:
■ Demographics–An aging population, coupled with a shortage of qualified talent, particularly in hi-tech and the sciences.
■ Technology–The workforce will grow increasingly less traditional and “distributed” on a national and global basis.
Connecting employees to the goals of the company is incrementally more difficult in this environment.
■ Economics–The relentless pressure for profitability will propel organizational change through continued mergers, acquisitions and strategic alliances.
■ Globalization–The growth of the world economy will create new competitors, new labor markets and require more sophisticated skills in managing and operating global businesses.
HR makes its strongest organizational contribution in the following ways:
- As Strategic Partners, HR professionals are integrated within lines of business, working with executive teams to create people strategies that deliver tangible results.
- Optimizing Total Rewards is a way for HR to work with senior management to find the right combination of pay, benefits, environment and learning opportunities to engage employees and reinforce company culture.
- Achieving Flawless Execution in Employee Transactions is a primary role for HR. Outsourced administration or no—HR is accountable for the quality of service, accuracy and speed of employee-related processing and transactions.
The three most important catalysts for change include:
1) employee self-service through web-based portals,
2) increasingly sophisticated call centers and
3) aggressive new entrants into the outsourcing market.
Technology not only frees HR from administration; it also provides the vehicle to leverage information about the workforce. Equipped with hard data, HR can know more, do more and be better business advisors.
Enterprise software companies with enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions such as IBM and Oracle have been purchasing human capital management (HCM) systems such as Kenexa and Taleo, respectively, to create a more complete solution between current business operations and future talent.
“Big data and cloud computing will dominate the management of the funnel from talent community to finalist to hire,” says Yazad Dalal, VP of Global for TMP Worldwide. “These systems will conspire to make candidates feel like they’re part of the company before they’re even recognized applicants.”
Will human resources survive in an environment where new technologies replace many core functions and outsourcing vendors compete aggressively for HR roles once found solely within an organization?
Right now, there are two things we know for sure: HR issues will always exist; and there will always be a place for talented people who understand business, organizational dynamics and the levers to maximize employee performance.
There are outsourcing alternatives for every product and service now delivered by HR, including the option to outsource the entire function. HR must rigorously determine where it can add differentiated value by keeping a product or service in-house and where outsourcing offers a stronger product, delivered more efficiently. Yet, outsourcing decisions must be part of a company’s overall people strategy. The delivery of HR services is one of the fundamental ways a company connects with employees. Companies need to be deliberate about reinforcing bonds with employees and not relinquish any important opportunities to vendors.