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How the Function of HR has Changed!

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The function of HR has, and is, changing dramatically.  Yet, all too often HR professionals in organisations remain bogged down with traditional administration.  So, I thought I would take a look at how the function of HR has changed over the past few years, and where it is likely to end up in the not too distant future.

To do this I took 2 different articles on the topic, one based on research by SHRM in 2006, and the second an article published in 2015 in HRDive entitled “Five Ways that HR can Impact Business Strategy“.

According to the SHRM research in 2006, the top five services that contributed to organisational strategy were:

  1. Employee relations
  2. Recruitment and selection
  3. Benefits management
  4. Performance management
  5. Compensation and reward

Where are we now?

10 Years later this picture had changed dramatically.  According to HRDive, the top five services that contribute to organisational strategy today are:

  1. Ensure alignment around the organization’s vision and values as a solid foundation for strategy
  2. Keep culture top of mind as an enabler of strategy
  3. Help leaders clearly identify and articulate the people components of the strategy
  4. Build plans to align the organisational “levers” to support the strategy
  5. Keep employees engaged around the strategy and other changes ahead

Where are we Going?

As to where we are going with this, I refer to another SHRM article written in 2017 entitled “6 Trends that Changed HR over the Past Decade”.  This article looks at what was in 2007, what is in 2017 and where it is going.  For the purposes of this article, I will just look at the trend and where it is going.

  1. Companies Get Social – companies may well abandon e-mail and use social media or other instant messaging tools as their primary internal communication vehicle
  2. Benefits Go a la Carte – employees are allocated a set amount that they can spend on the perks that best meet their needs
  3. Feedback Becomes Fluid – continuous performance management treats every day as review time, thus enabling employees and managers to develop and improve in a fluid fashion
  4. Technology Moves Work Beyond the Office – it will be up to HR to instruct workers on how to communicate outside of e-mail and social media
  5. Career Development Is Agile and Gig-Focused – the gig economy will present challenges in the next decade for HR, including whether and how to provide benefits to contractors and manage intellectual property rights when a person has several different employers
  6. Analytics Change the Game—Slowly – while analytics have gotten off to a sluggish start, the use of data to assess and improve everything from recruitment to health and safety to succession strategies will be the hottest and biggest game-changing trend in HR

What is very clear from these shifts is, traditional HR is just not going to survive going forward.  The HR function needs to make a concerted effort to move into this new era.  And this needs to happen quickly.  The world of business is not waiting for HR to “catch up”.  That is HR’s responsibility, and I sincerely hope that it is being taken seriously.

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