A 2017 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends report mentions that ‘The Organization of the Future is arriving now’.
The traditional question of ‘For whom do you work?’ has been replaced by ‘With whom do you work?’ for the current era of millennials.
In this changing landscape, the role of the Human Resources department is evolving from focussing on core aspects of driving people-strategy to evangelizing the value proposition of the organization.
Currently, employees are not just aware of their own companies, but they seem to be more interested and involved in other organizations as well.
HR, therefore, will need to wear multiple hats of marketing & branding, talent development & retention, entrepreneurial ecosystem and diversity & inclusion, in addition to their people management ones.
At IndiaFirst Life and other organizations, I see the role of an HR in these areas:
Predicting the Future:
The future of the workplace is here. Organizations are not only changing designs and shapes but also the purpose of their existence. The ones which were successful in the past but did not quickly adapt to the modern-day requirements & dynamics have become extinct by now.
New agile and futuristic organizations have taken up their place. There are disruptive technologies and trends which can impact the organization and its people positively.
Therefore, HR is the only function which can look into the future because of its reach and connect with people. An example of this would be the advent of Artificial Intelligence and it’s ability to take over multiple processes in the organization.
Infusion of Millennials and Centennials:
Predicting the future will also entail the interesting emergence of millennials and centennials who will redefine the future ways of working. Organizations will have to use technology to enable an ecosystem that can support progressive flexi working styles. Nurturing the entrepreneurial ability will also prove to be a game changer for a generation that is characterized by the attitude of “Learn to Work” than “Work to Learn”.
Rebooting the Organization:
Upskilling is the new buzzword. With the democratization of learning in the knowledge economy, capability development is no longer restricted to classroom learnings. The advent of ‘Massive Open Online Courses’ has introduced free learning for all.
The HR department will have to use these avenues and platforms to create a learning culture within the organization. This would have to be complemented with the ability to look into the future, identify trends and develop organizational capabilities to meet future needs and challenges.
Learning culture should be able to answer the question of what is there for me and only then an element of ‘pull factor’ will be created instead of a ‘push factor’. An example of this would be where the HR department invests time in developing a digital mindset within their organization.
Nurture an Ecosystem (Enhancing Culture):
What makes culture such an interesting factor is that it is unique to each organisation. How an organisation chooses to narrate its story defines how the culture for the organisation gets built.
A culture which ensures employee well-being strengthens employee engagement levels. Technological disruption and social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Glassdoor are empowering employees by giving them an easy access to the information about the culture of the organization.
This brings a lot of responsibility on the HR leaders plate as building a culture needs a good storyteller and changing a culture requires a persuasive editor and he/she is required to play both the roles.
All this goes to validate that the present business landscape demands the role of HR to be the one that evolves with changing times and embraces the transition from being a functional expert to a change agent.