5 must-do’s for a high-impact HR team
HR is undergoing metamorphosis – from an administrative function to a change driver and strategic growth enabler. And, this change is palpable. What better evidence than a Job Description. Browse through a few JDs for HR job openings on any popular job portal and you will witness the change. Keywords such as business acumen, business strategy, technology, analytics, digital, social media have made their way into HR JDs. While most organizations have initiated the transformation process in their HR teams, what is of significance is the pace of change and the agility to embrace this change. Here, note that change is incessant and not one-time. In this era of constant change, what constitutes a winning HR team?
Here are 5 must-dos to be a high-impact HR team:
Align people strategy to business strategy:
Its time for HR to move from being a service provider to a strategic enabler for business growth. Correlation between HR and business metrics is vital to running a high performing organization. Measuring demand and supply, skills gaps, pay and performance, utilization, attrition and retention, feedback, and even organizational network analysis – all impact business performance. Organizations need to refocus HR deliverables on business transformation with results like cost savings, revenue generation and customer satisfaction scores.
This can be enabled by undertaking job rotation programs – moving HR resources to business and vice versa. The concept of HR Business Partners helps in being at the epicenter, allowing to contribute at a strategic level.
Espouse a technology enabled, data-driven culture:
Human Resources function is generating more data than ever before, and technology has enabled us to derive valuable insights from this data. Artificial intelligence-based platforms coupled with advanced analytics models are transforming the face of HR. Intelligent systems are reengineering HR processes, taking efficiency and effectiveness to a whole new level. Improved accuracy of demand and supply forecasts, reduced hiring time, better candidate matches, relevant learning recommendations, chatbot assistants for faster resolutions, optimized workforce and utilization are some of the benefits derived by adopting artificial intelligence and data science in HR.
It must be every HR leader’s priority to keep on top of latest in HR technology and use data to make smart business decisions. It should be embedded in the organization DNA. Upskill existing staff and/or hire from outside the HR team to build a good mix of domain experts, data scientists, statisticians, and technologists in the team.
Build or buy technology
One of the most significant decisions when addressing the technology needs is whether to build or buy. This purely depends on three aspects: Budget, Scalability and Customizations required. While building custom software is expensive, the ROI makes it worthwhile. Go for it, if off-the-shelf products cannot fully meet your requirements, you have limited budgets and the scale is low. Canned solutions could be rigid and may not be compatible with existing systems in the organization that the software needs to talk to.
However, there are slew of HR technology products that are easy to use, feature rich (needing limited or no customizations) and provide excellent integration support. These are worth looking at.
For smaller organizations with budgetary constraints and limited usage, plug and play products work perfect. Besides, it relieves you of the need to invest in technical skills.
Embrace the gig economy:
By now, we are convinced that the gig economy is here to stay and grow. So, it is about time that HR leads the way in enabling business units to embrace and leverage freelance talent.
Onboarding freelancers not only helps fill skill gaps but also helps keep costs down by employing talent as and when needed. Considering the quality of talent is remarkable among this sect, organizations will certainly benefit from greater speed and better output.
The trick to embracing the gig economy is mainly in change management. It requires a well thought out plan with leadership buy-in. Some of the factors that must be put in place are: ratio of permanent staff to on-demand staff, identifying jobs for both groups, output measurement mechanism, payment terms, data security and remote management. HR needs to foster an environment of collaboration and empower them with the right tools to make this work seamlessly.
Build a smart workspace:
A smart workspace is where the future lies. It is the coming together of work, space and technology that fosters self-regulation, collaboration, and flexibility. BYOD, interconnectedness, virtual workspace, cloud networks, collapsed hierarchies, boundaryless workers, collaboration tools are some of the features of a “Smart” workspace. HR is best positioned to drive this change as it is centered around employees. In some ways, this is going back to the yesteryears of HR where the function was responsible for facilities management – except that this time around it is technology-centric.
Design thinking in HR:
You’ve heard this before and its not just another jargon. Design thinking is all about simplification and personalization of processes or solutions. As IDEO defines it – Human Centered design. In the HR context, it is about putting the employee experience first. It is a simple yet thoughtful process covering five steps:
Empathize: Start with understanding the need of the audience – whether it is onboarding, engagement, attrition or learning and development. You could do this in a formal way through surveys or through observation and listening.
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