Humanising the future of HR
The role of Human Resources (HR) has been drastically advancing over the last few decades – even more so now than ever before. In the past, HR was viewed to be administrative, whereas currently, it is embodying more technology for employment and personnel matters. With new technologies and the changes in the way we work (e.g., working remotely or in the office), it has brought upon an even bigger question, what does the future of HR look like?
The Covid-19 pandemic resulted in many lives and businesses being disrupted, which has created a sense of uncertainty and HR are at the forefront to provide support and be catalysts of change in the workplace. According to Harbet (2021, p.1), HR operated in “crisis mode” for the better part of 2020 and 2021 to assist with transitioning employees to work from home. In order to ensure the functioning of their organisations, HR had to implement new procedures and assist with reorganising office work, all while dealing with other challenges such as the development of technology, talent, and training needs (Tabor-Blazewicz, 2022).
Due to technological advancements and digitalisation, there has been a shift in focus to consider company approaches towards training, onboarding, and managing employees. Companies are starting to use artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual communication tools (e.g., Microsoft Teams, Zoom, ClickUp etc.) to measure individuals’ skill sets, offer training, and connect with employees to collaborate and share ideas (Arnaut et al., 2023). Digitalisation has contributed towards a more seamless HR operational approach by ensuring that employees are offered a more personalised learning experience and keeping the workforce connected, motivated, and upskilled during times of change.
With our continuously evolving and changing world of work, HR strategies must aim to provide a sense of direction and purpose by inspiring leadership and assisting in creating a more sustainable employee-centric approach. HR are in a position to re-think, re-imagine and re-consider how they may develop talent, provide services, and support their company through forward-thinking strategies. For example, how they can provide the most captivating work experiences while using technology to their benefit.
Providing captivating work experiences while leveraging technology strategically, HR can enhance various aspects of the employee experience. This can be done through various ways such as, streamlining the onboarding process and ensuring new employees have a smooth transition into the organisation (i.e., using digital platforms for paperwork/documentation) (Makeitfuture SRL, 2023); offer personalised learning and development opportunities to employees (i.e., through learning management systems (LMS)) (Stone & Zheng, 2014); promoting collaboration and communication among employees in the form of team collaboration platforms, and instant messaging tools (i.e., Microsoft Team channels) (UrSpayce Inc, 2023); and harnessing technology to create robust employee recognition and rewards programs, whether it be in the style of gamification elements (digital badges) (Chorna, 2023).
So, you may be asking, what does this mean for the future of HR? It means that we need to put HUMAN back into Human Resources. To ensure overall company growth, the future of HR will need to think differently, operate differently, and engage differently, by focusing on creating a work climate that can support employee development, well-being, and organisational performance, all while integrating technology across all processes by embracing a future-oriented mindset and emphasising Change Management.
If you are asking, how can we make our company and employees grow during times of change? Look no further, we at IQbusiness People Advisory can provide our expertise to help your company develop and transform in innovative ways.
Your go-to for all things HUMAN.
Written by: Vanessa Duckworth, Associate Consultant at IQbusiness