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A recent study by Deloitte pointed out that many company leaders and HR leaders have a less than positive view of how HR is doing. The study shows that many companies are not prepared to handle the challenges that will face them in the next 10 years. I wrote about this in a Future Friday post previously. In this post I wanted to suggest four things that I think need to be done in order to improve the chances of HR surviving.
Step One: Bring more technologists into HR
This is something that needs to begin today. With the rapid rise of the use of technology and the ever increasing use of “big data” we need to have a major influx of people who are savvy in the use of statistics and in the use of the computing technology that will be needed to take advantage of the overabundance of information that is available. Every VP of HR needs to hire their “geek” and learn from them every day. Every college and university that has an HR program needs to put technology on the curriculum, and not just one class. There should perhaps be a degree program in HR technology. SHRM needs to emphasize technology to a much greater extent in the certification program offered. Right now there is almost no emphasis on this.
Step Two: Hold your current HR people to improving
If you read that survey there is apparently not enough accountability in many organizations. How do you end up with 75% of companies saying they are weak in having programs to prepare Millennials for leadership positions? Where has everyone been? It is not as if this group of people just appeared out of nowhere. It is not as if we just realized that all our baby-boomer managers are either going to retire or die? Who hasn’t been paying attention to the demographics? HR has been lazy and executive management has let them get away with it.
Step Three: Executives need to wake up and smell the coffee
Unfortunately “Our employees are our most important asset” has become a meaningless phrase. Some companies in the future may be able to only exist on technology and use robots instead, though it is a safe bet the CEO won’t be a robot. We are going to need people. We are going to need talent. The sooner executive management realizes this the better. They need to realize having top talent requires an investment. Training, technology and talent all require money.
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Step Four: HR needs to get its collective head out of the sand
The profession of HR needs to be stronger. We need to quit being a “profession” with a low barrier to entry. If HR is to be the true “talent” interface there needs to be better education, better standards, better training and better selection of people. HR people need to be less conservative and more future oriented. We need to stop letting executive management run roughshod over us.
This is not a comprehensive list by any means, but if we as an HR profession want to have any chance of success in improving performance management, improving engagement, improving success then we need to clean up our act.
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