The pace of change we are all subjected to is still accelerating, producing seismic shifts in business and society. One of these shifts is the growing importance of people.
HR is facing challenges like never before including:
- Talent and leadership are becoming even scarcer resources than ever before.
- The work force, on average, is growing older, and people are having fewer children.
- More companies are becoming global organizations as they try to recruit abroad, integrate diverse cultures and retain foreign talent.
- The emotional well-being of employees is more important than ever before. The days of staying at one company are over, mobility is the new norm. And with that, employees will increasingly make job choices based on family considerations and a desire to have a life outside of work.
Organizations can gain competitive advantages, to their complex social systems, by proactively using People Strategies that are tied to their purpose, and direction. That alone is still not enough, HR has got to “get in the game” by connecting themselves to their corporate strategy and use metrics to demonstrate their value added. Most companies have a corporate scorecard or dashboard and how many of them have people metrics beyond retention/turnover?
“…the HR function must be able to measure, count, and calculate the effectiveness of both its internal operations and the company’s overall people strategies. One of the reasons that HR ranks lower on the corporate totem pole today than the finance department is that HR managers often cannot quantify their successes.”
– Creating People Advantage: How to address HR Challenges Worldwide Through 2015.
The Boston Consulting Group and World Federation of Personnel Management Associations undertook a global study of 4700 executives, in 83 countries, and identified the most important HR capabilities that are needed in the next 5 years for managing human capital.
Companies will face 8 critical HR challenges that fall into three strategic categories.
- Developing and Retaining the Best Employees. The first category includes the challenges of managing talent, improving leadership development, and managing work-life balance.
- Anticipating Change. The second category encompasses managing demographics, managing change and cultural transformation, and managing globalization.
- Enabling the Organization. The third category consists of becoming a learning organization and transforming HR into a strategic partner.
Sadly, only 40% reported they had begun working on these globally critical topics for their company’s future.
With this data, executives have the opportunity to lay the foundation for strategic HR processes that will create a sustainable people advantage, which is also a competitive advantage for their organizations. In the process, this should elevate the role of HR to its proper place in the corporate hierarchy allowing them to be more effective in contributing to the bottom line.
On the topic of HR and metrics, I would be interested to hear what metrics you are using in your organizations to measure the success of your HR strategies and how HR contributes to the bottom line. Post a note here or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.