Today’s business environment of extreme competitiveness requires excellence in work. Such excellence can only be guaranteed by a sharp focus on learning, enhancing teamwork and re-imagining the workforce. In other words, the way organizations work and treat their workforce. The new HR mandate is meant to achieve organizational excellence. The new role of human resources is quite distinct from the traditional HR activities of recruitment and compensation. This new HR role requires HR to concentrate on outcomes or deliverables. The HR mandate now requires the HR managers to be result-oriented, results that add value to the organization’s stake-holders namely customers, investors and employees.
The real difference in the competitiveness of organizations is on account of talent today as the economy is changing into new skills economy. Talent and skills that are needed, are changing very rapidly. There is a constant need for reskilling and upskilling in this dynamic work environment. Newer digital technologies are now disruptive force companies have to deal with all the time. In such a scenario, the roles and responsibilities of HR are undergoing a sea change. HR has to handle talent, employees and training (reskilling and upskilling) in a more function specific way. Function of HR managers today is to cater to the requirements that are specific to a particular function and department as each department has specific business goal to achieve.
In a business environment that is changing constantly, HR has a new mandate. This HR mandate is to equip each function/department of an organization to become more dynamic, responsive and result-oriented. The right tools and skills needed for empowering the workforce of these departments can only be made available by intelligent HR management. True human resource empowerment is possible only when HR managers don the mantle of change agents. The role of HR in the competitive business environment of today is clearly to help various departments of an organization by managing employee lifecycles in a more meaningful way, by reskilling them, upskilling them and by using their talents in the most appropriate manner. Working closely with various departments and understanding their business goals will bring about better business outcomes for the organization as a whole.
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So how does the HR execute this new HR mandate ? There are many effective ways of doing so. HR managers must involve themselves right from the strategy stage to the execution stage. They must partner with line managers and senior managers of departments closely. More importantly, the new function of the HR managers is to understand and master the way the work of a department is done in order to understand their requirements in terms of talent, that too in the most cost effective way possible.
To effectively execute the new HR mandate, it should always be on the side of the employees. Employees’ issues must be brought to the notice of the senior management. The role and responsibility of HR, primarily , is to help employees enhance their contribution to the success of the organization.
HR should become a change agent for the entire organization, dealing with disruptions by constantly transforming the workforce and fine-tuning processes leading to a work culture that embraces change more willingly.
This new HR mandate is a far cry from the older more traditional role of human resources. HR traditionally handles recruitment, compensation, training and employee benefits. Their work largely remains detached from the real business of the organization. The new HR mandate emphatically talks about all of HR activities to be closely connected with the business goals and outcomes of a company in a tangible way.
A few examples illustrate this close partnership between line managers of a department and HR very well. Marketing department of a company devises time-bound campaigns which need dedicated teams of employees. HR working closely with marketing, after understanding the requirement in terms of talent, can help identify appropriate talent for such a team. HR can look at talent available within the company or hire freelancers who can execute the campaign if talent within the company is not available for a specific purpose. HR thus plays an empowering role for the marketing department.
Similarly, HR can play an important role in upskilling sales workforce. Sales people are constantly on the go and have very little time to learn new skills. HR can help them upskill by providing small learning capsules which deliver learning in small doses through their mobile phones. This goes a long way in making sales team more productive as well as responsive to the ever-changing business requirements.
Line managers are mainly responsible for keeping employees engaged. Their onerous job can be helped by providing them with data-driven insights. Line managers thus can make informed decisions regarding talent management, aided by these insights. It can be achieved by HR easily. By aligning people analytics solutions with actionable insights for employee engagement, HR can equip the line managers well for them to deal with their work force better.
So there are ways and ways in which HR can help organizations achieve their business goals better. The new HR mandate cannot be achieved by HR alone. Organizations and senior leaders have to work towards a business environment where HR and other departments can work together closely as equal partners. Traditional ways of doing business in separate silos will not deliver an organization’s objectives. To change strategy into action quickly and to optimize employee contribution, companies need capabilities that the HR mandate provides.
Helping each department of the organization function better is the new mandate of HR. Manu Abhishek Kumar. 23 July, 2019