Creating A People-Focused HR Function

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Human resources as a whole is currently going through a paradigm shift. What was once commonplace for HR departments is now being replaced by totally new practices. While some might find these adjustments hard at first, they’re ultimately necessary, and will be beneficial to organizations and employees alike.

One of the main changes in HR departments across the board right now is the transformation from an administrative body to one of planning and intention with a people-focused mission. Instead of being the people who file paperwork and on-board new employees, HR teams are taking a much more active role in directing the future of their companies.

In addition to HR becoming more hands-on when it comes to strategic measures, it should also have more focus on understanding and improving the employee experience. While the benefits of this might not be totally clear at first, there are actually somestrong motivations for creating a people-focused HR function.

Why Create a People-Focused HR Function?

As with making any kind of substantial change at an enterprise, there’s going to be some natural resistance to overhauling HR. Executives will question whether this is a wise use of capital, and whether it will bring material benefits to the organization. Employees might worry that their jobs will be more difficult and less fulfilling.

While these are valid concerns, they’re non-issues when considering the prospects of creating a people-focused HR function.In terms of backend efficiency, HR digital transformation needs to happen hand-in-hand with the creation of a people-focused department. We’ll dig into the importance of this more in the next section. First, let’s look at a couple of the top reasons why enterprises should create a people-focused HR function:

  • HR needs to learn how people fit into the goals of a business – At many companies, there’s a fundamental disconnect between the organization’s goals and how individual employees see themselves fitting into that. Ali Intres, CHRO at Forbes, says that a successful HR team needs to understand the business they work for as much as the people. Without being able to see both sides of the equation. There can be no equilibrium between giving employees what they want and achieving business goals without having this foundational knowledge.
  • Reframe how people are viewed by the organization – Too often, people are treated as a cog to fit into a machine. While a well-run corporation might often resemble a machine, it’s still essential to remember each piece is a person. Employees want to feel valued at an organization and want to feel a sense of responsibility for contributing to something bigger. HR professionals can help with this by listening to employees to get a better understanding of how they’re feeling about the workplace, as well as by giving recognition where it’s due. Creating more equitable rewards programs is another way to actively show each employee they have worth to the enterprise.

Workers today are demanding more from their employers. People want the organization to value them, as well as play a positive role in society. Making this a priority of HR helps businesses attract and retain top talent.

How Should Enterprises Approach HR Transformation?

Digital transformation in the HR department is all about optimizing the ongoing administrative functions. Due to advancements in technology, many of these functions can be automated—leaving professionals with more time to focus on people-centered initiatives. Furthermore, relying more on data for answers can help HR resolve issues in a more objective way, which will be better for employees and the organization.

Human resources is one of the many areas within enterprises that are experiencing rapid changes. The organizations that address these issues most effectively will enjoy more efficient operations and happier employees. These things can be achieved when creating a people-focused HR function.

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