Article Review: HR Needs to “Reskill” Itself; Better Understand How to Engage Their People

July 2015

Association for Talent Development, TD Monthly 

Summary:

Over 3,300 business and HR leaders from 106 countries were surveyed and interviewed and the report found that the challenges that HR representatives have to confront are becoming increasingly complex.  Between many “non-traditional” employees who range from contractual to part-time to telecommuting employees, HR is having to increasingly reevaluate and adjust how they do their job.  In many ways, technology has made work more convenient and efficient, but 24/7 employee schedules, compliance demands and globalization have all made the role and scope of HR professionals much more complicated.   In the survey, professionals acknowledged the growing gap between what business leaders expect and what HR is providing, while also expressing that this may be partly due to a lack of the resources they need to perform their job function in an increasingly connected world.

Opinion:

As expressed in the article, I believe that in order to remain relevant in an ever-changing work environment, human resources must be bold and innovative in their thinking about how best to recruit and retain valuable employees as well as how to best serve them and evaluate their performance.  Just as computer equipment and software used only a decade ago are now completely out-of-date and obsolete, similarly HR tactics that might have been effective 30 years ago are no longer relevant or even feasible.  Gone are the days of a set number of full-time employees working 9-to-5 in a brick and mortar building.  Because employees can connect, work and live anywhere in the world, the need for understanding and sensitivity to employees’ wide range of needs and concerns is more imperative than ever.

I believe a good place to start in reforming HR’s role and function in the workplace is by consulting with the innovative leaders of the technology industry and seeing how they conduct business differently.  Businesses like Google and Facebook operate very differently than companies that have been around a lot longer, yet boast much higher employee satisfaction ratings and employee retention than companies with long histories.  HR’s survival requires that they look to those businesses that are simply performing better for guidance on how to successfully acclimate to the 21st century way of business.