An informal poll hints that practitioners and other end users of HCM technology like the idea of HR becoming bolder and striving to have more impact on their organizations’ business strategy and results, themes emphasized in a speech given Monday by Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., the Society of Human Resource Management’s new CEO.
Speaking to SHRM’s 2018 Employment Law & Legislative Conference on Monday, Taylor said that rather than settle for incremental change, HR should “be bold and aim for monumental impact,” according to a report on SHRM’s website. Professionals should make the profession more significant both inside and outside of the workplace, he said, and HR should be “more courageous.”
Taylor’s remarks give the impression that SHRM is poised to become more vocal on a number of issues, as well as more actively politically. “Starting today, you’ll see SHRM move forward together as a social force to change the world,” Taylor said. He sees the organization as becoming a voice that speaks on all issues related to work, not simply HR.
After hearing a summary of Taylor’s thoughts, HR professionals we spoke with at Ultimate Software’s Connections 2018 conference said they “aligned” with their desire for technical tools that automate nuts-and-bolts tasks so they can focus on strategic workforce issues. One manager said details such as the accuracy of each payroll run directly ties into an organization’s financial operations by impacting cash flow and tax compliance.
With about 285,000 members in 165 countries, SHRM is the largest HR professional association in the world. Because so many of them use HCM technology products on a daily basis, they have heavy influence on how their companies prioritize technology features and an increasing voice in purchasing decisions. Many of them work for small and medium-sized businesses, a major area of growth potential for vendors, and rely on SHRM for ongoing education and general awareness of issues.
Soon after taking over SHRM’s CEO chair, Taylor told Employee Benefits News that HR’s landscape was sure to change over “the next decade and beyond,” and, “the old school HR approach to what the norms are is quickly changing and we’re going to have to retool for it.”
In terms of technology, he told EBN that while “all the craze is AI” and “we’re all trying to figure it out,” he thought the idea of AI and robots taking over the workplace are overhyped. Like the professionals we spoke to, believes advancing technology “only frees HR up to do strategic and culture-impacting things.”
Disclosure: Mark Feffer is a regular contributor to SHRM and its HR Magazine.