Preparing for the Future of Work Hamstrings HR Departments

Global Media

A number of HR professionals are struggling to manage key challenges that confront their organizations this year and next. According to a report by the HR Research Institute, most  acknowledge they’re not prepared for the quick, dramatic changes anticipated  to come along with the future of work.  

In fact, HR professionals are having a crisis of confidence about their value as their work becomes more focused on meeting the needs of individual employees at a time when talent is hard to attract.

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According to the report:

  • About two-fifths of HR professionals believe they’re good at meeting organizational needs from the perspective of employees.
  • Some 17% strongly agree that HR maximizes employee experience and…
  • Just 10% strongly agree that they are working on long-term planning to help the organization.

Mark Vickers, HR.com’s chief research analyst, said many HR practitioners are, essentially, hamstrung. “Many feel as if they still have not mastered the ability to recruit high-quality talent, but they’re also struggling in more strategic areas such as advancing diversity, equity and inclusion, communicating effectively, leveraging people analytics and preparing for the near future,” he said.

Many HR departments are “under fire,” the report said. Enhancing employee experience and creating agile workforces are two pressing issues that HR must be prepared to address in the short term. But fewer than half of the survey’s respondents (43%) rated HR as eight or above on a 10-point scale in terms of their preparedness to thrive in the next two years.

Other major findings include:

  • Only a small proportion of respondents (14%) strongly agree with the statements that HR functions drive organizational performance (14%), boosts employee performance (13%) and maximizes employee experience (17%).  
  • About 35% feel that HR plays a supportive role either by developing a talent strategy after completing strategic planning (11%) or is asked for talent-related input during the planning process (22%). About 16% said that HR plays no significant role in the strategic planning process.
  • Creating a positive corporate culture has become a focus in most organizations since employees are more likely to quit organizations with unappealing cultures. Even here, however, only 20% deemed their organization as “very successful,” indicating there’s  much room for improvement in how HR influences culture.

“What these numbers suggest is a crisis of confidence,” said HR.com CEO Debbie McGrath. The new normal “requires HR people to be confident in their ability to be agile in their approaches to solving the substantial people challenges … and not being afraid to communicate the positive impact that they’re having.“

Image: 123RF

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