We can re-imagine the future of human resources

human resourcesThe world of work is changing rapidly. Businesses are having to make fundamental shifts to adjust to the emergence of new business models, technologies and the changing expectations of the workforce. This has left human resources teams all over the world needing to efficiently adapt the way they hire, develop and take care of their staff, with the most significant challenge being managing the needs of the current workforce, and addressing their future demands.

According to a recent Deloitte report on reimagining HR, there are a number of external demands being placed on HR teams that must be addressed. These demands include employees working into their 60s and beyond, plus the evolving issue of managing a digitised workforce.

A 2021 report by McKinsey found that about half of the Chief Human Resource Officers (CHROs) surveyed stated that they were focusing on reimagining the fundamentals of the organisation, and rethinking their operating model. The report highlighted how the pandemic has identified several trends relating to HR  that will play a substantial role in shaping the future global economy.

So, what does the future of work look like? How will this affect HR? And what can businesses do to adapt?


The modern workforce is changing

The future workforce is de-centralised and highly mobile. Organisations operating globally need to acquire the right talent, which requires a multi-faceted approach from HR teams to attract the right people. They also need to invest in and care for their workforce.

Managing existing employee demands, while unlocking global talent via international recruitment will be key.Finally, but no less important, is addressing employee health and wellness, which will be fundamental to ensuring a productive, successful and positive workforce.


What does HR look like in 2022?

The role of HR has transformed. There has been an increase in outsourcing to specialists and a change in the core HR competencies. Ultimately, major global events recently have forced HR to rethink best practices. From technology advancements to changing working patterns, human resources leaders need to constantly re-examine their workforce planning. It’s their role to actively help their organisations prepare for the future of work, which means having a deeper understanding of emerging skills, the impact of artificial intelligence on the workforce and changing employee expectations, all of which radically impact the workplace of tomorrow.


How can  businesses  adapt smoothly to the future of work?

Businesses of the future need to be more flexible and responsive. They must have more connections with their staff and become more human: inspiring, collaborative, and focused on creating an employee experience that is meaningful and enjoyable. To ensure this change is successful, many human resources leaders are prioritising initiatives that strengthen their organisation’s ability to drive change in leadership, culture, and employee experience. Technology, of course, will play a big part in this evolution.

Businesses that don’t want to fall behind need to be able to pull on the resources of the HR technology available to them. For example, technological developments around employee health and wellness, known as welltech, are gaining momentum. There is a raft of health promotion technologies, behavioural and health status monitoring systems, and insurance packages that cover telehealth and telemedicine systems. Technology to integrate an organisation’s HR data will also prove essential for organisations to gain insights for decision making purposes, while improving and creating a robust data security model.


The future of remote working and HR

Since the start of the pandemic businesses have found that remote working can and does work, and employees of the future are demanding more flexible remote work opportunities. This is challenging for HR teams who need to be able to create a mobility policy and working arrangement system that is nimble enough to take into account the individual preferences, and priorities of every single employee.

Effective mobility policies that once covered immigration, employment law, income tax, benefits, relocation, holiday allowance, and bonuses, must now also cover remote working as standard. Remote working is no longer a perk, but is expected by many members of the modern workforce. As such, organisations cannot afford to fall behind when it comes to implementing appropriate remote working arrangements.


Employee experience and engagement for the future

There is no doubt that organisations that prioritise the employee experience will see better business results in the future. The role of HR is to ensure that the employee experience of the next generation is a positive one. Data and insights are of course important tools to achieve this, and also provide a retention-driving employee experience that aligns remote teams’ work with the business’ goals. If everyone is clear as to what their role and objectives are, the company can only benefit from this and overall engagement is more likely.

While the role of HR is changing substantially, some fundamentals are unchanged. Communication is key and being an active listener goes a long way. Collaboration and teamwork are vital as is acting upon employee feedback. Future employees are eager to share and teach others. Employees feel valued when they see progress being made, based on their observations.

If human resources teams can put their employees first they are more likely to create an environment that benefits not just the employees, but the employer as well, which translates into an efficient customer experience.