Denise LaForte, North America Practice leader for HR Transformation at Mercer, shares eight top trends driving HR transformation and how savvy HR professionals are changing the work of Human Resources.
Human Resources leaders are constantly remarking that HR transformation (HRT) is hot right now. I’ve been doing HRT consulting for decades so, for me, it’s always been hot. In fact, organizations have been transforming their HR function in one way or another for nearly 20 years and there continues to be tremendous focus on it today.
When we talk about HRT, we’re talking about rethinking an organization’s HR function to better support the business. This could include changes in HR organization structures, HR operating models and cost structures, HR processes, HR technologies, and/or HR governance models.
Today, HR is transforming because business, as we know it, is transforming. Fortune suggests that we might be in a new industrial revolution and sponsored a forum in December 2015 with CEOs to focus on the challenge of “Winning in the Disruptive Century.” Executives are worried about getting “Uber-ized” or they’re experiencing “Uber Syndrome” – where the fear of a business disruption from an unlikely competitor is keeping worried CEOs up late at night. Nobody wants to be blindsided by the next app or Silicon Valley startup in the way that Uber upended the taxi and transportation industry, seemingly overnight.
These days, someone pursuing a career in HR is much more technology, data, and business savvy than they would have been 10 or 15 years ago.
So what are these disruptive trends and how is HR changing as a result?
Most large corporations are now global in scale and reach. Despite this prevalence, many organizations struggle with how to manage HR on a global scale and support business needs across a multitude of diverse geographies. Companies are spending time rethinking their HR organizational structure and how to service the business both globally and locally.
The key to succeeding globally is to define which plans and programs are global, and which ones are local. There also needs to be a clearly outlined governance model in place that maintains the business rules and ensures that rogue HR programs (which tend to drive up cost and complexity) are not built locally. At the same time, if a company’s desire is to move from a national focus to a multinational focus, HR needs to provide tools and systems to facilitate global reporting, collaboration, and mobility. Human Resources also needs to develop their own competencies through global deployment of resources and building a global mindset in the company.
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