The future of HR is here today – Like all aspects of business, HR is undergoing digital transformation. In a world that was once heavily focussed on transactional ways of working, HR is progressively shifting to an internal business consulting role; we just don’t acknowledge it yet. Either way, the crux of the organization is its people and to successfully build or transform your HR function into the one you want, business leaders need to allow HR to focus on their people.

But it is easy to get caught up on new business fads and forget the basics…

As HR whizzes into future ways of working it is important that SME’s remain focussed on the true role of HR: its people. It is not common for new start-ups to disregard the importance of HR and is often the reason SME’s face certain key strategic issues down the line.  SME’s need to understand that HR’s core purpose is to support everything that involves people management.

HR SME objectives should focus on 3 core areas:

  1. Values

Hiring the right people for the job is often misinterpreted as hiring the person with the right skill set. But successful SME’s don’t hire based solely on skills set. They hire individuals that believe in the same or a similar set of values. These values will drive an employee’s sense of purpose and ultimately steer and develop an organization’s culture. In a sense, this is the heart of your organization and your people will have a sense of identification. This identification will drive the organizations bottom line.

  1. Communication

As information becomes easier to access, transparency is vital for organizational health. As management information systems make it easier for employees to work remotely, independently and even globally; employees will be expected to work with increasingly less supervision. For autonomy to be successful, SME leaders need to communicate effectively through various technological tools and face-to-face. For example, the future will see SME leaders using emoji’s to convey actual emotions and messages. SME leaders need to determine what technological tools are acceptable to use and create a code of conduct that empowers their employees to work autonomously while still communicating effectively.  It’s basically about putting the human into technology.

  1. Outsourcing 

The concept of HR outsourcing is relatively new to the SME world, and it is something that cannot be ignored. Many SME’s, once they start growing, hire an HR officer to carry out transactional HR tasks such as: payroll and health & safety etc. The future indicates that the transactional role of HR will no longer exist and will be transformed into an internal business partner role. This internal business partner will be able to implement strategic people management decisions that drive organizational growth, development and profit. Ultimately they make decisions that impact the company’s triple bottom line.  Technology will continue to change the work and will change the way we view and progress in our careers. Because the types of jobs in the future are uncertain, it is important that HR capitalises on the gig economy and engages with futuristic-thinking contractors to support HR in driving their strategic people initiatives.  Secondly, outsourcing your HR transactional processes will cut HR costs, enabling them to reinvest in new people opportunities.

To all SME leader’s – the future of HR is here and it is all about creating a culture that puts the human back into Human Resources.

Written by Alexia Cox (PhD), Director of Merging Minds

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