1. Context is Changing..
Someone said, “Content is king, but context is the kingdom.” The HR profession must appreciate, anticipate, and adapt to changing economic, political, social, and technological contexts. In particular, HR helps deliver the digital business agenda and HR enacts a digital HR agenda.
2. HR is Not About HR but About Creating Value for Others
Value is not defined by what HR does but by how it impacts others. I like to ask, “What is the best thing HR gives an employee?” Answers generally include a meaningful job, purpose, colleagueship, fair pay, opportunities to learn and grow, and a good work setting. While I agree, I think the best value HR gives an employee is a company that wins in the marketplace. Without winning, there is no job.
3. HR Stakeholders are Broadening
Traditionally, the HR customers were within the organization: employees who are more productive and line managers who design and deliver the right strategy. Increasingly, HR stakeholders are outside the company, including customers who buy products, investors who finance the business, and communities who validate reputation
4. HR has Unique Contributions
To serve internal and external stakeholders, HR traditionally contributed talent (“human” resource): right people, right place, right time, right experience (today’s shiny object). However, in our research, we found that “organization” (culture, capability, workplace) has four times more impact on business results than “individual” (talent, competence, workforce). Leadership bridges individual talent and organization capability. Thus, in any business dialogue, HR partners could continually ask, “Do we have the right talent, organization, and leadership to add value, deliver strategy, serve customers, gain confidence from investors, and build reputation with communities?” HR could provide unique insight into talent, organization, and leadership to deliver value. HR needs an organization guidance system to determine how to make progress along each of these three paths (my personal focus in 2020).
5. The HR Department Should Reflect the Logic and Governance of the Business
The structure of an HR department varies by the structure of a business: more centralized businesses have more centralized HR departments; more decentralized businesses have more decentralized HR departments; more matrix-like businesses have more shared services / center of expertise HR departments. With ever more digital HR, what was outsourced becomes insourced.
6. HR Professionals Need to Reinvent Themselves (20 to 30 percent every four to five years) to Deliver Value
The skills for personal credibility, serving stakeholders and delivering business results vary and evolve over time. HR professionals need to continually reinvent themselves, with an emerging focus on creating capabilities at all organization levels (new research in 2020).
So for 2020, these are my 6 views of what’s next for HR and how HR continues to deliver value. Your views?