From being a support function and a cost centre to now becoming a partner to business, the role of HR has changed drastically. The past few years have pushed the HR function globally to the front lines and played a critical role in business operations. While companies are viewing their remote or in-office work policies, the human resources team has become the key link amongst the organisation and its employees. With technology adoption accelerating at a rapid pace, HR managers had to shift gears, quickly adapt and learn new skills. Apart from handling employee grievances, HR departments also had to focus on employee well-being, redefining policies for the new world of work, manage workforce ecosystems, up-skill leaders and managers, and create purpose driven organisations across businesses & functions. The HR role will dramatically change to support the future of employee engagement and retention. And these changes will need the human resource leaders, managers and executives to acquire new skills to remain agile and resilient. Few of the skills the HR teams will need to adopt are :
The adoption of technology has increased across all business processes, and automation in HR is no exception. The current environment is also likely to witness a sharp rise in HR tech and process automation. HR teams must familiarize themselves with these new technologies as it leads to enhanced productivity and streamlined processes. Some of the other technical skills that HR teams must look to acquire include project management, change management, organisational design, people analytics, cloud technology, strategic deal management, and social media management.
The role of HR has changed drastically. Aligning HR teams and processes with businesses will prove critical as we move into 2023 and beyond.
Problem solving skills
Problem-solving is a core skill that all HR team members must possess. In today’s digital and hybrid workplace, employee grievances are far different from a few years ago. Moreover, a new generation of employees is entering the workforce and they work, think, and engage very differently from their predecessors. Most organisations are strategically implementing diversity and inclusion policies as well. Skills such as critical thinking, quick problem-solving, creative thinking, decision-making, and system thinking will be crucial to engage the future workforce.
Additional soft skills
Soft skills are a critical tool that any HR professional must possess. However, in order to stay ahead of the curve HR professionals must look further than traditional soft skills such as communication, team work, adaptability, and interpersonal skills. While these skills are still critical to have, other skills such as negotiation, collaboration, stakeholder management, resilience, cultural sensitivity, and integration will become essential in the future.
Also read: Psychological safety crucial for Indian workplace success: Report
Future oriented skills
The role of HR in any organisation is changing drastically, and as HR managers take on additional responsibilities, they must look to include skills such as risk management and cyber security in their toolkits. The recent past has shown that identifying and preparing for “force majeure” changes is absolutely critical to any organisation. In such a scenario, HR teams must identify, evaluate, and prioritize any potential future risks. In today’s digital world, vast amounts of sensitive information are constantly exchanging hands and HR teams themselves handle critical information regarding candidates, employees, and leaders. In order to prevent any unforeseen or unintentional disclosure of such data, HR professionals must be aware of cyber security threats, data privacy, ethics, and information security.
Aligning HR teams and processes with businesses will prove critical as we move into 2023 and beyond. The role of HR has changed drastically and aligning HR with overall organisational strategy will likely boost employee morale and engagement. Strategic alignment across business verticals will also help in creating a more efficient and productive workforce. Essentially, HR departments are the voice of the employees and business alignment ensures that multiple voices are heard. In today’s dynamic marketplace, customers, technologies, and industries are constantly evolving and HR and strategy should go hand-in-hand in order to ensure sustainability.
The changing nature of India’s workforce and the pace of tech adoption has meant that HR teams are pushed to the forefront of business processes. This trend is likely to continue in the future and HR’s new role in business transformation will require HR teams to acquire new skill sets and look beyond traditional capabilities.
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