Article (April-2021)


Opportunity to acquire center stage

Anil Kaushik

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Every profession has faced challenges in 2020 but post pandemic most impacted profession is HR which has not only fought the unique challenges last year but has also been keeping prepared self and its people in organization to address the future uncertainties. HR leadership has a history of climb but this time opportunity has thrown two options-either to remain on periphery or acquire the center stage in business.

No doubt that every function has its own set of expectations from HR in organization but without getting confused, HR has to read writing on the wall and prove its work. Challenges and issues are many before HR leadership today and in near future. To name the few are understanding the fast changing  work and work place intricacies and preparing the  organization to develop customized solutions, working towards  employees mental well being and psychological safety in a people-first culture, moving towards owning their roles as business professionals, adapting to proliferation of technology and other innovations, creating a competitive edge through workforce re-skilling and up-skilling and using data to its best  in information age. It offers an opportunity to HR leadership to emerge as a profession that can shepherd organizations and workforce through the new normal and so the HR leadership has too much in his plate.

As qualities/competencies of HR leaders and their personality traits are discussed by experts in the cover story of this edition, let us touch upon certain other aspects. Future is expected to be of gig economy, flexi working, virtual work, hybrid workplaces, remote collaboration, agility and technology based team work. HR leadership by creating a balance in data driven insights with human insights and blending HR technology with human capital should concentrate on individual and organizational resilience, human machine partnership, mutual trust and transparency and creativity and innovation.

As HR leadership is expected to adopt transformative approaches in talent management, obstacles in earning a stronger strategic role will also be there. Time is for understanding the obstacles, removing them and acquiring the role of business professional. While leadership in HR demands sensitivity towards workforce needs, it also has to work out on creating a responsive workforce to navigate through troubled waters.

This edition cover story is an attempt to identify HR leadership competencies and personality traits required in 2021 and beyond and prepare all its people   to handle successfully the future uncertainties.

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