HR has always been a critical function of business - because without people, businesses really do struggle. But never before has HR been so important to the strategic side of a company’s functioning. HR, people, culture, and development personnel now have a strategic and consistent voice in the C-suite, and rightly so.
However, as we all know - with great power comes great responsibility. And the major responsibility of the people leading HR oriented divisions today is to be bullish about their function, responsibilities, and programs - more bullish than ever - because there is too much to lose when HR is wimpy.
Hesitant to stick your head down and be bullish? Here are 4 reasons why you must be.
1. The nice-to-have adage of HR is dead
There was a time when people described a lot of HR and people programs as being superfluous. There was a time when creating people, diversity, and engagement focused programs was ancillary. Well, these times are over. Today, HR and people programs are absolutely necessary to the functioning of a successful business. If you want to attract talent, you better have great benefits; if you want to retain talent, you better have ongoing learning and development tools in place; and if you want to build a successful company, you better harness your latent social capital. It is the responsibility of HR to speak to this new reality.
2. The workplace is changing
The workplace has evolved immensely in the last 20 years. Today, 71% of employees are unengaged at work and 30% of employees are actively seeking another job! Today’s job hopping mentality and the outrageous and often overlooked cost of low retention makes it an absolute strategic priority. A large part of the responsibility of HR is to address these workplace changes and build in programs and functions that mitigate the issues. The workplace is going to continue evolving with increased representation from millennials and generation Z, and HR is going to need to be on the front-lines attacking these problems.
3. The workforce is changing
People are changing, and so are their workplace priorities. Money is still important, but it is a necessary yet insufficient condition for happiness in the workplace. While the CFO and CEO can talk about budgets and salaries, they can’t speak to L&D and culture like HR can. Dan Pink spoke to this notion beautifully, talking about the three buckets of sustainable motivation in today’s workforce: autonomy, mastery, and purpose. All three of these motivators are at the very least a partial responsibility of HR; because all three are derived from company culture and ongoing learning and development. Your company will suffer if you’re not bullish about catering to these motivators - and so will your people.
4. We know people programs work
Just like many business functions, there was a time when we didn’t really know what worked. Well today, we have in-depth studies, data, and proof that programs implemented by HR work. It you have a hard time with data, look at the case studies. The companies who continue to focus on providing their employees with great perks, great work-life-balance, great mentoring, and great ongoing learning and development are winning. They also continue to invest more time, money and effort into these exact programs in what is an obvious endorsement of HR’s role in unlocking human capital. They are attracting the best talent; they are getting more out of their people; and they are building workplaces that encourage and stimulate communication and teamwork.
Today, you and I know how important HR is - and most business people do too.
But old habits and old adages die hard; while the C-suite understands the need to include HR in the strategic discussion and vision - it is up to HR to sit there loud and proud. Back straight. And be bullish.
Your organisation, your career, and your people depend on it.
Interested in being bullish about how HR programs can transform your organisation? We can definitely help - mentorloop.com
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