Becoming Human Again

I was speaking to a graduate class of Human Resource Development students this past week. We were discussing how the face of HR is changing so rapidly that it’s hard to keep up.

Suddenly, Human Capital and Talent Management are at the forefront of business innovation and strategic growth.

It’s funny, back in the day (not too long ago), most non-HR professionals viewed Human Resources as the policy police, fun governors and compliance enforcers. HR was the group that slowed you down from getting good people on board, messed with your benefits and forced you to take “meaningless” training. It always felt like HR was protecting the assets of the company, rather than support the people that made the business successful.

Well, those days are long gone.

Recently, Mercer outlined in their 2017 Global Talent Management Trends that there are three imperatives to help companies leap forward with their workforce:

1. Attracting & Retaining Tomorrow’s Workforce

1 in 3 employees are satisfied in their current role but are still planning to leave in the next 12 months. How can you ensure that your EVP is truly aligned to your company’s DNA and provides a compelling reason to join or stay?

2. Building for an Unknown Future

How do you prepare your workforce for jobs that don’t yet exist? How do you draw on the full breadth of your organization’s institutional knowledge and ensure the best ideas are brought forward? Only 42% of employees say their company makes it easy to innovate today.

3. Cultivating a Thriving Workforce

What does it take for people to thrive at work? 83% of employees already feel they can bring their authentic selves to work. But what can companies do to ensure that everyone feels energized and empowered to contribute?

Q. Now ask yourself, who’s at the center of all this activity?

A. Whether you want to admit it or not, it’s HR.

Because of the rapid flux in the workforce (e.g. emerging millennials, baby boomer exits, battle for talent, disruptive technologies, dearth of new leaders, etc…) you are seeing an increased focus on the HUMAN side of human resources.

Gone are the days of the Comp. and Benefits Patrol. Here are the days of attracting, hiring and developing real people on a deeper, more personal level than businesses have ever had to do.

We are rapidly moving toward an engagement mindset versus and employment mindset.

When it comes to the way in which we deal with our workers. And this engagement will need to be at an interpersonal, human level to really be effective.

At the end of the day, people want to work for an employer who demonstrates that they care about them, beyond just their skills, competencies and ROI to the company.

Some will welcome it, some will avoid it and others will fight against it.

But regardless of the current culture or business climate, successful companies are all becoming more human again.

And that’s not a bad thing.