People & Leadership
HR’s transforming to People: 4 ways HR leaders can get ahead
Have you made the transition from HR to People yet? Just 18% of HR leaders believe their organisation has.
That’s according to insights from 500 HR leaders. We polled them to find out how they’re getting ahead in today’s changing world of work – with revealing findings.
Our new research report, The changing face of HR, revealed the following:
The HR to People transformation is real
94% of HR leaders expect ‘HR to People’ transformation changes over the next three to five years, with 47% expecting these changes to be significant.
The way HR operates is evolving
Over a third of HR leaders have adopted new ways of working, such as flexible working, data-driven decision making, and continuous performance management.
Technology used in HR is changing
Cloud (43% adopted) and mobile (36% adopted) are top priorities for HR and People teams, but 43% are concerned their organisation won’t keep up with changes in technology.
New HR skillsets are required
86% of respondents believe HR skillsets need to change – with, worryingly, fewer than one in three HR leaders rating their competency levels as experts today.
HR is transforming to People
The sense from the sector in the research was unanimous: it’s shifting its focus to people. Just as Personnel changed to HR in the 1980s, it’s now evolving into a People function.
Here’s four ways our research revealed progressive People leaders can get ahead.
1. Drive agile ways of working
Agile ways of working in HR means teams can implement changes faster. They can get quicker feedback and take remedial action.
By continuously redesigning better ways of working in this way, they can see a quicker impact on productivity.
Ultimately, organisations need to be responsive to market shifts and changing customer needs. This requires companies to be flexible, adaptive and agile.
Yet, our findings show that less than a third of HR leaders currently operate an agile HR model today.
As organisations globally move to more agile ways of working, operating as networks and in cross-functional project groups, HR will need to provide the skills and capabilities to design and enable such organisational agility.
2. Address the HR skills gap
We found that, while recognised, the challenge of plugging the skills gaps within HR has been vastly underestimated.
With 86% noting a need to reskill, a global HR skills crunch is almost inevitable.
HR and People leaders feel they are weak in areas such as behavioral sciences, technology, People analytics, and communications. This is despite these areas being rated by respondents as important in the coming years.
Identify skills gaps in your team now, and where they could be in the future for your organisation to get ahead.
As well as upskilling existing HR experts in new People-focused and technological roles, companies have also acknowledged they must diversify, and source skills needed from non-conventional routes.
3. Get ahead with technology
Technology, such as automation and analytics, enables HR to work smarter, faster and more strategically.
Actionable insights, for example, are vital for effective decision-making. Automation frees up a third of HR teams’ time.
With 43% of HR leaders believing their organisation will not keep up with changes in technology over the next 10 years, however, there’s still a lot to do.
4. Make the business case
Worryingly, 53% of HR and People leaders told us they can’t make the business case for change.
Investing in your people is one of the most important business decisions an organisation can make.
It’s non-negotiable for the success of your organisation, and, building a robust and comprehensive business case is the most powerful tool you can use to get that all important slice of budget.
To do it, align your goals with the company’s overall strategy, and demonstrate how change will impact the overall business plan.
Be the face of change
Many of us got into HR to change people’s lives for the better, if even a little bit. Though the challenges ahead in the sector appear vast, so too are the rewards.
Thanks to technology such as analytics and automation, HR can transition from being process-focused to people-focused, as HR and People leaders move from the backroom to the boardroom, and make a demonstrable impact on the bottom line.
As ultimately, HR leaders know more than anyone: your people are more than human resource.
As a result, isn’t it time we said goodbye to ‘Human Resources’ and hello to ‘People’?
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Want to attract the best people, retain your key talent and increase productivity? Request a free, live demo of Sage People and discover how it can help you achieve your goals.