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The Role of HR Professionals in the Workplace of the Future

The world of today is fast-paced and complex, hence unpredictable in many ways. The list of the most powerful companies in the present day changes almost every year, and traditional companies tend to go off the list pretty quickly.

The biggest challenge for HR professionals right now is to maximize the human intelligence present within organizations, along with figuring out how to utilize artificial intelligence (AI) in the best possible way. Employees emphasize on doing meaningful work, not just laboring away mindlessly. Of course they need to pay their expenses, but they prefer doing so with a company whose values are in sync with theirs, even if the salaries earned are lower than from other employers.

The way ahead involves technology taking over a big part of the routine, non-value-added work previously performed by humans. Professionals in their HR careers will have to understand how to work with AI, given the fundamental changes happening in business models and value chains.

This requires a transformation in mindsets and skillsets, and HR professionals must work hard to achieve this transformation. They must ready organizations for the future, which will require more than just outsourcing some tasks or revamping the workplace. Teams must be enabled to work on meaningful problems, and the following are some key roles to play:

Develop a new mindset

A new workplace culture requires a new way of thinking, encompassing self-awareness and humility, both of which are soft skills that organizations need to work on. Efforts to bring in an agile way of working are not likely to succeed in this scenario, given the perception that people need control.

Research, however, suggests that people are self-driven. The problem comes from the traditional hierarchy-based control system that:

  • Slows down the process of decision-making
  • Negates any self-motivation employees have

What is needed is a measured faith in the capabilities of people. Leadership must add value to the workforce, and the aim in an HR career must be to coach and shape organizational mindsets accordingly.

Eliminate demotivating processes and co-create the new design of the organization

Knowing the capabilities and requirements of the workforce is among the prime responsibilities of HR professionals. They must interact with people across levels, seeking to drive change by understanding what people can and want to do to achieve the organizational goals. This will also throw light on any stumbling blocks people face, which could be in processes, roles, or other aspects of the work environment.

HR will need to work together with senior management and employees to chart a course and a model for the future. This involves putting ideas together and getting suggestions on changes needed. A key step would be the elimination of roadblocks to motivation and the bringing in of objectives not defined by the management but by team members themselves. Performance should also be evaluated from the perspective of customers, not as per financial or other internal deliverables. No organizational design is perfect or first-time-right, and the idea is to keep improving it as per feedback and its performance.

Welcome change and make learning fun

HR processes have not been known to change much once they are implemented, at least for a few years. A more agile way of work will change this, which implies the need for a changed mindset and skills to match the evolution of the roles played in the course of HR careers.

Employees must be moved beyond standardized job descriptions and career ladders. They must be offered learning and development opportunities they see value in and truly enjoy, not just something being done because it is mandated. This also encourages employees to give it their all when at work, which ensures sustainable success for the business. A suitably evolved mindset and skillset are thus critical to the role of HR in the future.

A good idea for HR professionals is to add to their credentials from among the best HR and talent management certifications. A certification is a great way to prove the person is knowledgeable about the latest tools and techniques in the HR field, and helps to strengthen their future careers, along with providing great utility to the workplace and the business.

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