2015 will be a year with many opportunities for HR.
Some roles for HR in 2015, to increase the impact of HR.
1. The Accelerator
Speed is of utmost importance. HR can help to accelerate processes and decision making. The pace in most organisations is too slow. The year is still the most important planning building block. HR can do a lot to help to increase the speed. Hire speedy persons. Get rid of, or redesign, slow and bureaucratic processes. Stop with one-size-fits-all concepts. Adopt ‘Just-in time’ and get rid of ‘Just-in-case’.
2. The Challenger
We need people who dare to challenge at the top. Group think is observed too often. The plans are always ambitious and will result in more growth. Nobody wants to be the party pooper. Nobody wants to be perceived as a blocker. This is where HR can show its independency, and challenge where others choose to be followers.
3. The Cleaner
Your organisation is full with things that are actually no longer needed. Forms. Processes. People. HR can play the role of the cleaner. Start with a clean sheet, and determine what you really need.
4. The Connector
In today’s organisation it is all about connections. HR has to focus on building and strengthening the connections. Between countries. Between functional areas. Between old and young. Between Baby Boomers and Gen Y. Between old and new. Between early-adaptors and followers. Between change lovers and stabilisers. Between inner circle and outer circle. Between leaders and followers. Between HQ and the people at the front.
5. The Conversationalist
HR should be the master of good conversation. Where do we take the time for good conversations? With our boss, with our team, with our clients, with ourselves.
6. The Curator
A new role for HR is the role of the curator. Curator of critical capabilities and top talent in the organisation. Curator of the connectors and the people who can make a difference. Curating knowledge on people and organisations.
7. The Data-cruncher
Traditionally data-mining is not one of the core competencies of HR. It should be, and modern technology will help a lot. HR can have its sensors out wide in the organisation. What is happening with the engagement levels of people in critical projects? What capabilities are slowly eroding?
8. The Designer
Can organisations be beautiful? Can organisations be a place where it is fun to be? HR can play a more active role in workplace design. Functionality and efficiency: yes, but let’s as HR add the people element. Let’s also make sure what we design can fulfil the needs of different groups.
9. The Experimenter
We can learn a lot of experiments. HR can drive experiments. Do not strive to design the global all-encompassing process, practice or system that will be future-proof. Time goes by and nothing happens. Start experiments with those parts of the organisation that love something new. Implement, learn, adapt and start a new experiment.
10.The Guardian of the Values
Organisations and people become more and more values driven. Strong values need to be nourished and defended. HR leaders should be role models that through their behaviours show that they are living the values.
11. The Innovator
HR is not often associated with innovation. Alas. There is much room for renewal and innovation in HR. Are you happy with your selection methods? Are you happy with your development programs and the way you track progress? With your incentive program? Take a step back, put on your hat as innovator and see how you can come up with something new.
12. The Player
In 2012 Les Hayman summarised the development of HR as follows: ‘HR: polite to police to partner to player”. HR can be a player in the business game, not just a critical observer. HR can also contribute to making playing fun.
13. The Reflector
There is never enough time for reflection. At the end of the annual team session people say “we should do this more often” but back in the office it does not happen. HR can promote reflection. Take daily time for personal reflection; take time for reflection at the beginning and end of your team sessions. Propose time for reflection in the management team, and not just at the end of the meeting when everybody wants to go home.
14. The Risk Taker
Does HR dare to take some risks? Do you advocate hiring the candidate that does not fit the profile, but brings something extra? Do you propose to give the senior position to a high potential who is not totally ready? Do you develop a training program that is different from what benchmark companies do? Are you happy to pay salaries below the median, because your company has so much else to offer?
15. The Story Teller
2015 will also be a year of story telling. Through stories we can learn about the ambitions of the company. Through stories we can learn what living the values really means. Through stories we can connect the organisation to the surrounding world. HR could be the master of story telling.
What is the role you want to play in 2015? Success!