Human Resources Changing Role in a Dynamic Business Environment

Potential Changes in Environment

Human Resources changing role is fast becoming the "talk" among organizations. It is a human resource current issue.

This comes as no big surprise as more books and articles are written and published by experts on the subject. It is heartening to know that they are ever vigilant on changes in a dynamic environment that affect every area of human life.

Attempts to increasingly use strategies in every aspect of human resource management (that is, people) are providing fodder to the debate.

Reasons for Human Resources Changing Role

As stated elsewhere on this site, there are various reasons for human resource changing role, including:

  1. the search for more effective ways in managing diverse employees
  2. the acceptance by many large organizations that people are their most important asset
  3. the strategic position of people in leveraging organization' competitive advantage based on their skills, knowledge and personalities

One of the most important reasons (to the writer) is the fear that the HR Department and HR professionals will fade into insignificance.

But your organization cannot burden line managers with all the duties and responsibilities meant for the HR Manager and HR professionals. It is not proper. They will not like it.

What do Experts say about Human Resources changing role?

Among these are the following.

  • Outsourcing of human resource will go into the billion dollars.
  • HR people are collaborating with line managers in identifying potential leaders. Emotional intelligence and diversity management are gaining importance.
  • Finding the right HR response to rapidly developing / changing industries
  • Faster and more efficient service holds the key to success in many service industries
  • Human resource competencies play crucial role in organizational success

We can venture to say that the increasing number of organizations trying to make HR as strategic partner is one of the clear indications of human resources changing role.

Human Resources changing role demonstrate HR dynamism

The internal and external environments are dynamic, that is, in constant change.

There are many examples.

Implementation of the latest technology will require new human resource strategies.

If your organization decides to venture into other countries, you may suddenly find that you have to deal with unionized employees and require HR policies that can handle issues involved in the management of a workforce with diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

Enactment of new laws or the stringent enforcement of existing regulations requires the appropriate human resource management response.

What more, rapid technological development, including capabilities in handling and processing enormous volume of information requires new ideas and approaches in effective people management.

Whenever there new discoveries in various fields of human endeavors, there is a corresponding need to review the effectiveness of human resource management.

It is true that you can use HRM strategies.

But under new scenarios and situations, the strategies must also change.

Under such circumstances, human resource management cannot remain static.

It is good if the great minds in the arena of HR research can find new answers and strategic response in order to help organizations and people to progress in the face of the new challenges.

Generation X, Y and Z Factors in Human Resources Changing Role

William Schroer writes:

    "Gen X is often characterized by high levels of skepticism, “what’s in it for me” attitudes and a reputation for some of the worst music to ever gain popularity."

    "Gen Y kids are known as incredibly sophisticated, technology wise, immune to most traditional marketing and sales they not only grew up with it all, they’ve seen it all and been exposed to it all since early childhood."

There is a third generation called the Generation Z described in Wikipedia as:

    "Generation Z contrasts with Generation Y in that it is the first generation to see parents and children embrace technology together. The results of this fundamental difference in the raising of children are still unknown, but children are being exposed to the virtual world at younger ages, and more frequently. Parents are using these new tools as teaching aids and entertainment for their children. This new generation is being molded from the outset to be unique, with a focus on advanced second-hand interactive learning techniques. The result being Gen Z children are exposed to an environment that is heavy on stimuli, and weaker in interpersonal relationships."

These generations live mostly in western or first world cultures. But it does not mean that other countries are not experiencing similar characteristics. We now live in a world without borders.

How do you go about recruiting and retaining employees generation X and Y characteristics? Click here for a relevant article by Carol A. Hacker.

The appropriate strategies in human resource management are required to effectively manage these types of workforce.

Challenges Posed by Telecommuters and other Types of Workers

There may come the time when organizations have to rely a lot on telecommuters.

Telecommuters are regular workers with many of them on permanent appointment. But they work from home. They are mostly female employees having young families.

What types of activities can organizations undertake if a good number of their people work from home?
What HR strategies can they adopt?
How do they motivate telecommuting workers who are not present in actual workplace environment?

These are only some of the questions that need answers.

Management needs to ask different set of questions under different scenarios or when there are new development in their existence as corporate entities.

Business World Without HRM Department

Is this the "worst case scenario" for HR professionals and HR departments?

This can happen if your organization has totally decentralized the human resource function to what some organizations call "strategic business units" or SBUs. The manager is made responsible for every function of "an organization" including human resource.

This can speed up the demise of the human resource department if planning is not done carefully.

Unless the activities carried out by the SBUs differ significantly, it is not advisable to fully decentralize the HR function. It is better that they concentrate running the business.

Sad Ending due to Human Resources Changing Role?

There is an increasing interest in the use of strategies in human resource management.

In spite of the "prediction" on the total outsourcing of human resource management, and other challenges to HR, the importance of people as the most important asset is not going to disappear.

The evidence is that human resources changing role will result in very positive outlook for Human Resource becoming a truly accepted profession.

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