I think your lists summarized our prognostications accurately. So, it’s on to the implications for human resources as this future emerges. I’m going to propose to we take turns outlining one concept at a time.
As a foundation for this discussion, I also want to clarify that I believe that the purpose of human resources for organizations now and in the future is to ensure that the organization has the human capital it needs to achieve it’s objectives. Human capital for me means the right people in the right place doing the right things at the right times. Hopefully this definition of HR is at least fairly close to how you define it. How an HR function realizes this purpose in the future is the question we have in front of us.
As I look at our list of what’s coming in the upcoming years, it jumps out at me how much needs to change and how much there is to learn. In order for our organizations to navigate this change, we need to build new skills, knowledge and perspectives quickly. To make this happen, the HR organization of the future really needs to master skills in teaching, coaching, and developing others. This means that where HR and training organizations are separate today, they cannot be separate in the future. Each interaction that HR has with an employee or manager should be treated as a teachable moment where they are empowering the individuals with new skills and abilities.
Here’s a few things that HR departments need to consider today to begin preparing:
- Start with your HR team. Develop a learning culture with your team where they experience what it means to teach and be taught, coach and be coached. HR will need to be the model of learning in the organization.
- Evaluate the talent of the HR team. If your current staff has been focused on reactive, problem solving, compliance activity, some of them may not be suited for a learning focused team. The HR professional of the future needs to have strong people skills and a desire to help others learn and grow. Be diligent in setting new standards and diligently manage your talent pool to the skills you need in the future.
- Invest in teaching coaching skills to your HR staff. They need the formal tools to help others (particularly leaders) learn and grow. Coaching is not an intuitive skill and it requires training and practice.
What are your thoughts?