Valentine’s Day HR

Though intended to celebrate love and romance, Valentine’s day often has the opposite effect, and as many people love it as loathe it.

Unfortunately, HR can often elicit the same response. A little over a decade ago, FastCompany published an article that has since become infamous. It was entitled “Why we hate HR”, and unsurprisingly, took a rather dim view of the function at large. It was scathing piece that exposed the many flaws in the profession at that time and, unfortunately, was also largely accurate.

In the past 10 years, however, the face of HR has changed dramatically. The FastCompany article particularly castigates HR departments for their disconnect from the wider business function; although HR could give a full report of its activities, those activities had little relation and even less impact on the key objectives of most companies.

This is no longer the case. The advent of HR technology means it can now provide invaluable insight in innumerable key areas, directly influencing major business decisions and more than deserving of its place at the table.

John W. Boudreau, a professor at the University of Southern California’s Centre for Effective Organizations said the beauty of the HR department was that “it discovers things about the business through the lens of people and talent. That’s an opportunity for competitive advantage.”

As HR moves into the next generation, he has never been more right. A decade after FastCompany’s attack, then, and with love very much in the air, we’re taking a look at just a few of the reasons to LOVE HR…

It helps you get to know your workforce (and what makes them tick)

As businesses become more geographically dispersed, workforces become more transient and diverse, so gaining insight and visibility to keep them engaged and retained is crucial. Without automated HR, business leaders will struggle to engage staff, leading to greater churn and decreased productivity; with it, they’ll be able to determine who the top performers are, identify who are candidates for tomorrow’s leadership positions, and keep valuable skills inside the company with tailored talent management plans.

It predicts your future strategic business needs

HR-driven people analytics is becoming as important as business analytics or data science in determining business strategy for modern multinationals. Once seen as little more than red tape mongers, the HR department is now vital to key long term planning. HR analytics can help identify whose skill sets will be most in demand over the next 2 years (and how likely they are to leave), where the biggest workforce gaps and skills shortages are, and how best to align its efforts to help achieve key company objectives.

It improves your productivity

With the advent of HR technology, organizations are no longer bound to the spreadsheet hell of former times. New features like self-service capabilities and remote accessibility to staff systems on mobile devices and wearables take the pain out of processes, allowing employees to use their time effectively to build a better, more productive business.

If you needed another reason to love today, it also marks a month until the annual HR Tech Spring Conference kicks off in London. One of the fastest growing HR events in the world, HRTech brings together some of the most disruptive and innovative technologies currently taking the market by storm, as well as the industry’s foremost leaders and speakers. We can’t wait to see what the show has in store this year, and where HR’s headed in the next twelve months. Love it or hate it, HR’s here to stay, so why not show HR some appreciation this Valentine’s Day.


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