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HR Transformation: Are we there yet?

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A successful Human Resource (HR) transformation adds tremendous value to the business and organisations. If we ask in a workshop of HR professionals about the biggest challenge they face in the job today, perhaps, the answers would range from internal practices to relating to the business leaders and so on. As the heads nod in the affirmation of inevitable, the simple statement of the biggest challenge would perhaps be helping their respective organisations succeed. This clearly states that the role of HR has more and more come to be seen as strategic.

The diverse workforce, increasing millennial employees and young leadership have paved the way for a revolution where HR Transformation has become ubiquitous across the corporate Inc.

The VUCA world that we are living in today is also reflects inside our organisations –

Volatility of our business models and hence the results- long gone are the days of envisioning long term goals. Modern day dynamic businesses call for literal foreseeable course and implementation.

Uncertainty of our workforce - today they are here, producing good results, tomorrow- they are not! Either they get bored and want to try different things or they just get too comfortable.

Complexity of dealing with external demands and internal flux – organisations need to work to win both battles at the same timeas your employees are also your customers first!
And finally the Ambiguity all of these bring in, and the chaos it creates within an organisation- making them aware, and realise that things need to change and for good!

So enters the Transformation – for Business and People alike, which the corporates answer: Business, we can manage! For people, call HR!  

However, with the new-age, disruptive practices that HR transformation calls for- that corporates are tempt to adopt and implement immediately, do we really achieve the true purpose of HR transformation?

Has HR been really able to be the business partner it is supposed to be and not just a corporate anchor? Have we stopped policing rules and regulations and instead begun facilitating high performance? Are we truly able to drive what really matters- the organisational performance?

If we could get a 100% affirmative answer to that, we could then call HR achieving the Nirvana in driving transformation.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen.

What can be done?

As a starting point, The HR first needs to answer simple questions like “why (the business context)” and “what (the objectives to be achieved)” before actually beginning the “How” and start implementing.

There is a strong need for HR to learn to unlearn and relearn – not to talk about concepts, but talk numbers and results; understand what are the strengths the organization has, that will drive what it takes and attempt to solve problems as we go. Also important is to delineate “who (the responsibility of outcomes)” will be accountable for what part of output in the entire journey.

Several researches and studies show that organisations where HR is (or made to) responsible to maximise the productivity and potential of the human assets, create the success stories we hear around.

Try as I may, the answer to the dilemma the corporates are facing today cannot be given in black or white but it lies in the grey between the black & white – the business profitability and human resource systems & processes. They have to walk hand in hand to drive transformation. It’s about time to walk down that path, although with baby steps only!