The workplace is changing. Total technology integration, from mobile to web and beyond, is now practically normalized. Younger generations of employees entering the workforce bring completely new skills and competencies. More companies globalizing means that work forces become larger and more diverse, introducing a host of new cultural considerations that employers may not be familiar with or aware of.
The changing landscape of today’s workplace has an interesting effect on the role of HR training and professionals moving forward. A report from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) revealed that HR skills and competencies are experiencing a newfound ubiquity across all levels of management, driving forward a new trend emphasizing business communication skills.
HR As A Force For Change
At the 2014 SHRM Employment Law & Legislation Conference, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina indicated that HR professionals can play crucial roles in bringing positive change to companies, referring to them as “change warriors.”
“The highest calling of leadership is to unlock the potential in others,” she said, highlighting the important role good HR skills play in corporate training and developing talent.
According to one blogger writing for the Harvard Business Review, it is not skills and specific expertise, but behaviors and attitudes that are most conducive to producing success. Thus the role of HR is to tailor candidate searches to focus more on these important behaviors. HR also plays an important part in talent development and new corporate training. As companies adapt to incorporate emerging technology into their new strategies for interacting with customers, a major challenge will be making sure workers are kept up to speed with new tools and protocols. This may lead to a greater focus on the training and development expertise of HR professionals, reprioritizing their importance within company structures.
Why HR Matters
According to a recent study conducted by SHRM on the top trends affecting HR, one of the biggest and most widespread changes across the board is the ever-changing and increasingly complicated nature of companies’ organizational development. In such a fluid environment, making sure companies have a talented staff of HR professionals to help facilitate changes in strategy, tools, and training becomes a greater priority. A competent and dedicated HR team well-versed in organizational development can help companies seamlessly adapt to changing corporate structures, leaving other team members with more specialized customer or product knowledge free to focus on areas such as customer service and managing new products.
The increasingly globalized workplace also paves the way for another key HR competency that is becoming increasingly valuable to companies. With diversity on the rise, the role HR plays in managing intra-company relations to help foster a culture of sensitivity and acceptance cannot be overstated. In the coming years, we may see a much higher degree of cultural diversity training working its way into the standard corporate training program.