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Time for HR to get more pro-active

With the complexity of business environment growing at an unprecedented pace and


with business environment becoming more volatile and intensely competitive, there
is bound to be an impact on the role of HR as well.

One significant shift would be for HR to be more closely aligned with business
strategy and plan. Hence, focus would be on HR initiatives to impact business
results i.e. more measureable HR tools and processes directly adding value to
business processes would occupy larger time and focus. HR innovation thus will come
into play in a big way and the operational HR will make way for strategic HR value
add.

Another shift will be in terms of capability building aligned to the new business
order. India is a manpower surplus country but need for right talent & skill
inventory will be a serious challenge in the future mainly because of the wide gap
existing between demand and supply. As of now, supply sources are still largely
depleted to meet the surging demand for right talent and skilled manpower.

The future HR roadmap will also need to equip itself to study and analyze workforce
trends like workforce demography, employment & employability trends, demand &
supply equation, attrition trends, compensation & benefits forecast, etc. at the
local, national and global level. It may have to analyze and utilize the HR
outsourcing strategy customized to best suit the given business context of any
corporate rather than blindly following a generic trend from the west.

Last but not the least, one very significant aspect of HR value add will be to
partner and assist the CEO towards establishing a positive, fair, open,
participative and high performance work environment and effective people leadership
and internal communication processes. It will also help to cascade the vision of
the CEO and prepare towards future challenges and leading changes in the company.

Finally, the difficult part which HR will have to selectively delete from the past
will be the isolated identity, HR for the sake of HR, excessive focus on operation
HR role and the conventional non-value added administrative processes. Thus, it
will be important to remove the cobwebs and break away from the comfort zone of the
past and revisit, challenge the status quo, restructure the HR offerings and value
add in the context of the changing business environment and in specific reference
to the business model and strategy of a given company.

To conclude, I believe that the HR function should closely align with the business
framework and acquire sound understanding of key business drivers. Also,
understanding of the changing global business scenario will enable HR to offer pro-
active leadership in change management while retaining focus on people development,
people engagement and people performance towards business performance and growth.