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The Future of HR (Revisited)

December 22, 2010

Please welcome guest blogger Chinam Kry, HRMS Product Marketing Manager at Kronos, Inc.

The future of HR has become a hot topic again in recent years, especially as we emerge from the worst recession in more than 80 years. Yet, HR continues to be challenged in being viewed as strategic. HR can bring immediate value by leveraging HR analytics to gain human capital insights, rolling out talent management to manage top performers, and adopting self-service to empower employees, all of which help to improve productivity and reduce costs.

HR Analytics:

While leading organizations are adopting sophisticated HR analytics to help gain a competitive advantage, others struggle to provide valuable HR data to business partners who can use that to make better decisions. HR Analytics can be quite powerful if leveraged appropriately by organizations.  For example, in a recent Harvard Business Review, the HR department at Best Buy was able to show direct correlation between employee engagement and operating income.  It was found that a 0.1% increase in engagement among employees at a particular store generated more than $100,000 in that store’s annual operating income. Other HR analytics that organizations can measure range from simplest to most sophisticated, including head count, turnover, recruiting and the impact of training on performance and engagement. Having the right tools to measure HR data will not only make HR jobs easier, it will also make HR more strategic, and therefore, more likely to earn a seat at the coveted executive table.

Talent Management:

Studies have shown that employees are disengaged during this recession, especially top performers. One out of three top performers doesn’t put in full effort, and one out of four intends to work at another company when the economy improves.  Not only are organizations unable to identify top performers (except perhaps those in the top 5%), they also don’t have an effective HR system in place to track and manage them. Having a talent management solution allows companies to provide honest, timely and useful coaching, necessary to help develop and ultimately retain top performers.  This is especially important, not only for the top performers, but also for the new generation of workers – the millennials — who will account for more than half of the employees in the world.

Self-Service:

Online shopping is becoming commonplace. With today’s hectic schedules, people need a way to save time – and online shopping provides that flexibility.  It has been predicted that the number of online shoppers will double in the next five years to half of the US population.  The question is why aren’t companies adopting self-service in the workplace at the same rate? Studies show that self-service improves productivity and reduces costs. Yet, self-service adoption at organizations lags consumer adoption. Organizations can simply start with online pay statements and then gradually move to employee self-service, such as enabling employees to update personal information, making changes to direct deposit options, and participating in benefits open enrollment. Eventually, organizations can provide manager self-service, giving them the ability to effortlessly carry out functions such as approve time-off requests, view employee information, and conduct performance reviews. By empowering employees with self service applications, HR departments dramatically cut the number of incoming inquiries, freeing them to focus on value-added services to their business partners.

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