HR must take a more sustainable view of business performance, develop greater organisational insight and become provocative leaders, the industry’s professional body has advised.
Publishing its Next Generation HR research, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has called on the profession to ditch short-term high organisational performance in favour of sustainable performance and to develop a greater understanding of, and play a greater role in, the running of the business.
HR must become more insight driven, the CIPD suggested, and use its position in the business to inform leaders about future challenges, course corrections and big opportunities.
The report said: “The calibre and experience set of HR practitioners who can deliver to this more expansive agenda is very different from much of our current population.
“Redefining the key capabilities and looking to challenge the current brand of HR in the eyes of many is vital if we are to build a talent pool that can add this unique contribution or organisation success.”
The CIPD unveiled its initial Next Generation HR research at its annual conference in November, but HR chiefs told Personnel Today they feared the research lacked practical guidance on how to make the necessary changes.
Now the CIPD has said to ensure sustainable organisational performance, HR must develop a culture of deep emotional loyalty where staff are treated the same way as the organisation’s customers, build future-fit leaders, and adopt a stewardship role, so the function can understand what is really happening in the organisation.
HR should develop a “dashboard of measures” to predict how future-proof and adaptable their organisation is, the report suggested.
But HR functions of the future must also demonstrate deep organisational insight – understanding what makes the business successful. The Next Generation HR report found the three ingredients for organisational insight included business savvy, organisational savvy, and contextual savvy.
Having an understanding of these three areas would make HR more responsive and relevant to the business, the CIPD said.
Lastly, new provocative HR leaders must emerge who have influence and can demonstrate purpose, humility and resolve, a dynamic and holistic world view, and a strong personal presence.
Lee Sears, director at Bridge Partnership, said: “It would appear that relatively few HR leaders have taken a sufficient step back and asked enough questions about how HR needs to evolve in light of the seismic challenges organisations face, particularly following the global financial crisis.
“Until HR becomes a truly insight driven function, it will be failing to consistently add the unique value that our research shows is very much within its reach, and is already being delivered by HR trailblazers.”
Jackie Orme, chief executive of the CIPD, added: “If the rest of HR doesn’t catch up with the best of HR, the profession will get left behind.
“The danger for HR is that if it does not step up with sufficient urgency or credibility, it will be left behind as CEOs turn elsewhere for the solutions to the challenges we’ve identified.”