In general terms, most of us associate HR with several quintessential tasks that we think Human Resources abide by. These include hiring employees, terminating them, handling the benefits and compensation of the workforce, resolving employee conflicts at the workplace, etc. To divide the workplace into various demarcations, it can be seen how it has evolved over the years and over different times in history.
HR is an integral part of any organization. An organization’s human resource is one of its most important assets. Likewise, the management of this resource is also one of the most vital tasks. With the evolution of this work culture, the role of HR has indeed changed over the years. During the period surrounding the industrial revolution, the role of HR was mostly inclined to the management of employees. This included recruitment, termination, compensation management, etc.
To look at it analytically, the role of HR was solely confined to the employees and what are the ways they function or cease to function. HR had nothing to do with their performance or organizational productivity. On the flip side, HR in today’s time has multi-dimensional roles and functions. While the traditional functions of HR remain constant, there has been a great diversification of the role. HR is also detrimental to the productivity of the organization. The new role of HR also includes working on employee performance by ensuring employee motivation. The use of big data technology and various automation tools is also a part of the role to streamline the process and also ensure cost-effectiveness.
WAYS IN WHICH HR HAS EVOLVED
Needless to say, the work and role of HR are not the same as it was 10 years back. It would not be wrong to say that the work has increased. But the most appropriate statement to make here would be to say that the work of HR has diversified. It has been enriched over time to being a responsibility that is more than just interviewing, hiring, and terminating candidates.
Below described are some of the most notable and significant developments in the changing role of HR over the years and phases.
Empowering The Employees
Employee empowerment might not be the most common term for laymen. Besides, its meaning or concept is also not something that most people can relate to. Like already mentioned, today’s HR plays a detrimental role in ensuring the productivity of the organization. This means that HR makes sure that employee performance is at par with the organizational goals.
Employees’ performance depends on many factors, employee engagement is one of them. Employee engagement is undoubtedly identified as one of the changing roles of HR. This refers to the idea that an employee is engaged and focused on the work that he/she is engaged in.
This also means that he/she likes the specific work in question.
However, merely employee engagement might not yield the most desired results. High engagement does not always yield high success. This may lead to easy burnout and high absenteeism. Hence the HR department should be responsible for empowering the employees as well. This means the role of HR here is to inculcate a sense of competency within the employees. In addition to that, HR is also responsible for giving the employees an idea of impact and accountability.
Once the HR blends engagement and empowerment of employees in its role, the direct successor of the organization can be ensured.
Above all, in totality, the role of HR is to ensure that the core human resource of an organization is attended to. This means storing and studying employee records, retrieving these records as and when necessary, analyzing these records, producing these records for evaluation, so on and so forth.
HR in the traditional days was responsible for these tasks but almost all of it was conducted offline. This meant a great deal of paperwork, manual labor, and a degree of human error involved with it. As a consequence, the output was shaky and delayed, there were inadequate results and increased dissatisfaction among the employees as their needs and grievances were not meant on time. This greatly affected the overall productivity of the organization as well.
The changing role of HR requires HR to be familiar with the latest technology in Human Resource Management. This will economize on both time and cost, ensuring faster and better results with improved productivity. This means that the HR personnel has to be well acquainted with the various employee management software to be able to effectively use them and yield the desired results.
Traditionally HR has not been an analytical and data-driven role. It mainly records primary data from the organization and employs humane analysis and evaluation to conclude. Even though that has been occurring for years now, with the change of time and recent development of technology, this entire process can have a different approach.
HR personnel, now, employ big data technology to analyze all records to design and implement their various programs. This includes incorporating solid evidence to figure out the needs and shortcomings of the human resource of the organization and how to overcome that challenge.
When we chalk out a timeline of the evolution of HR over the past couple of years, a significant number of path-breaking changes could be observed. This includes more employee-focused schemes, implementation of automation and technology, employing a data-driven approach to HR, etc.
What doesn’t change is the sole focus of HR. Whatever might be the change and diversification of the role, the ultimate footnote of HR responsibility is to ensure that employee satisfaction is intact, that the employee performance meets the organizational needs and the rate of retention is very high.
To say the very least, the change in the role of HR is massive and the change is not going to be constant. However, the current seat of HR is highly evolved and futuristic in itself. The happier the employees, the happier is the organisation. A few more years and HR will probably completely revolutionize into an unprecedented process.