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How can HR use the window of opportunity to move from a functional mindset to an enterprise-and-impact mindset?

As HR was, and is, greatly involved in solving imminent business and workforce threats posed by the pandemic over the past year, confidence in HR’s ability to navigate future changes among both HR executives and business executives has surged, according Deloitte’s latest report, 2021 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends.

With HR having created positive momentum and increased C-Suite leaders’ confidence, the accounting firm poses big questions: How can HR capitalise on that momentum to go beyond what is being asked of the function? How can HR use this window of opportunity to move from a functional mindset to an enterprise-and-impact mindset—one that expands HR’s focus and extends its influence from process to mission, from the worker to the human, and from managing workers to re-architecting work?

The report cited workforce productivity, their wellbeing, and their priorities, DE&O metrics as the key themes forward-looking leaders should ponder on this year.

To help organisations set new work and workforce directions, Deloitte invited leaders and HR to ask themselves these questions below:

Q1: How can HR capitalise on worker potential? 

  • Job evolution: How often are jobs changing, which ones, and to what degree?
  • Future workforce readiness: How ready is your workforce to perform the work of the future? What are your capability, experience, and skill gaps, and how are we going to close them?
  • Change ability and agility: Are workers and leaders able to quickly and effectively adapt to constant change?
  • Future leader readiness: What new trends, challenges, and scenarios are leaders being prepared for? How many of your leaders have the attributes required to succeed?

Q2: How can HR tap into the entire talent ecosystem?

A talent ecosystem requires organisations to view the concept of retention differently. It's less about tracking how many people leave as it is about understanding who is leaving and why, so employers can understand whether there is a pattern and if these patterns are desirable or undesirable. 

The more precisely an organisation knows where to find the capabilities to do what’s needed, and the better able it is to access those capabilities, the more effectively it can deploy and redeploy people to plug operational gaps.

  • Workforce footprint: How many workers provide direct or indirect services to your organisation?
  • Internal talent market health: How healthy is your internal talent market?
  • Talent ecosystem health: How much capability can you assess across your broader ecosystem?
  • Retention drivers: Which of your workers are at risk of leaving, and why?

Q3: How can HR translate company values into action?

  • Workforce social contract: How does your organisation treat its employees, contractors, and service providers of every type?
  • Meaningful diversity: Are workers from diverse communities in a position to wield influence in the organisation?
  • Human capital brand: How is your culture, workforce, and leadership being portrayed externally?
  • Culture risk sensing: What signals are you seeing that point to outliers in worker behaviours and norms?

2021 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends surveyed 6,000 people across industries and 99 countries. Over half of the respondents were senior executives.

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