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Taking HR from transactional to transformative

Professor Julie Hodges, Associate Dean for MBA and DBA Programmes, has recently released Reshaping the role of HR. Some of the underlying thinking in the book is based on the results of a global study involving 500 Human Resources (HR) practitioners and non-HR managers from 30 countries, operating in 20 industries. Below, Professor Hodges outlines some key points:

There are few HR functions that haven't, at some point, embarked upon a journey of transforming the way they’re organised and how they deliver their services; including moving from being a low level administrative and maintenance function to operating as a core organisational function and a strategic business partner. Much of this change has been based on a desire for greater alignment between business and HR strategy and to drive more cost-effective and improved services.

The need to reposition HR is particularly acute now as organisations attempt to navigate through several complex trends, not least of which is the global pandemic. This re-imagining necessitates HR asking itself, “How can we add value through improving organisational effectiveness and individual wellbeing?” 

Transactional to transformative

HR needs to make a critical shift from being transactional (internally focused on the operational side of how employees are managed)) to transformational (stakeholder-focused, both internally and externally) which requires:

Thinking about stakeholders differently

Rather than considering stakeholders from an internal perspective only, they should also be considered from an external perspective. Applying a stakeholder lens will help to drive a critical shift in HR thinking and this shift is the foundation upon which other transformational priorities can be built;

Developing new capabilities

HR will need to adopt a new mindset and embrace new skills and behaviours that will allow the organisation to thrive in the digital age.

Increasing the efficiency through which HR transactional activities occur using automation

HR will have to widely deploy advanced technology in order to promote productivity and value and to simplify the employee experience. In addition, HR will have to capture data that will facilitate the development of more data-driven decision making; and

Expanding the expectations and stature of HR

HR must elevate their focus through driving tangible and measurable value across the organisation.

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