Next generation HR leaders need to be provocative leaders, future-proof their organisational cultures and provide genuine organisational insight, according to research released by the UK’s CIPD.
The research released this week, which looked into the changing nature of HR and some of the best and emergent practice work that HR functions are engaged in, found three key themes that were common to the most effective HR teams.
First, being able to build a resilient organisational culture was one of the most important elements of the HR function, the failings of which were highlighted by the global financial crisis.
“The perils of HR simply supporting organisations to deliver their short-term strategies were clearly demonstrated by the excesses that fuelled the global financial crisis,” stated the report. “Many a commentator asked ‘Where was HR?’ when unsustainable business strategies supported by unsustainable reward strategies were being advocated by executives who stood to gain.”
The report stated that one of the ways in which HR could do this was by building organisation equity through developing future-proof cultures, identifying future-fit leaders and taking on the role of organisational guardians and commentary.
Furthermore the research found that the ability of HR to deliver a genuine organisational insight is what enables its activities to be truly relevant, timely and impactful.
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 for organisation success."
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, it said, 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.
Jackie Orme, chief executive of the CIPD, explained: “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.”