The crossroads facing HR

by Janie Smith19 Aug 2014
The way in which work is done is changing rapidly, thanks to technology and demographics.
 
According to PwC’s report, The future of work: A journey to 2022, the boundaries between work and personal life may disappear as companies assume greater responsibility for the social welfare of their employees.
 
PwC partner and HR transformation specialist Debbie Francis said that things like technology, data analytics and social networks have a huge impact on how people communicate, collaborate and work.
 
“Workforces will become more diverse as generations collide, with people working longer in their careers and traditional career paths set to become a thing of the past.
 
“Organisations are already grappling with skill shortages. Managing people through change and creating an effective workforce, creating more sophisticated people-management techniques, increasing the importance of social drivers and relationships as crucial to business success, are other key issues that companies will face.”
 
Francis said HR was at a crossroads and the demands of tomorrow’s workplace and business environment would force major change.
 
“The HR function will go one of three ways – it will take on a wider people remit, incorporating and influencing other aspects of the business, become the driver of the corporate social responsibility agenda within the organisation or be seen as transactional and almost entirely outsourced.”
 
The report also identified three potential future ‘worlds’ and surveyed employees to see which was the most appealing.
 
“The characteristics of these ‘worlds’ will be shaped by the coming changes in recruitment, reward and employee engagement strategies as they evolve over time,” said Francis.
 
The ‘green world’ was seen as most popular, with 53%. It involved caring companies that rethought their values and goals, had a powerful social and environmental conscience and whose values closely matched those of their employees.
 
The ‘orange world’ was the second most preferred on 33%, where organisations fragmented into looser networks, brought together by technology, with social media heightening the connectivity.
 
The least popular model was the ‘blue world’, on 10%, where there was a relentless pressure to perform at elite organisations that pushed the borders of innovation and possibility, employed only the best and offered long-term job security and reward.
 
How do you think HR will need to change in the future?

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