The skills required to manage people has gotten more complex as we progress in the new knowledge economy.

The relatively higher educational level of today’s employees, the fluidity of market demand, the mindset of a generation fueled by vast amount of information, the evolution of technology, these are some reasons that make the task of people management more complex.

The complexity of this task is also represented by the way the name of Human Resources (HR) division evolves through the years.

Known as Personnel in the past, it also carries the name of Human Capital, People or Talent division. Its service models, which include names such as Shared Services, Outsourcing, Insourcing, Centre of Excellence, Business Partner, are not unfamiliar to the corporate folks. The question is, where does this lead HR to?

We sum up from our study four modern roles where HR is expected to and can add value to the organisation at large which also represents a paradigm shift of those used to the administrative role of a traditional HR.

1. Leveraging on Strengths

Every organisation has its valuable artifacts of strengths which must realise and make full use of. The preferred management approach is always about solving the problems that an organisation faces, however this often causes the organisation to overlook its underlying strengths that makes it great. A modern HR practitioner must always ask for what works when faced with any situation, and then consider how to use those hidden potential fully.

2. Preparing Organisation for the Future

There is no better division than HR to make an organisation future-ready and future-proof. The fluid competitive landscape has forced organisations to grapple with the various effects of change; it is in this aspect that HR plays a vital role in not only becoming a change agent itself but also creating the awareness and culminating an appetite that welcomes change amongst its workforce.

In it, HR has built the necessary structure to make the organisation more resilient and innovative.

3. Making use of People Analytics

HR can be more influential at the management round table if they are able to furnish the leaders with people-related metrics that guide decision-making.

While many of traditional HR projects make people feel good, it lacks the science and numbers to support its running vis-a-vis other projects. People analytics can also shed light on past trends and records that are instrumental to HR planning and holistic talent management and development.

4. Embracing Employee Well Being

The traditional implicit contract between employer and employee has changed drastically in the last decade. Employees do not just work for a living; they yearn more of having the opportunity to work and be involved in interesting projects that are aligned with their personal goal and purpose, alongside a supportive team.

HR can and should support the notion of a great place to work for the purpose of attracting and retaining the best talents, at the same time improving employee engagement when they are at work, all through the focus of embracing well-being.

Well being is personal, thus such focus would take the relationship between the organisation with its employees to a whole new level of personal affinity and trust.

An organisation that understands the modern roles of HR today will see better and plan better for the future.

Contributed by Mr Low Boon Seong