Technological innovation is driving ongoing change that has impacted the way companies operate and employees work. People are working from home in record numbers. Laptop computers, Skype and mobile devices makes this type of arrangement more feasible than ever before.
While the dizzying speed of change has left management teams scratching their heads about how best to manage, top talent has become increasingly enamored with flexible work schedules and the prospect of working from home.
The Evolution of the HR Department
Today’s HR department and its general role in the organization is almost unrecognizable as compared to HR professionals of yesteryear. No longer regarded as the police force of a company, Human Resources has become a central player and has finally earned the respect of top managers.
Big data has taken center stage in response to a changing workforce and the need to compete for top talent. Analytics helps provide important employee insights necessary to make policy changes that are employee-friendly. This data is used to create a better working environment so that employees can thrive and feel satisfied.
Redefining the Role of Corporate Managers
The era of expecting managers to be a jack-of-all-trades is coming to an end. Company leaders are realizing the different skill sets required to be a supervisor versus a visionary or leader. It is unrealistic for managers who are working on developing a strategic plan to also be in charge of collecting employee time sheets.
One transformation that HR is instrumental in implementing is making a distinction between managers and supervisors. A return to specialization is taking place. Corporations are beginning to recognize that expecting managers to “do it all” yields mediocre results. Hiring employees to focus on their strengths is a more practical approach to running a business.
Creating an Environment Where Diversity Thrives
Another shift that HR is leading the way on is to create a human resource initiative with a primary objective to hire diverse teams of professionals. In recognition of business leadership’s acceptance of the fact that workplace diversity creates a healthier bottom line, HR is in charge of redesigning the corporate culture to recruit and accommodate different ethnicities.
Changing a corporate culture is not something that happens overnight. It starts at the top through policy changes. Since old habits and alliances die hard, implementation of new policies and procedures does not always happen quickly. As the search for top talent heats up, it is being met with a shrinking job pool of skilled and talented candidates.
The Challenges and Benefits of Establishing a Workplace with Remote Workers
Technology has been responsible for more than insights into employee satisfaction; it has also contributed significantly to providing the means to work remotely. There is no legitimate reason to be tied to a specific office anymore.
While the use of the internet, laptops and mobile devices has freed up employees and business owners geographically, it has also brought new challenges for HR and other managers.
To the delight of CFOs and business owners everywhere, a remote workforce reduces overhead costs. There is no end in sight for the expansion of the telecommuting movement. A 2016 Gallup Poll found that 43 percent of workers performed either some or all of their job assignments away from the central office.
While there is some jockeying for position as company executives disagree about how best to work with remote workers and whether they want to hire telecommuters, the overall result is that remote workers are here to stay. Corporate executives are forced to resign themselves to that fact.
Communication and monitoring challenges abound as management tries to determine the best way to supervise remote employees. The concern is that these workers may not be as productive as employees working on-site. There are several ways to monitor off-site workers.
Checking in with remote employees via telephone and email offers an excellent way to monitor progress made. Managers cite the importance of setting timelines and goals that must be met as a way to keep remote workers on track and productive.
The Importance of the Employee Experience
The current consensus is that it is an employee’s market right now. Leverage is an amazing factor that forces the hand of employers to give the talent what they want, or risk being overlooked by more attractive competitors.
Based on this power dynamic, companies are working hard to create a satisfying and rewarding employee experience that will attract the employees they need.
Designing the best possible work environment has never been more important. Engaged employees are happy employees. More than ever, employees expect to feel like they are appreciated and can have a true impact on the company. They want to be invested mentally and emotionally.
HR has finally arrived. Companies recognize the fact that they are competing as aggressively for employee talent as they are for customers. This trend is not expected to change anytime soon, as HR admits that there is not enough trained talent available for many of the job openings.
HR has to lead the way into the future by redesigning the workplace to attract top performers. As the lifeblood of all companies, employees hold the key to success or failure.