With its focus on systems and processes, the term 'Human Resources' has become robotic in the world of HR. Being in the business of human beings, it’s time we started qualifying ourselves better with something nimbler, real-time and more individualized.

In far too many organizations out there, HR has become bogged down in policies and the adherence to rules and formalities. For a function whose purpose is to tackle employee-related concerns, HR often presents more of an obstacle than a strategic support system in employee growth. This in addition to inexperienced management means that the people in your organization suffer the consequences of low morale and engagement as a result. So what does the future look like for HR? 

Process for process sake

Business is rooted in transaction. While transactions are important, they are just one small piece of the overall experience of your employees. Yes, it is important workflow processes run smoothly; the problem emerges when HR becomes interested in process for its own sake, rather than using it an instrument for productivity. This is when the ranking system becomes more of a hindrance than a help - when conversations about year end ratings are less valuable than conversations conducted in the moment about actual performance. 

The world of performance management is evolving rapidly, but the way we manage our people still hasn't caught up. Business leaders are relying on dated management practices that are no longer effective - or worse, that contribute to employee productivity and development. With the increase in automated processes, now more than ever Human Resources should be spending time helping employees determine greater clarity around their purpose and expectations. In order to achieve this, HR must become transformational, fueling sustained performance in a world of constant change; rather than focusing on the day-to-day mechanics of keeping an organization running without the human in mind.

Putting the Human back in Human Resources 

There is an opportunity to shift our investment of time from past ratings and poor performers to a future where the employee experience is at the forefront of these reviews. The success of this is determined by our ability to focus on consistent feedback and coaching conversations throughout the year, in order to create a culture where we engage, nurture and retain our employees to build a foundation of trust. There is a larger shift in mindset and thinking needed – to rebrand HR into something that justifies our intellect, values and capabilities and to package it appropriately.

How are you ensuring your HR function is tailored to your employee’s needs?