Merchant Capital

SERIES 2/5: Trends shaping Human Resources: Organisational Fluidity and Agility led by HR

In our last instalment, we discussed the first of five industry trends that will shape the future of Human Resources: Flexible & Hybrid Working.

This week, we discuss the 2nd trend: Organisational Flexibility. The goal of this trend is to ensure that HR leads organisations with agility and confidence, regardless of how unpredictable a crisis may be.

1. HR has learned from the pandemic to be more agile in an ever-changing landscape


If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that businesses need to be agile. Businesses that were responsive, flexible, and able to seamlessly switch work models during the early stages of the pandemic, fared best. HR professionals must now find new, more agile ways to manage their people and adjust to today’s world of work. Today, and in the years to come, HR teams must continue driving agility to create a truly adaptive, responsive, and resilient workforce, fit to meet any unforeseen challenges in the future. This way, no matter what the crisis is, HR will be ready and as a result, the business will be more prepared too.

The ever-changing landscape already needs a great deal of agility and a flexible mindset in how HR strategies are planned, executed, and evaluated. There’ll be a lot less lead time in rolling out efficient strategies. HR leaders need to constantly be ready to change direction in response to the changing priorities. Some of the key insights from our recent research are about the need to think beyond the immediate context and consider how external disruptors can influence the world of work. The focus for the future will be on how HR professionals adapt and change, and add the most value to their organisations.

2. HR needs to start thinking outside of the box – and their teams


HR and People leaders have already made great strides in more agile ways of working. There’s been a shift to being more experimental, adaptive, and creative. By 2030, HR and People teams will have even more reactive approaches, not only to the way we work but to the way the HR team is constructed and operates. HR will move into more innovative, emergent practices that will create a more fluid, agile organisation design and all the People systems that sit within that. HR will no longer be a function but a more inclusive network, in which HR spends more time with the rest of the business, and others from the business work with those in HR.

HR’s role will become more about creating and sustaining a culture where these approaches and evolving demands can be maintained. HR and People leaders have the chance now to get ahead. HR teams don’t necessarily need to train up their teams on agile HR methodology, but taking the agile principles, and understanding where these could make a positive impact on processes and mindset, would make great strides towards a more agile way of working in 2030.

3. Enable faster, more intelligent decisions with technology


Technology today already elevates and significantly enhances HR strategies; things like cloud HR, self-service, mobile and automation are already the norm across many organizations. Their adoption will be even more widespread as HR leaders look to automate their working lives for optimum agility. This helps HR leaders to make intelligent choices faster, which accelerates business and organisational performance. However, technology can only help organisations succeed if HR shift their ways of working to be more agile and keep up with the pace of change.

The bottom line

As with most industries, the pandemic brought about changes that we’re yet to fully comprehend. HR is no different. As the focus becomes increasingly people-centred, the more it’ll shift, and the more HR professionals will have to learn and adapt for their businesses to succeed.

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