HR needs to place itself at the heart of strategy development conversations, according to Rebecca L. Ray, Ph.D., senior vice president of human capital at the Conference Board. She advises HR executives to break out of their comfort zones, take risks, and become true business partners.
A report by the Conference Board and McKinsey & Company identifies four strategic opportunities in light of the ever-changing global business landscape:
1. Anticipate and plan for the human capital of tomorrow. From the increased presence of the highly connected millennial generation to the proliferation of the virtual office, tomorrow’s workplace will look very different from that of today.
2. Secure a steady, reliable pipeline for today’s skilled workers and tomorrow’s leaders. The war for talent continues, spurred by relatively high growth in emerging markets and the mismatch between worker skills and jobs in most regions of the world.
3. Develop strategies to reenergize your employees about what they do, and about what the organization stands for. An engaged workforce can drive financial performance. Studies have shown that employees who are truly engaged are more likely to stay and contribute to the organization.
4. Ensure that the HR function becomes more agile than the organization as a whole. Organizational agility is an essential response to the volatility of today’s business environment. An MIT study shows that agile organizations grow revenue 37 percent faster and generate 30 percent higher profits than non-agile organizations.
Source: State of Human Capital 2012, published in October 2012, The Conference Board; http://www.conference-board.org.