Now more than ever, HR executives at technology companies can assume the triple role of change agent, trusted advisor, and strategic business partner as they work ever closer with management and functional leaders.
Reshaping the HR function
The next-generation HR function has an essential role to play, replacing traditional leading practices and costcutting approaches with innovative new strategies, organisational structures, tools, processes, and metrics. The goal is to be transformational leaders and change managers and deliver solutions through which HR can reshape itself and the organisation’s workforce to drive competitive advantages.
Since HR is integrated with every functional group, HR leaders have a holistic view of the organisation and are positioned to lead the conversation around how the workplace is evolving. HR needs to be perceived as the leader on new workforce dynamics, what motivates employees, and how culture helps people and organisations thrive. But you can only occupy that space with other business leaders if you are fluent with emerging technologies. There are several critical skills for technology sector HR executives to master in today’s environment.
Reshaping the HR function also means refocusing the value to the business—using applications and new skills to leverage the significant value of transformational technologies like AI and data analytics, embracing workforce shaping as critical in creating and sustaining the workforce of the future Pursuing a deeper understanding of employee skills, strengths, goals, and purpose while
Proactive HR executives are harnessing the resources and skills needed to reposition themselves as new strategic leaders within the enterprise. They are enacting strategies designed to integrate data analytics, intelligent automation, artificial intelligence (AI), and other emerging technologies into a transformative workforce that today connects five separate generations.
The key is to change the mind-set of HR to lead a changing workforce and assume an unprecedented role in creating new value for the organisation.
Keeping workforce skills relevant
Today’s technology workers seek more from their jobs than just a great salary and benefits package. They are looking for things like flexibility, a sense of belonging and an ability to learn. Tech professionals recognise that staying on top of the latest tech trends will keep them relevant in their careers. Encouraging and facilitating the opportunity to learn and grow is a win-win for your team as well as your company.
Ensuring that workers across the enterprise have the skills and abilities the new marketplace demands is a key component of this workplace revolution. Of course, no matter how proactive HR executives are, workforce transformation will only be as successful as the level of support provided by company leadership.
Technology sector CEOs acknowledge that the effectiveness of certain key teams remains less-than optimal as we progress toward a digital future, but many still do not have broad reskilling initiatives planned.
Against that backdrop, HR executives who can overcome management hesitancy and other internal obstacles to inspire their leadership to action have the opportunity to elevate themselves to trusted advisor and strategic business partner.
Personalised employee experiences
A skills gap torments the tech industry and the trend indicates that this HR challenge will continue.
Valuing employees as ‘customers’ has become the imperative in building and sustaining an attractive employer brand within an increasingly digital, global, and agile workplace.
Driven by a growing recognition that employees’ expectations are evolving, there is a greater need to offer an engaging, emotional, human-centered experience in the workplace. This is especially true at critical, pivotal moments, like recruiting, onboarding, career planning or exiting the organisation.
One way this is being achieved is through adoption of new technologies to increase connections and support an overarching people-based agenda as tasks and roles are redefined, while preparing for the advance of AI and its integration into a workforce that combines human and digital labour.
Millennials in particular have an increasing focus on wellbeing and workplace culture. For HR professionals, this continues to present a challenge as it removes the focus from traditional recruitment and retention factors, such as salaries, to those which are less measurable – such as work-life balance.
Burnout, for example, is a common problem in the many technical roles where long hours appear to be the norm. Avoiding burnout matters for many reasons, including negative effects on overall culture, poor employee retention and reduced productivity.
HR teams should look to treat employees in their organisations more like individuals, rather than a collective, and personalise experiences. Rather than offering general incentives, such as subsidised gym memberships, HR can take a proactive approach by focusing initiatives on tangible things such as improving communication or developing skills and then allowing staff flexibility in how they utilise this benefit.
For diversity to inclusion
Shifts towards diversity have progressed in leaps in recent years, changing the way organisations look, think, behave and feel. But while a focus on diversity without developing a culture of inclusion will attract a mix of people, they will be less likely to stay.
With that in mind, HR should be looking beyond the hiring process and consider instead how inclusive their organisation’s culture is.
Not only is this the best way to guarantee retention, it can also act as a magnet for talent, drawing diverse applications with diverse skillsets, perspectives and experiences.
Transformative technologies have the potential to play a highly influential role in developing an inclusive and diverse workforce through democratisation of technology in benefitting of the workforce as a whole.
DavidsonMorris are established advisers to the tech sector. As employer solutions lawyers, we work with tech companies to support with their full people requirements including human resource consultancy, immigration & employment legal advice and global mobility expertise. We understand the commercial and legal challenges facing businesses in the sector, and work to support our clients in meeting their people management and planning needs while reducing legal risk exposure. Contact our tech sector specialists today.
Last updated: 2nd January 2020