Future 5 years of Human Resources

Updated: July 28, 2009

Foreknowing Human Resource

We are drawn to the stories of great HR policies and look for forthcoming enterprises.

HR Partners have always been a ninja to the troubled lot and their ability to handle variety of issues in an organization invigorates us. This article is a series of my thoughts on certain future approaches to/of HR.

Performance Management/Career Mapping: Increasing number of employees at various organizations are getting restless about their future prospectus. By and large people used to expect that they will get promoted after they spend a year with the organization, however, these days, a lot of top performers expect to get promoted, at a much earlier rate and hence result in conflict or attrition.

However, for a healthy promotion cycle, it is necessary to fix a minimum tenure for a promotion cycle/career progression. One year seems to be a sufficient time to judge the future prospects of the employees. Promotions & increments enable the cognitive ability of an employee to put forth his best foot, at the same time a fixed tenure or a decent hike makes the growth stable.

Considering the above conflict, organizations will have to find innovative solutions such as "Top Achievers Career Progression - TACP(coined by me though)", wherein every project practice/domain group will nominate 2 top performers. Their entire career history would be studied and understood by the top management. They would discuss the career progression only for these nominated top performers and is transparent about the same. This would happen on a regular basis during the Monthly/quarterly review meetings with the HODs. This would send out positive signals to a lot of employees, wanting to get into this zone of top performers. I do not foresee any major concern with this, unless handled in an inapt way. This would help top performers' immediate managers to address the career progression issues and hence a lot of other issues. It would help organizations to get the best out of Top performers (TP) and also leverage their interest in a wide range of areas.

The above trend might not be relevant for all the industry groups, however, it might become a

forthcoming model for many sectors such as IT, ITES, Advertising, Hotel & Airline industries.

Learning: Learning departments of various organizations will have to work towards talent transformation not just interms of technical/behavioral expertise but also in terms of developing competencies of Intrapreneurship in the employees. They will have a much bigger role to play in terms of publishing data/research reports to rest of the world.

Learning organizations will have to capitalize and leverage the knowledge base by funding various intra-organizational research and publications. This would actually help the masses to embed learning with business. We would also see that a lot of intrapreneurs community would mushroom in organizations and would be supported and nurtured by learning departments.

Also, in the near future, learning organizations will have to focus on building competency among people on everything. As different as a software developer, learning about building construction. When this cross-sectoral learning happens, people will be able to relate to a business environment not based on technology, but based on future talent needs. These cross-sectoral learning will definitely not be a cake walk for most of the L & D teams. They will have to diversify not just with regard to their methodologies but also their skill sets and communication channels.

Recruitment- We have been hearing about the challenge of " Hiring and talent Management" for quite sometime now, I do not see any ease in the same. Niche skill sets would continue to be in demand not just in the technology domain but also in other sectors such as BPOs and Call centers.

A mid-term solution for the same that I see is to train non-employees on these skill sets and then consider the option of hiring. This would result in selective/productive hiring, stable attrition, median compensation range etc.. and might prove effective in long-term recruitment solutions.

Also, a lot of organizations will have to start hiring people from other industries & domains. People from sales might be the best fit for recruitment. People from training might be the best fit in transition or customer management roles. Inter & Intra domain changes would run the business and hence those people will be able to envision the decision's overall structure in an integrative way rather than a conventional way. The expertise of becoming an integrative thinker would emerge by carefully thought domain/discipline changes.

HR Personnel- The entire HR team will have to focus on up-skilling themselves to be prepared for the next few years. They will have to closely watch the various developments in their respective delivery/operations. Their ability to analyze casualties will determine their growth, for instance they will have to stop thinking in linear relationships (Problem B happens because of A) and will have to focus on multi-directional relationships. They will play much bigger role interms of foreseeing industry trends. Their role will make them network with people in their space outside their companies. Their networking ability will start pooling in data for organizations to make decisions on hiring numbers, skill sets availability and hence the decision on business front.

They will have to develop competency to suit organizational needs along with global needs. Their roles will have to include issues such as "global warming". They will be the drivers for the next decade on global issues.Their urge towards social causes, will help people within the organization to bind themselves to the smaller world.. their company.

Deepak Kulkarni


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