Europe is set to bounce back from the economic factors that have disrupted businesses over the past few years. According to the World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects published in June 2013, Europe and Central Asia can expect a 2.8% growth in 2013. While there may still remain some development lag in Southern Europe, there are positive signs for development in the UK, France and Germany, which in turn, may allow them to capitalize on the growing demand in developing countries.
Therefore, while large companies need to implement measures quickly to counter the effects of the repercussions of the economic downturn, HR (Human Resources) can contribute positively towards this by ensuring that the workforce is ready to deal with these changes, and is able to keep up with the business strategies. However, to do this, HR must ensure that it is running smoothly and has three important things in place:
processes, data, and tools.
The challenge here is that HR is usually not at the forefront of business operations, and does not get top priority when it comes to upgradation of systems. This poses a large problem as the role of HR has now evolved from merely administrative functions to a more global and deeper function. But without the right tools, it will be limited to traditional functions, which can prove detrimental to a company. HR needs to be at the forefront when an organization is attempting to take advantage of the returning growth, and organizations need to work towards including it in their strategic processes. HR now enjoys importance of being recognized as being closely aligned to business goals, as it is better equipped to inform the business decision-makers what potential talent is looking for when searching for a viable job option.
A report by the Boston Consulting Group shines light onto what the five challenges for European HR directors will be in the year 2015: managing talent, managing demographics, becoming a learning organization, managing work-life balance, and managing change and cultural transformation. Currently, there are a few hotspots where HR is facing issues, such as brain drain, replacement of retiring executives, strategic insights, employee engagement, talent management, and organizational culture.
Based on these challenges, an ideal solution for HR would be one that has the capabilities to identify processes which are required in the new business world, as well as processes which need to be streamlined and improved. There is also a need to cull important data which may ultimately lend itself to bettering company processes and offering relevant employee benefits, drawing talented hires. And last but not the least, a need to be able to migrate systems smoothly and implement changes quickly.
How important is the role of HR in your business? Do you think that its importance in the global business context is valid?