Fifteen years ago Smart HR set up shop on Eisenhower Avenue in Alexandria, Virginia. We embarked on this journey to help our clients create a competitive advantage through their people, focusing on being an HR business partner to smaller organizations who weren’t equipped with their own in-house resources.
It’s striking how the landscape of HR has changed over the last 15 years. Perhaps the greatest (and most needed) change has been the move from transactional HR to strategic HR at small and mid-market organizations. Now more common to see HR as part of the executive leadership team, I believe this is a major differentiator between average and great companies.
So, what else has changed in the last 15 years? How is the HR landscape different than in 2001? Here’s a quick rundown.
- Recognizing employee engagement, the best organizations acknowledge the importance of it, and are actively working to create a workplace whereby employees have a high engagement (and commitment) level.
- Analyzing social media for recruiting, developing policies, managing brands and reputations, and reviewing Glassdoor evaluations. Everything social touches HR.
- Figuring out how to oversee the massive leadership transition from Boomers to Millennials, and how to answer the question, “What do Millennials really want?”
- Creating and documenting policies, ensuring compliance, and assisting with employee-related litigation, which is more prevalent than ever.
- Serving as a cultural translator between multiple generations within the workforce, ensuring that they understand the value that each brings to the organization. The generation gap has never been more keenly felt than in the inter-generational workplace of 2016.
- Developing management strategies for telework, remote workers and virtual organizations—this was’t even even on radar in 2001.
Whew. Get the picture?
The pace isn’t slowing down for HR. In fact, it’s picking up speed. I’ve personally witnessed this incredible evolution of Human Resources over the years, and while I’m extremely optimistic that HR’s role within organizations will continue to grow, I’m worried when I see organizations that just don’t get it, choosing instead to limit HR’s role to transactional activities.
That’s one of the reasons why I founded Smart HR. It’s the companies that adapt to the changing needs of their workforce that are really winning. And you can’t do that without strong HR resources.