Dear HR...Believe in yourself and get started
I see that the incoming wave of technology is going to threaten your existence or potentially take away your job. AI for instance, will make low value-add and administrative work in your space redundant. It may not be that intelligent just yet and is basically limited to how much information human can feed it, but I do not doubt its ability to scale up exponentially over the next few years given how fast technology is advancing. Why are you still not adopting a digital mindset and future-proofing yourself? How are you embracing this influx of technology to play to your advantage instead of being held hostage by it? Is it really as scary as it seems or is the technology there to enable you in what you are doing?
I know you may be comfortable with your current task of processing payroll, thinking of the conventional recruitment approach and perhaps not wanting to change the usual way of managing performance at work. But do you know, once technology gets more mature, you will basically be freed up of your responsibility in the mentioned areas? Do you think it’s time to start thinking of what your changing role might look like? After all, change is the only constant, isn’t it? There is still time to work on it before it becomes too late.
You keep saying that you want a seat on the table. Is being passive and playing a supporting role in your organization going to help make that happen? Is anyone going to see your value if you do not voice out your thoughts and take a firm stand to create an active impact? Would you be contented to always play second fiddle to other functions like Finance and Marketing while spending time complaining about how you are not valued when you are alone with your friends? Is that going to make any real difference?
Talents are hard to come by and you recognize that. But what are you doing to show them that they are valued so as to retain them in the longer run? Do you expect talents to simply wait for you to reward them only after 5 years? How are you treating your talents within the organization? If you are thinking of them as part of your family, retrenchment should never be on your mind. Managing performance should be about helping them become the best version they can and taking pride in their growth. Are you doing just that if you really want to keep them with you?
In this era where information is readily accessed, talents are getting more resourceful and mobile. How do you think you can differentiate yourself from your competitors? Are you seen as an Employer of Choice by creating the right employee experience? It is not too late to recognize that every single touch point of your employee life cycle is where you can make a real difference. Remember, every single touch point adds up and it does matter. Are you even considering that at all?
The gig economy is growing and the workforce mix is about to change. Are you ready for that? How are you going to take care of the gig workers? Treat them like a vendor? Or will you take a more enlightened view to treat them as an extended family where everyone is contributing towards a common outcome of driving the organization’s business goals? How would you like to be treated if you were them? What would you do to help them perform at a high level?
In addition, we know that companies need to get leaner and more agile to remain competitive. This means constant experimentation and partnerships are increasingly importantly. Will you still err on the safe side and punish failures? How are you going to create a culture of experimentation so that innovation can take place? Do you want to remain status quo and wait to be disrupted or would you prefer to take a proactive stance and disrupt instead? At the very least, you need to be ready to welcome the disruption and ease into it. With that, it requires a shift in mindset and accepting that thoughtful failure is pre-requisite to innovation and eventually, success.
I’ve my piece and I sincerely hope that you are seriously thinking through what I have to say. I know what was mentioned will not be changed overnight. What I’m asking for is not an instantaneous change as well but rather, a shift in mindset and progressive improvements in accordance to your available resources and organization’s readiness. It’s a journey that you have to take if you want to remain relevant and I believe that you have the ability to do so. Believe in yourself and get started.