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The Future of HR 2020: Which path are you taking?

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  • How HR organizations across the globe are shaping a workforce and people function fit for the future

Source | | Robert Bolton

“When you’re finished changing, you’re finished” – Benjamin Franklin (USA Founding Father)

The HR function is dealing with a range of questions: How can it prove its relevance within its organization and bring strategic value? How can HR design an employee experience that responds to evolving demands? And how can it utilize technology to truly understand the needs and motivations of employees?

A particularly striking finding from our Future of HR 2020 survey — in which over 1,300 HR executives from across the globe participated — 3 in 5 believe that the HR function will rapidly become irrelevant if it doesn’t modernize its approach to understanding and planning for the future needs of the workforce.

We can see a path forward for HR that requires some fundamentally new thinking about what HR does and how it is built to deliver. The way forward may start with discrete adoption of workforce shaping, or piloting a more digital experience in one of their business units. In our view, these interim steps are only going to be helpful if they catalyze a more thorough rebuilding of HR capabilities.

In this year’s study we identified four interconnected focus areas prevalent for a small subset of the sample. We define this group as Pathfinding HR. This confident group of HR executives are simultaneously focusing on four discrete capabilities to chart their course to the future in a disrupted world: shaping the workforce of the future, nurturing a purpose driven culture, and designing a “consumer grade” employee experience, all through the use of evidence-based insights.

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