A 21st century company has to be employee-centric in order to stay relevant and push the boundaries of industry. After all, it’s great people that make a great company.
Talent has become the hottest commodity in the global marketplace, and individuals have more power to knowingly influence the culture of a company than ever before. This has resulted in a much need transformation of corporate human resources teams who are now forced to navigate new technologies, manage employee expectations, and ensure that the organization has a productive and happy workforce.
The human resources department of the 21st century will favour specialization over a generalized, one-size fits all approach to workforce management. The responsibilities that fall onto the plate of a Chief Human Resources Officer and his or her small “jack-of-all-trades” team will now be spread out across a functionally diverse stack of specialists.
So what kind of fully stacked team will your human resources department require?
Here are five roles that will make up a powerful human resources team for 21st century companies:
Manager of Employee Engagement
Companies are thankfully beginning to move away from the dry print-out review process that dictated how we measure and assess employee performance, happiness, and engagement. Organizations are also realizing that a two-way conversation between leadership and teams is far more engaging than a one-way dialogue.
Thanks to employee engagement software, leadership and teams can now have an ongoing, dynamic dialogue around workforce performance. Companies no longer have to just rely on 3, 6, or 12 month review sessions to assess the performance and happiness of the workforce.
Just like social media needs a community manager, your human resources team will require a dedicated Employee Engagement Manager who will be the link between employees and leadership. This person will be tasked with drawing up frequent surveys to gather feedback and assess the health and happiness of the workforce.
An Employee Engagement Manager will not only manage the technology required to communicate across the company, but will also craft the approach to internal engagement. He or she will be the bridge between the workforce and the other four roles below by devising unique ways for communicating workforce initiatives, as well as facilitating an interactive way for people across the organization to voice their opinions through frequent townhalls or internal meetups.
Director of Learning
Dynamic companies constantly level up the workforce through training and skills development. Technology will change, processes will change; and more importantly, customers will change.
A Director of Learning will be a crucial role in the ongoing education of the workforce. Company training programs are notoriously known for being unengaging, uninspiring, and a drag on already busy employees. This role will require someone who understands the adult learning process, and will be key for designing voluntary or mandatory training programs.
He or she will be responsible for bridging virtual and in-person training sessions and exercises; produce content that will be consumed by program participants; champion the program across the organization; and ensure that tangible behavioral changes take place across the company.
Studies prove that a diverse workforce results in a prosperous organization. Company success is based on the cultivation of men and women from all backgrounds--whether that’s gender, race, or skillset.
Diversity Officers will be responsible for ensuring that the workforce is made up of talented individuals from many walks of life. It’s not enough to just hire a diverse workforce, because of much the work takes place inside the organization post-hire. The Diversity Officer will work closely work with the Director of Learning and Employee Engagement Manager to craft inclusion training programs that will foster understanding between many different types of people and teams.
It’s important to point out that the title “Diversity Officer” suggests some form of internal police or watch dog. This should change because companies should not feel they are being threatened into cultivating a diverse workforce. Rather, the role should aim to encourage the benefits (both economic and psychologic) of a workforce that’s made of a diverse group of people.
An overworked workforce is an unhappy workforce. Wellness programs or policies inside companies are a powerful resource to keep employees happy, healthy, and focused. A Mindset Coach will institute important programs that ensure individuals create good habits in their day-to-day work experience. These good habits go beyond the realm of regular exercise and healthy eating.
A proper wellness program will include work-life balance processes, stress management and therapy programs, and facilitating an open dialogue around mental health and illness to remove much of the stigma that plagues the conversation and ailments. Again, the Mindset Coach will work closely with an Employee Engagement Manager and devise interactive ways to encourage participation and openness across the workforce. He or she will also collaborate with the Director of Learning on educational programs.
Talent & Repertoire Manager
Sports franchises and the entertainment industry have long benefitted from internal scouts with an eye for great people. Companies should enjoy the same. The corporate world is full of recruitment firms that can pass along talented individuals, but who is looking out for the organization from the inside?
While talent recruitment may fall on a hiring manager or executive, a fully dedicated Talent & Repertoire Manager can be the eyes and ears on the ground for specific industries. He or she will have great relationships with top recruitment firms, and should also be known for having a good relationship with incubators, ecosystems or industry communities. He or she will also be responsible for navigating transformative trends in the talent marketplace--salary expectations, hot skillsets, and prospect track records--that will be crucial to the competitive offers an organization may submit to potential prospects.
Exciting transformation for HR
The way technology is quickly influencing how companies are built pose many interesting changes to traditional workforce management.
A specialized approach to human resources will remove much of the “nanny-like” perception the department has famously faced inside organizations. HR will no longer be known as the stuffy and stiff department that keeps everyone in line. Instead, it’ll be a vehicle for progress that will facilitate positive corporate culture transformation where employees and leadership have a stake in that change.