The key for HR is its ability to innovate and meet customer needs in the future…find the right people and put them in charge!

But a key question for HR is:

Are we so focused on tactical and operational that it inhibits creativity and innovation in HR?

The HR function has been shifting towards ‘people and performance’, as manifested by the embedding of HR into the heart of the business, the rise of the organisation development and talent analytics, that have helped many department functions to be drivers of organisation performance through people.

  • Continuing pressure to focus HR Management on pure value added HR Processes;
  • Continuing pressure to automate non-value added HR Processes and Procedures;
  • Simplification and introduction of lean HR Processes;
  • Supporting the business strategy and implementing growth oriented HR Strategies.

The Next Generation HR function has been exploring how to drive sustainable performance, by focusing on  the importance of building long-term organisation equity as one of the cornerstones of sustainable performance.

3 ways that organisations are investing in building organisation equity:

Building a future-proof business

HR plays a very active role in facilitating a more dynamic strategic planning process, both for future success and current engagement of today’s key talent.

There are two key directions that high performing organisations are taking in building a more future-proof enterprise:

  • From employee engagement to a deeper level of emotional loyalty
  • Collaborative engagement being taken to the next level of shared purpose

Feeling respected and served

To feel stimulated and valued are vital in building an agile and adaptable culture.

The creation of transparent and dialogue-centred cultures is being given priority.
This is about helping people develop trust in what the organisation stands for as well as a day-to-day experience, by treating people the same way as organisations treat customers.

Brand alignment

HR functions in partnership with marketing are redesigning culture from the customer backwards.

Building future-fit leaders

As one senior executive put it, ‘If we are not careful, we are perfecting the art of developing leaders who will be able to run yesterday’s business.’

Standard Chartered Bank, in recognition of the move towards much more customer-centric banking experience, has been pursuing a talent agenda that recognises the significant differences in experience and skills that this will demand of tomorrow’s leaders.

Transforming Human Resources

Human Resources Capacity Enhanced

HR Transformation is an essential part of the success.

The transformation of HR must be conducted in the context of the business strategy and the HR capabilities to support innovation.

Human Resources has to design the HR Transformation Strategy, analyse common obstacles, gaps and to communicate clearly the benefits of the HR transformation.

  • What competencies and skills will be required now and in the future?
  • How can HR bring value added to the organisation?
  • What are the key HR competencies of the future?
  • What will be valued by the top management most?


HR must go beyond enabling employee access to information (e.g., benefits, payroll processing and payments), and towards enabling access to learning and development, as well as enable collaborative engagement.

Developing Strategic HR Leaders

Strategic capability includes a number of competencies: business acumen; problem solving; the ability to deal with ambiguity, to learn “on the fly,” to manage innovation and creativity, and to make quality decisions.

Mobilising for agility, speed and flexibility: Future Orientation and clarity on where the organisation is heading and the critical roles, skills, and competencies needed.

Know what market opportunities the organisation plans to capitalise on the future, determine which roles, skills, and competencies are critical, both now and in the future, to achieve that objective and sustain high performance. Tight partnership with the business is essential, since workforce planning and talent management initiatives, from recruitment, development, and succession, extend into areas such as product /service / solutions development, customer service and project management.

Business service delivery within the dynamic, challenging environment demands agility to cope with the changes.

The employees must be competent and capable in delivering services that cater for what are demanded by potential customers.
It entails recruitment of appropriate personnel, ensuring continuous staff capacity building and other motivators that lead to increased efficiency and productivity in delivering quality services.

  • HR ensures that employees have a fair chance to apply for new roles in the organisation.
  • HR manages the grievance and compliance procedures to ensure that employees have fair treatment from the management.
  • HR leads initiatives to improve the experience of employees in the organisation.
  • HR leads initiatives for the recognition of top performers contributing most to business results.

Capitalising on collective intelligence

HR runs training and development sessions to develop skills and competencies of employees.

Employee development involves identification and preparation of training programmes, upgrading and promoting learning to improve their performance. This intervention will drive growth and sustainability.  The knowledge, opportunities and skills gaps identified lead to development of new and or in improving existing training programmes as to ensure efficient delivery of training programmes to maximise their impact.

Ensure knowledge sharing around roles, skills, and competencies

Equip employees with the means to collaborate with and learn from each other, as well as find internal subject matter expertise. Align processes, and technology to capture and share the information and insights and build on them, in tracking activities across departments and connecting people whose experience or capability matches a project need. After every project, make a list of lessons learned and share the list across the organisation, to ensure errors aren’t repeated.

Simplify work and improve productivity, performance, and engagement

Communicate collaborative engagement

Enablemanagers to easily communicate with their teams. Showcase collaborative projects through your intranet, newsletter, and other internal communication channels to inspire and engage employees. Encourage employees across roles and functions to interact.

Without recognising the need to change, no one is willing to go on a challenging transformation journey. HR has to break down the business vision and business strategy into smaller pieces related to new business requirements. And then, implement regular Voice of Employee satisfaction surveys to identify gaps in the corporate culture and HR and managerial practices.



Perveyor of Shared Purpose

Facilitating the employee/employer connection, through the power of shared purpose that emphasises collaborative engagement and greater access and sharing of information, thus increasing personal mastery and empowerement.

Implementor of high performance people strategies

Designing and helping implement high performance people strategies in partnership with line managers. The focus is on developing employee and manager self-reliance through the sharing of expertise by HR.

Dr. Pfeffer identifies, seven dimensions that seem to characterise high performance people strategies.

  • Employment security.
  • Selective hiring of new personnel.
  • Self-managed teams and decentralisation of decision making as the basic principles of organisational design.
  • Comparatively high compensation contingent on organisational performance.
  • Extensive training.
  • Reduced status distinctions and barriers, including dress, language, office arrangements, and wage differences across levels.
  • Extensive sharing of financial and performance information throughout the organisation.

A future thinker

Introduce fresh thinking and new ideas to promote creativity, innovation and successful adaptation of organisational practices and process improvement methodologies by employees and managers.

Communicate on what’s happening within the organisation and why, especially as these relate to the seven high performance people strategies identified above.



View: What HR must learn infographic