The Evolving Role of HR and What It Means for HR Leaders of The Future

Through the decades, the global workforce has seen its fair share of evolutions – from being predominantly labour-based, services-centred, tech-driven to now people-focused. HR being a crucial function bridging the divide between the workforce and management teams, has been forced to progress in tandem to meet the ever-changing needs of the modern workforce. 

On top of that, businesses in the recent decade have faced innumerable disruptions – from coping with digital transformation, the Coronavirus pandemic to the Great Resignation amongst many others – makes it imperative for HR to step up to the plate and extend its scope of influence to help organisations navigate the increasingly complex landscape.  

4 Changing Roles of HR Leaders

1. Backend Support to Leading Strategic Business Partner 

Remember when HR was primarily a backend support function to support various core-business leaders’ operational requirements? Helping to hire staff to fill the needs of a new and growing function as and when required? 

That is no longer the case.  

In a landscape where talent quality is critical, HR leaders need to step up as a strategic business partner in leading the charge to develop a strategic human capital plan for the future.  

Instead of sticking to passive hiring practices only when tasked to do so, HR now needs to help the organisations think deeply about the talent issue and come up with forward-thinking plans for a sustainable human capital pipeline of top talents. 

Here are some ways to do so: 

  • Develop metrics, dashboards or scorecards to help measure talent programs, processes and outputs 
  • Provide insights from data to help business partners make better decisions  
  • Drive a data-based human capital strategy 


2. Administrator to Change Agent 

When you think of HR, what comes to mind may be the many administrators behind the scenes who help you to manage payroll and employment benefits amongst many other administrative tasks.  

Thankfully with the increasing prevalence of software technology and even external partners that can help with such clerical work, HR partners can now focus on the more value-adding role of being a change agent for the organisation.  

With more businesses increasingly undergoing internal restructuring and reorganisations, and roles in the workplace becoming increasingly fluid, HR will be instrumental in helping employees and business partners alike navigate this shift. 

Here are some ways HR partners are helping to build a more agile workforce: 

  • Reskill and upskill the workforce to address skill gaps 
  • Revamp talent performance metrics to match new role expectations 
  • Innovatively source for temporary or part-time contractors to match new needs 
  • Develop talent pool with transferable skills 


3. Policy Maker to Creating On-Going Value  

HR policies are important – from anti-harassment, non-discrimination to leave and medical benefit policies amongst many others– and must continue to be updated to reflect the latest needs of the workforce. 

At the core of it, the creation of many HR policies has one main purpose – to ensure a better employee experience. 

In the past, it usually stops at creating policies and coming up with ad-hoc programs to engage employees. But that’s no longer the case going forward. 

The modern HR business partner instead, seeks to create-ongoing value for their employees for a simple reason – better employee experience, happier employees, better performance and productivity. 

Here are some ways that modern HR business partners facilitate better ongoing value for employees: 

  • Obtain bottom-up feedback from employees to create a personalized employee experience with their needs in mind 
  • Invest in collaboration tools that help remote employees remain connected 
  • Respect remote worker’s boundaries – set rules about when employees can and cannot be contacted outside of working hours 
  • Encourage and support a culture of reskilling and upskilling 


4. In-charge of Employee Benefits to Employee Wellbeing Champion 

HR has always been the one in charge of traditional employees’ benefits – from insurance plans to childcare and more. 

But the evolution of the role takes it to the next level – expanding their responsibilities above and beyond to be the champion of employee wellbeing. 

With the increased understanding that employees are the core of any organisation, HR needs to put their well-being upfront and centre amongst many things. Apart from tangible employee benefits, HR needs to look at employee wellbeing holistically to help cultivate a physically and mentally resilient workforce. 

Here are some ways to achieve that: 

  • Encourage employee-initiated activities for a peer-based approach to well-being e.g. group exercises, lunch session etc. 
  • Dispelling fear of judgement by providing confidential avenues for employees to seek support. 
  • Provide open lines of communication for feedback 
Are you ready to embrace your new roles as HR leaders of the future?

Are You Ready to Embrace Your New Roles as HR Leaders of The Future? 

Feeling overwhelmed by the transformation that you need to embrace and lead the organisation through? Given the magnitude of the task, that is completely understandable.  

But not to worry, that’s where professional HR partners like TG can be of help! Leave your administrative HR matters to us, while you focus your efforts on building your workforce of the future. 

Learn more about our services here, or contact us today!