Putting People At The Heart of HR-Reading time: 5 Minutes
Human Resources has always played a vital role in organisations around the world. However, throughout the long history of HR, its place in the business has often been reduced to an admin function. Primarily focusing on people and employees, an HR professional’s role has a direct impact on people’s lives, but its effect is felt way beyond this.
With it’s integral place within employees’ lives as well as the overall business strategy, how can HR ensure it’s strategic role continues to add value to organisations for years to come?
The Fluid Future of HR
Since the Industrial Revolution when business leaders realised that there was a clear correlation between a satisfied workforce and increased levels of productivity, HR has primarily been a people-focussed function. However, the workforce of today could not look more different to that of the 19th Century when the term “Human Resources” was first coined.
Today, from staff simply wanting less rigidity in their roles, to the emergence of a booming gig economy, fluidity is what the employee of today values. The default is no longer a permanent workforce: from seasonal staff to longer-term freelancers, without flexibility HR professionals would not be able to fulfill their role. The workforce needs flexible pay dates, a tailored reward mechanisms and supportive performance management to support their career journey. In fact, with fluidity prevailing in the business world of the 21st century, the support of HR has arguably never been so important. If HR was unable to provide the necessary flexible support, the workforce would become disparate, lost and unmotivated.
With this contingency workforce ranging from permanent full time employees to those part of the Gig economy, a variety of support is required from HR. With flexible work comes flexible benefits. For example, although the business may offer a company car to certain employees, a freelancer that works remotely from home is unlikely to benefit from this - instead, they’ll look for perks that suit their own lifestyle. Perhaps a flexible income plan that allows for more flexible saving options would be more appealing to their fluid and variable employment status. In fact, flexible pay is a trend that is becoming increasingly popular to meet these new demands of the modern workforce: a regular monthly payroll doesn’t suit everyone. HR is not a one-size-fits-all function.
As you can see, operating HR and payroll can be a complex task without which the business would collapse. But this is made all the more complex when businesses expand operations into multiple countries. In addition to a web of complex employee needs, differing local laws and ever-changing employment regulations can cause further disparity and headaches for HR professionals. Since it is evident that organisations cannot survive without them, the HR department of today can often need support of its own to manage this complexity. This is where global HR and payroll providers come in.
With a scalable solution that can grow with the business, HR can transform the support it gives both employees and the business. A provider can open up access to both global and local expertise with a dedicated service that provides support where it’s needed and managing the potential complexities of global and local data compliance. For example, the Payroll Service Alliance provides a harmonised service with local expertise that spans more than 100 countries across the globe. From top-level management to operational HR teams, dedicated contacts ensure a strong relationship between the business and the provider that is crucial when developing an understanding of a specific HR department’s needs.
But beyond human expertise, an independent provider can open up access to technology that integrates with existing in-house systems or even completely managing the payroll operations from start to finish. Technology can open up the power of HR data by presenting a birds eye view of the global business picture on a single dashboard. This can provide an unparalleled understanding of how HR can support the business’ needs with expertly informed predictions and AI analytics highlighting trends that may have otherwise have been missed. Additionally, these analytics can highlight how productivity of the individual teams can be maximised in a way that suits the needs of the specific workforce and to boost wellbeing.
Putting People at the heart of Human Resources
With all of these ever-changing developments, it’s important not to forget the central purpose of HR - the people. Outsourcing to provide the services that they need should not be a faceless transaction. In fact, with the support of an HR service provider and 24/7 access to trusted expertise that understands your employees and business values can put the people back at the centre of human resources today.