People People: What Drives the HR Agenda?

Posted by BusinessForward Team on November 1st, 2016

By Clinton Kehr, BusinessForward Solutions Architect

In the last 10 years, Human Resources (HR) departments have been forced to transition from purely operational roles to those that service the needs and goals of the business. This has gotten HR leaders to thinking more about the how and why they deliver services. In many ways, they mimic information technology groups, except their immediate focus is on “people changing”.  This is reflected in their agendas.

See what HR leaders have to say in the HR Industry Insights.

In the HR Leadership Survey conducted by BusinessForward in partnership with the Pittsburgh Technology Council and the Pittsburgh Human Resources Association, respondents uncovered many concerns and priorities for HR leaders. Talent and technology chief among them.


HR leaders also noted the five top concerns that drive their strategic HR agendas. Those five areas included Talent Development, Employee Engagement, Organizational Culture, Talent Acquisition, and Process Improvement.

  1. Talent Development: How do we keep great people and improve our current personnel? You have employees that want to stay, seek opportunity and promotion. They not only want a paycheck, but a rewarding career that provides growth. This employee growth, or talent development, comes in many forms. The goal is for HR to understand the potential of talent development and then develop a strategy to execute the growth of the company. Talent development includes training programs, learning events, conferences, and it also includes mentoring programs, which are easy to set up in an organization, and cost little or no money to operate. The more that the organization invests in its people, the more personnel will be involved, engaged, ultimately leading to improved retention rates.
  2. Employee Engagement: Are we listening to our people? Employee engagement is invaluable. People like being heard and great ideas can bubble up where least expected sometimes. Human Resources can provide a means for people to discuss what is on their minds and provide a channel for leadership to listen. At a prior company I worked for, the President of the organization would go to lunch with a group of 10-12 individuals once every month. This lunch meeting, organized and run by HR, provided the opportunity to ask questions, suggest improvements, and understand more about the strategic direction of the organization. This simple activity was engaging, and it generated a culture of interest in the organization’s future.
  3. Organizational Culture: Who are we? The more that employees engage, understand where the organization is headed, leads to the increase in growth of a culture. Culture is organic, and therefore requires not only a leadership approach, but a general holistic feeling on how the organization operates, what it believes in, and its goals and mission. One can lead the culture in a particular direction, but you cannot force it. The forced culture may yield employees who will soon leave your organization. HR’s opportunity is to make sure the people of the organization understand the culture, the direction of where the company is going and how they will get there. Equally important is for leadership to regularly communicates this strategic vision, allowing the culture to evolve with organization.
  4. Talent Acquisition: Can we hire the right people? Finding the right people can be a daunting task in today’s competitive marketplace or when there is a skill shortage. HR departments are transitioning to a more strategic approach that encompasses talent procurement, and workforce planning functions such as talent forecasting, talent pipelining, and strategic talent assessment and development. Not only is it important for the newly hired to meet the job requirements, but to find people who want to learn, are engaged, and fit into the organization’s culture. Building stronger understanding of the needs of various hiring managers is a must too.
  5. Process Improvement: How do we deliver our services to the organization? Each prior concern may be partially solved by building great process. Delivery of programs, benefits, and information should be seamless. Improving process will only improve the overall organization and thus, the company, employee engagement and ultimately a culture of benefit. A review of internal processes is an exciting opportunity to find ways to gain efficiency, better enterprise-wide communication, enhance relationships with leaders across the business. Finally, but very importantly, implement automation with better HR technology. Your Human Resource Information System (HRIS) or Human Resource Management System (HRMS), provides an intersection of human resources and information technology and can be vital to your processes.

Human Resources is at the helm of helping people throughout the business lead better work lives, act as more productive employees and to shape the company’s future. If HR leaders can focus on these top five concerns leading the HR agenda of today, they can start to spin the organization in the right direction, building a future of strategy.

Is your HR Organization on the brink of change? We can help assess your organization, advise on the best technology solutions and tools for enhanced HR effectiveness. Contact us today.









Posted By
BusinessForward Team

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