Undoubtedly, the recession of 2008 and 2009 has proven to be a wake-up call for business globally. Relatively few enterprises have been left untouched, and those who have survived may have experienced layoffs, furloughs, wage freezes and other drastic cost-cutting measures merely to weather the storm and come out on the other side somewhat intact. For no one has it been business as usual.
Although we may have hit the bottom of the economic slump, HR leaders are still faced with overcoming one of their greatest challenges –- the continual rise of healthcare costs. Now more than ever, companies are faced with making hard choices on how to trim costs yet keep employees motivated.
There is an ongoing debate about the role of human resources in strategic planning. In some cases, senior managers view human resource management solely as a compliance function. Other senior managers look to the HR function for more consultative services such as leadership development, performance management and employee engagement. Often times HR is called to help implement a key initiative of strategy after the decision has already been made.
Human resources departments are in a state of transition. Even as companies increasingly outsource administrative HR tasks, these departments are being asked to identify and develop next generation leaders and manage globalized talent pools. And yet, it is clear that not every HR executive has embraced this larger strategic role.
Today’s Business Demands
The HR function is in a state of transition caused by the increasing pressure to identify and develop next-generation leaders, the growing globalization of businesses and talent pools and the CEO’s requirement that HR be more strategic and relevant to the business as a whole. As HR seeks to meet these demands, others have questioned its effectiveness.