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News and Innovation from Oracle UK and Ireland

How HR is leaping ahead by future proofing talent

Perry Timms
Chief Energy Officer (CEO), PTHR

Organisations have been going through “HR transformation” for over 20 years now. And that’s a good thing, because it means HR is never static and rigid. But it also means that HR is constantly adjusting to external circumstances, reacting to business requirements, and not strategically inputting from a talent perspective into guiding the business. How can we get HR to accelerate past this stage?

  • By addressing the elephant in the room : productivity is the number 1 business priority but talent and culture are at the bottom of the league table, where people are seen as a cost as opposed to an investment
  • By improving what’s holding HR back : data management and labour intensive tasks
  • By future proofing talent: HR would effectively future proof itself

“HR leaping ahead…” of anything might be a headline met with scepticism, considering the corporate world’s oft-stated concern surrounding HR’s impact and value creation.

One factor in being sceptical about HR, (despite being in its 20th year of transformation), is the productivity “equation” is unanswered. Flatlined growth appears to be more about an over-obsession towards automation/machine development, yet those wiser-of-mind will say this is an under-obsession for the power in people, sometimes in individuals.

Jonny Ives’ recent departure from Apple being a point in case: his designs created new product lines and gave the corporation its place in consumer electronics. Paul Polman’s work as CEO of Unilever was more than a vision but it has set a new bar for conscious organisations who are pro-profit and who have ecological and societal delivery to match.

So is the continued scepticism about HR well founded? Not with the latest Oracle research in mind.

The research identified that there are some very simple solutions to ensure talent is “future ready” and optimised alongside dynamic, enabling systems and processes.  Which shows less about any more HR oversight needed and more about other business leaders missing this key link between talented people and the improvement of business productivity.

If HR is to leap ahead in this area, how can we turn business sceptics into supporters of HR?

Simple – Use Data that proves this “talent hypothesis” and showcase it to those who doubt.

The research’s headlines for HR to broadcast are:

1If you want to improve growth, don’t ignore your culture

39% of organisations who have seen significant growth have completed innovation culture initiatives, compared to 20% of those with marginal growth

2. Issues with people are often the barrier holding back growth

27% of decision-makers say the main barrier that stops new products, services and customer experiences from reaching the market is that there is a lack of leadership

3. Businesses whose talent is agile are growing faster

34% of organisations who have seen significant growth have completed agile talent redeployment initiatives, compared to 17% of those with marginal growth

4. The biggest struggle for HR leaders is helping talent be more agile. The gap between desire and reality is huge for HR decision-makers

73% say that talent agility is a priority, but only 30% have achieved this

72% say that giving employees access to the data is much needed, but only 35% have done so

This feels like a straightforward business case that should need no further justification.

Good work, from talented individuals in their businesses, equates to creative gains and adaptability that delivers competitive advantage and productivity. That talent relies on recognition and needs to be invested in, with flexible working conditions. That talent also needs to be at the tip of the fingers of any HR team who know where it is and how to best grow it. The data shows this will deliver growth and innovation across the organisation.

It’s time to unleash HR to deliver on that proposition.

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