Human Resources Degree

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How does Human Resources stay engaged today?

Human Resources has really always been about all about the “Care and Feeding” of employees and the organization they support.  Many companies have held on to the model that HR can only really stay connected to the workforce if they can reach out and touch someone.  Yet, if we honestly think about how people connect with people today it is rarely through personal interaction.  Don’t get me wrong – you cannot become so disconnected that you forget that it is a real person we are connecting with, I am simply suggesting that the generations entering the workforce today respond through an entirely different way of connecting.   As we watch leading edge companies ponder about how to keep up and stay engaged with the workforce it inevitably takes us away from offering onsite fitness centers, café services, and special perks and comes down to providing many options at the fingertip of employees – simple  and immediate.  It means to embrace a technology that so many HR professionals cringe about – social media, employee portals, e-records, self service, 24/7 service centers, mobile applications and so on.  This is a scary leap for our lawsuit shy HR and Legal counterparts and many conservative organizations have been slow to adapt for fear or relinquishing too much to employees.  Yet, at the same time we face huge cost and market challenges and these alone are causing even the ultra conservative to step back and say why not?  This can leave the Human Resources professional in a quandary.  As the administrative and day to day tasks become accessible to employees through self service and mobile applications then HR has to evolve in order to keep their role valuable in an organization.  HR curriculum today is nothing like it was when I went through college, there were no classes on social media in the workplace but they are becoming very common in both course curriculum and also in professional certification programs.  If you search SHRM for topics at their conferences you will find that a large part is about embracing technology and defining the new HR professional as a HR Business Partner, not an HR Administrator.  It is vital for HR professionals to embed themselves professionally in truly understanding what it means to engage and empower a workforce in today’s current environment.   Are you ready to support this new type of organization?  DO you know how to advise your company to move forward and ensure you stay connected?