Strategy & LeadershipHR EffectivenessHR leaders have become strategic visionaries for organisations 

HR leaders have become strategic visionaries for organisations 

The 2018 HRD People Leaders’ Survey shows the increasing importance of HR in the new business landscape, with the CHRO being the lynchpin that oversees the delivery of both talent identification and engagement systems 

Every year HRD Summit, in partnership with HRD Connect, surveys its audience of global HR leaders to discover the key challenges faced by those in the profession. 

This year’s survey had over 500 respondents from CHROs, HR Directors and other senior managers, from all corners of the globe, and focused on the challenges and opportunities in four key areas: talent, leadership, engagement and learning. 

The HRD People Leaders’ report illustrates exactly how the HR world is changing. The results of the survey show that HR executives have become change champions for their businesses, planning their response to the digital revolution and its cultural by-products – most notably the fundamental alteration of the relationship between employer and employee. 

Despite the increase in the use of technology, respondents continue to place a great deal of faith in human methods – perhaps unsurprising given the human nature of the profession. Respondents were typically keen to stress that we mustn’t lose sight of the human factor when embracing digital evolution.  

However, perhaps the most enlightening insight of all concerns the changing role of the CHRO. The findings show that this role is now the lynchpin of today’s business world, overseeing the delivery of both talent identification and engagement systems. HR executives are no longer constrained by reactive roles, driven by compliance and regulation. Rather, they are often the key strategic visionaries in their organisation; guardians of a new business culture based on democracy and fulfilment.  

Commenting on the report, Dave Ulrich says the increasing prominence of the CHRO is attributable to the fact that HR leaders offer a unique source of advantage in the new global workplace. 

“Businesses win by serving customers and investors in ways that competitors can not readily match,” he says. “Traditional sources of competitiveness (access to capital, strategic and product differentiation, and technological innovation) are more readily copied. Organisation issues are more difficult to copy and add value to customers.    

“HR delivers individual competence, talent, leadership, and organization capability (culture) to help a company win in the marketplace. CHROs bring unique insights to business about these issues – so that they win in the marketplace.” 

Today’s talent leaders are clearly aware of the transformative potential of modern technology, and are already implementing it in their organisations. Particularly enlightening were our respondents’ views on leadership, which is undergoing a revolution as companies seek a more empowered culture, free from the old hierarchies that have become anachronistic in the modern business world. 

Read the full report here.

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