The Most Important Force Driving Change at Your Company

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What drives change at your company? When organizational priorities shift, who makes sure your company responds to the new demands?

You might think it’s your executive leaders because they’re in charge of setting the company direction. Or your managers, who are in close contact with the employees who need to enact that change daily. Kratom is very good supplements for you health, in you can find more information about this kind of supplements.

But you’d be wrong.

Human resources is the driving force of change in your company. And if it’s not, it needs to be.

That might surprise you. HR has long been viewed as a stagnant department, mainly concerned with hiring, firing, and enforcing workplace rules. But that’s changing quickly and HR has a new priority: moving employees forward.

Let’s take a look at what that means. Then we’ll get into the importance of establishing human resources as a driver of change at your company.

HR is changing fast

HR used to be an unexciting place. It walked people through on- and offboarding, handled paperwork, signed checks, and occasionally had to step in to make sure employees were following regulations.

But that’s changed.

Human resources management is now truly focused on people. According to Gartner, the top three HR priorities in 2019 are

  • building critical skills and competencies for the organization,
  • strengthening the current and future leadership bench, and
  • improving the employee experience.

This shift in priorities follows a simple realization: that employees are the source of success at companies. Engaged, skilled employees are the #1 resource for companies that generate profit, dominate their markets, and see consistent growth.

Looking at that Gartner list, you might see a point that you’re not familiar with. Let’s talk a bit more about employee experience.

Employee experience is becoming a priority

Deloitte’s 2019 Global Human Capital Trends survey shows just how important employee experience is: 84% of respondents said that improving it is important. Over a quarter said it’s one of the three most urgent issues for their company this year.

The research is unequivocal: happy, engaged employees with a great work culture are more productive, take fewer sick days, and generate more revenue.

And human resources is on the front lines of employee experience.

Why HR?

Because executives are busy steering the company. Managers are focused on the day-to-day success of their employees. Front-line workers don’t have the bandwidth or authority to manage their own experience.

So it’s up to HR to make sure employees are well taken care of, supported, and given the tools they need to do their best work. That translates into company-wide success down the road.

Professional development and organizational culture are crucial business areas

What factors affect employee experience? The list is long, but there are two things that stand above the rest: professional development and organizational culture.

Employees crave development opportunities. When given the chance to improve their skills, take on more responsibility, and expand their roles at work, people are more engaged and stick around longer.

LinkedIn Learning found that 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if that company invested in their career development. That means providing development opportunities boosts retention, decreases costs, and improves company outcomes.

But it goes beyond that, too. Your entire organizational culture is critical in keeping employees engaged and doing their best work. It’s not just about HR. It’s about getting leadership, managers, and employees on board with development and employee experience.

Managers are especially important, as LinkedIn found that they can improve—or negate—the benefits offered by employee development.

Who’s going to coordinate all of this? Who’s going to make sure that managers encourage their employees to continue their development and get involved in improving the employee experience? And make sure executives visibly support efforts and development and changing organizational culture?

Human resources.

Enacting these priorities requires a lot of change. There may be changes in hierarchy, organizational priorities, and even standard company workflows. That’s a lot of change, and managing it is a huge task.

Change management is increasingly necessary

New technologies and priorities mean businesses must react to changes in buyer behavior and the competitive landscape faster than ever before. New product lines, shifting focuses, the addition of employee groups, and changes in leadership happen all the time.

From a leadership perspective, it’s evidence of being flexible in an unstable marketplace. From an employee’s perspective, it’s stressful and destabilizing. That doesn’t make for a great employee experience.

That’s where HR comes in.

Change management has been around for a long time, but most companies are only starting to realize its importance. Human resources managers are uniquely positioned to help employees through tough times. Because HR has a wide reach throughout the company, it can help employees at all levels prepare for and execute change.

There are many strategies you can use to better manage change at your company. Here are just a few:

When used correctly, these models of change management can help an HR team guide employees through change.

Most businesses use these models in a reactionary way. An executive announces a change, and HR is tasked with making sure employees are ready to make that change. But HR’s responsibilities go beyond managing change: the HR team of the future also drives change.

Human resources needs to be a catalyst for change

The role of HR in companies is no longer to hire, fire, and write checks. As we’ve seen, HR leads companies in experience, development, culture, change, and more. It touches every part of an organization.

Which is exactly why HR needs to drive change in organizations.

HR departments know what’s going on in their company. They’re well connected to their employees. They have the confidence of executives. They have powerful tools that help them make sweeping change in the culture of a company.

All of those factors boil down to this short workflow:

  1. Identify opportunities for improving employee experience.
  2. Create a plan for enacting change.
  3. Present that plan to executives for high-level approval.
  4. Execute the plan to make employees’ lives better.
  5. Measure the impact.

By going through just those five steps, HR departments can enact great change that drives results from the bottom up.

Of course, this workflow isn’t as easy as it looks. Identifying the most valuable opportunities for change requires detailed knowledge of the employee experience. That might mean collecting data. It requires a solid understanding of change management strategies, which may necessitate further education. And it means that HR has to be ready to conduct some serious scientific measurement to see if their changes have made a difference.

This is very different from what HR used to do. But in an increasingly fast-moving and unstable marketplace, it’s necessary.

Communicate HR’s importance to your team

To really position HR as a driving force of change, your whole team has to be on board. It’s not enough that your human resources department knows to focus on employee experience.

Everyone else needs to know that, too. If they still view HR as a source of rules and difficult conversations, they’re much less likely to take their recommendations and programs seriously.

It’s time to rebrand HR as the team that makes life better for employees. The source of education, development, cultural change, and the help employees need to succeed. Keep this in mind when you’re talking to your employees, and start to shift perceptions of HR.

It’ll pay off.

The HR team of the future

In the coming years, the face of HR will see massive change. Teams will include experts on change management, professional development, organizational culture, change planning, measurement, and more.

Whether you develop your team in-house or bring in a development and change management consulting group, you need to be ready to meet these needs.

When given the right tools and the authority to do so, HR teams can make big changes in companies. Not just through enforcing regulations, but through identifying and enacting changes that start with employee experience—and affect the company’s bottom line.

If your HR team isn’t ready to drive positive change, it’s time to change how you do things.