We all need a pat on the back occasionally, and HR professionals are no exception. Today (20 May) is International HR Day – a rare opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge the tireless and often thankless work undertaken by HR and people professionals every day.
While the efforts of HR professionals are rarely acknowledged, International HR Day is attempting to change this.
International HR Day provides an opportunity to:
- Recognise HR and people practices at an individual, team, company, national and international level
- Publicise the significant contribution the HR and people profession is making right now
- Highlight best practice and share tips with peers
Shaping the new future
The theme for 2022 is ‘HR shaping the new future’. The founding organisation behind the day’s inception – the European Association for People Management (EAPM) – says the theme is about building an identity for HR that is bigger than itself. The EAPM’s website states: “It’s about our role as a profession in leading change to improve working lives, and not slipping back into traditional ways of thinking and working. The theme implies we are leading a future that will be more inclusive, flexible, participative; one which will benefit workers, organisations and society as a whole.”
It’s worthwhile pausing to consider some of what HR professionals have had to deal with over the past two years – and in many cases, continue to deal with today. For example:
- COVID-19 and its never-ending repercussions – including a major focus on employee health and wellbeing and a shortage of skilled employees due to border closures
- The Great Resignation, which has shifted employee recruitment and retention to the top of corporate agendas globally
- A reignited war for talent, resulting in organisations scrambling to reinvent their employee value proposition (EVP) so they can position themselves as employers of choice
- Complex compliance obligations, including changes to industrial instruments and new or evolving government and regulatory requirements
- Near-constant change on just about every front: technological, regulatory, societal, etc.
- A new – and quite radical – employee experience, shaped by new expectations from the workforce
Each of these seismic shifts will ‘shape the new future’ and will have an impact on HR’s future role.
Opportunities and future challenges
One silver lining from the pandemic is the improved status of HR in business. At the end of 2020 – arguably following the worst of COVID-19 – the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI) asked its members about business perceptions of the HR function. The results revealed that perceived HR influence on the executive team rose by 14.9% during the crisis and was expected to remain at a similar level post-pandemic.
In the UK, LinkedIn analysis found that hiring demand for Chief HR Officer (CHRO) roles grew by 56% from September 2020 to August 2021, the biggest hiring spike out of all C-suite executives.
It appears that organisational leaders are finally appreciating the value that HR can bring to the executive table.
However, there are still significant challenges ahead. For example, there is ongoing debate around how the function can balance transactional and strategic priorities, how it can embrace metrics and analytics to move beyond its traditional ‘gut feel’, how it can use technology more effectively, and how it can help organisations transform through volatile times – all while keeping perennials like employee engagement and productivity ticking.
5 ways you and your team can celebrate #InternationalHRDay
- Produce a video or photo collage of what it means for HR to shape the new future and put it out on social media using the tag #InternationalHRDay
- Invite a champion of the HR profession to speak in a virtual forum via Facebook Live/Instagram/YouTube Live – ask them how they’ve shaping the new future and remember to use #InternationalHRDay and #HRshapingthenewfuture
- Give your HR team a shout out on social media for going above and beyond the call of duty over the past 12 months
- Host a Twitter chat or question and answer session – whereby people can discuss how they are shaping the new future and how this applies in their organisation
- Spread the love internally by sharing the innovative initiatives HR has adopted within your organisation and how you are shaping the new future – encourage employees to share the stories externally on social media
Further tips can be found here on the EAPM website. All HR professionals are urged to take some time to celebrate themselves and their teams on this special day. All throughout the day, professionals will be posting photos and videos on social media using the hashtag #InternationalHRDay.
Happy celebrating – you deserve it!
Humanforce is a leading provider of shift-based workforce management solutions that simplifies onboarding, scheduling, time and attendance, employee engagement, and communication. Customers in more than 23 countries use Humanforce to optimise costs, realise compliance confidence, empower their team, and drive growth. Humanforce was founded in Sydney in 2002, and today has offices across Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the UK. www.humanforce.com