- Executives have serious concerns about HR departments that are unprepared for a digitally driven workforce, according to a new study, the Global Leadership Forecast 2018: 25 Research Insights to Fuel Your People Strategy, by Development Dimensions International (DDI), The Conference Board and EY.
- The study identified six emerging leadership trends, largely centered on digitalization, data and diversity. But it also revealed serious concerns about insular company attitudes and the HR department. According to the study, HR professionals are losing influence within organizations because of their lack of digital skills.
- Additionally, the study found that people strategies have replaced business leaders’ concerns over labor relations, global competition and even cybersecurity. C-suite executives cite developing the next generation of leaders and failing to attract and retain top talent as their top challenges in the years ahead. Researchers for the study collected responses from 25,812 organizational leaders and 2,547 HR professionals, which represented 2,488 organizations in 26 industries across the globe.
Much of HR’s problems are perception; its leaders must shake their image as merely reactionaries and demonstrate that they can be proactive about achieving companies’ human capital goals. But that can't be done until HR truly shifts from a process-heavy unit to a strategy-creating one. Familiarity with new tech platforms that can take on some of those duties is a start. More HR departments, however, are shifting into data analytics, gathering data on employees through some of those newer platforms and creating strategy based on the stories that data tells.
HR naturally has an interest in arranging leadership pipelines and improving employee development programs. To avoid picking any "type" of person, inclusion, diversity and openness should be emphasized in all leadership development programs. Mentorships that feed into leadership development should also be administered fairly; for example, historically, women are mentored but not sponsored for leadership positions.