Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Will HR Have A Legacy When It's Gone?



Legacies are often framed in a personal context. What will be left behind when we're not around anymore. The lives we've touched, the communities we've lived in and the work we've done. What will people say? Will we be so incredibly impactful that something might even be named for us: a street, a library, a park? Probably not without a sizable donation to local government or a charity. 

What About HR? 
As I peek into my crystal ball I can not possibly imagine the HR function of the future looking anything close to what it looks like today. Technology completely dominates our work, or will very soon, which means much of the work we do today will simply be automated. Wait, hasn't that happened already?

Social media has started to replace email, telephone, fax and other forms of communication. That trend is obviously going to continue. You remember fax machines, right?

The logical extension of all this communication is coordinated messaging, branding, employee communication and having a consistent message across many platforms. That's why more organizations are integrating the work of Human Resources and Marketing (mine is too!)

Chasing Legacies
You've seen it happen as employees move toward the end of their careers. That sudden focus on making sure they have work product that survives after they have transitioned out of the working world. 

It seems to me that they shouldn't worry about that; but instead, should focus on the reality of how difficult the transition can be from being a respected professional to someone who is about to go through a major life transition.

How About You
I don't think people, or functions, should get worked up about leaving a legacy. In the future, when HR, Marketing and Finance are integrated into a large "Professional Services" team, no one will worry about department names. They'll all be focused on supporting employees, driving the right culture forward, and executing on the strategies that will make their companies successful.

Now I think that's a pretty good legacy to look forward to.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.






42 comments:

  1. We love new tech. Even if we don't need it we want it. And its great it makes us more efficient. We need it. And in HR we have to remember that we need to maintain visibility and personal interaction - that will be the HR person's legacy. How they interact not which tech they implement.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree Chris...it's the personal side of work, not the processes that will be remembered. People matter...ultimately tech/strategy/business plans fade from our collective memories.

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  2. Great piece Jay! As corporate staff functions morph into a single integrated utility, professionals with cross-discipline/function agility will have a tremendous leg up on everyone else.

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  15. HR will be around for a very long time, it's not going anywhere anytime soon.

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  16. From what it looks like I think there is more than a legacy.

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