Disruption in Organizational Capabilities: Rethinking HR Structures
While HR is beginning to refocus its purpose around designing work experiences and leading digital transformation, businesses have been using essentially the same HR structure for more than 20 years. The forces of globalization, talent constraints and new technology are driving rapid change to the HR function. Digital transformation is not just applying technology to automate existing processes or to expand capabilities but it is more than that. It’s about leveraging that technology to build new ways of working and of delivering value to the organization. This includes new ways of structuring how people function in organizations. Savvy HR leaders know that it’s time for a change. In fact, it is interesting to know that the most commonly searchedterm on the Bersin platform is “HR structure”, outmatching the next hottest phrase, “diversity and inclusion,” by almost 60 percent.
One of the indicators of early evolutions in the human resource structure can be seen by the increasing adoption of a “fit-for-purpose” HR operating model in many organizations. Fit-for-purpose can simply be defined as fitting the core elements of HR models to an organization’s unique purpose through strategic design choices. Fit-for-purpose HR is guided in part by a series of strategic design choices, such as whether one should centralize or distribute their HR resources to best serve the organization’s definite strategies, or whether one should differentiate or standardize HR services across the enterprise. These strategic design choices provide a framework to steer the creation of meaningful and specific guiding principles for a High-Impact HR operating model and its resulting structure. Each organization’s strategic design choices are unique. Fit for purpose is the opposite of one size fits all.
The focus of discussion would be what will HR look like in a couple of years when robotic and cognitive automation replicate human actions and judgment? What are the possibilities of HR structure related to employee data and self-service, benefits, candidate screening, and onboardingwhen software is handling the bulk of activities? And how HR should restructure itself in this fast-changing world?