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HR Pros See Need for Change

January 1, 2000
Related Topics: The HR Profession, Featured Article
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In a recent study of HR in the ’90s, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) of KPMG Management Consulting in the UK found that more than half the companies surveyed expected the HR function would need to be revitalized over the next five years.

That view was particularly prevalent in Europe, where 65 percent anticipate the need to revitalize. The European view contrasts somewhat with respondents in North America (55 percent expect to revitalize HR) and in Asia Pacific (where exactly half expect it).

Respondents believed even more change would be necessary if the HR function was to become truly viable and successful. Those surveyed said that in the future, HR professionals will be expected to move beyond the traditional attributes of being "organized" and "good listeners" to become "creative," "strategic" and "visionary," with developed leadership skills.

Support for ongoing change also is evident in a recent study conducted by Schooner and Associates in association with the Alexandria, Virginia-based Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

The report concludes that, "The changing environment is already producing major changes in the way HR professionals work. The next few years represent a critical period for the human resources community as new roles and responsibilities in organizations are being renegotiated. So far, HR as a whole is significantly behind the change curve. Clearly, HR professionals will not only have to fulfill their traditional roles, but assume critical new roles that focus on adding value to operational excellence."

Workforce, January 2000, Vol. 79, No. 1, p. 56.

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