Heed These HR Strategies

January 1, 1998
In the book "Tomorrow’s HR Management:48 Thought Leaders Call For Change," editors Dave Ulrich, Michael R. Losey and Gerry Lake identify six themes that form prescriptive actions for the HR professional of the future.

  1. Manage Human Resources Like a Business. HR departments must become more business-focused. This means that HR departments need to have clear outcomes they deliver to the business with clear theory and foci guiding action within the department.
  2. Play New Roles. HR professionals will have many new roles to play in the organization and competitive environment of the future.
  3. Respect History, Create a Future. HR functions need to and have changed … or have they? Rather than merely live for an uncertain future, HR work needs to be grounded in its past. The discipline of human resources has a history that has both good news and bad news. The good news is that much of the history would be maintained in moving toward the future. The bad news is that some of that history needs to be changed to meet the future with competence.
  4. Build an Infrastructure. The HR infrastructure focuses on how the HR function itself is governed. It deals with issues such as measurement of HR practices, competencies of HR and the changing role of HR leaders.
  5. Remember the "Human" in Human Resource. Sometimes, in the quest to be business partners, HR professionals have focused more on the business and less on the people side of the business. Under the label of intellectual or human capital, HR professionals need to keep focusing their attention on the human side of the enterprise.
  6. Go Global. Technological advances in information, travel, media and other parts of our lives have made a large world smaller. Changes in one country are quickly understood and/or adapted throughout the world.

SOURCE: Reprinted with permission from John Wiley & Sons Inc.

Workforce, January 1998, Vol. 77, No. 1, p. 88.