What’s the Future of HR Post Recession?

In the wake of governance issues, executive compensation blow-back, so-called “recognition junkets” and other negative news, HR cannot remain functionally the same as the market and economy recover.

I see HR changing fundamentally at both the executive and employee level in these ways:

Executive Level

• HR will have a seat at the executive table, possibly as a CEO of a Fortune 100 company. If not in the chief executive seat, then definitely as a chief officer whose opinion is valued and desired.

• HR will take a more prominent role in corporate governance, possible as a chief integrity officer, enforcing the exercise of proper control over compensation and bonus packages and use of corporate funds in other appropriate ways.

• HR will become a trusted coach to senior executives – perhaps the sole voice willing to tell the CEO when he’s going in the wrong direction.

Employee Level

• HR will drive the effort for global team building and collaboration, ensuring unique cultural differences are honored and respected.

• HR will take full ownership of directing talent organization and distribution to create high performance workforces for strategic success.

HR will adjust to generational change requirements as Generation Y becomes ever more prominent (e.g., changing annual performance review to ongoing feedback format with 360 degree elements).

Difficult times are often the seeding bed for innovation and positive change – the explosion of the PC in the early 1980s, the explosion of the internet in the mid 1990s. I believe this recession will weed out the bad habits, complacency and ignorance that has kept HR from achieving its true purpose in guiding and directing a company in the most powerful way – directly through its people.

Am I off base? Do you see these changes on the horizon as well? Other changes I’m missing? Tell me in comments.

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