Until I stumbled into Human Resources by accident, I, like most people, thought that this was a mundane, administration- and process-oriented field of work. But oh boy, how wrong I was.
In the Knowledge Economy and age of fast, global competition, Human Resources has evolved into a highly strategic and advisory role that enables businesses to tap into and maximize the potential of their most critical resource: their talents. Tools and technology can only go as far and produce products as unique as the human brains driving them. Mega corporations tout innovation as the key to succeeding and differentiating themselves–and high levels of creativity and innovation can only be achieved when morale is high.
The days where Human Resources was merely the disciplinary body, payroll and leave processing clerks, resume sifter, and team-building organizers are long gone. Welcome to the world of endless gray areas, ever evolving business challenges requiring a lot more than just business and technical knowledge to solve; baffling behavioural issues; performance management and the challenge of ensuring that success indicators used are relevant to the company’s business; people, morale, leadership and culture development. This is, in other words, and at a time where personal and professional aspects of our lives are so closely intertwined, a world of boundless opportunities to manage change and make a difference in people’s lives.
A successful HR professional today is one with a keen business acumen, working knowledge of all core processes, and insights into why people do what they do and how all that pans out in the culture of the organization to affect the bottom line. He or she needs to have the capability to influence, initiate, drive, and affect change when (or even before) change is necessary.
It is often said that the greatest problems and assets are one: people — and for today’s Human Resources professional, success is when the work he or she does, brings out the best in the organization and its people. Because the profession has evolved from being mere executors into precious enablers and catalysts for success.