HR needs to re-invent to add biz value by building workforce for digital future: Report

·2-min read

Mumbai, Nov 20 (PTI) Even as work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic raised functions and visibility of human resources in the organisations, most executives continued to question HR's strategic value to the companies, according to a report.

The immediate impacts of COVID-19 and the staging for massive remote work raised the HR function's visibility and contribution to the business as more than 80 per cent of CEOs say HR has played a leading role in responding to COVID-19, KPMG said in a report titled 'The Future of HR in the New Reality'.

While the C-suite depended on HR to rally the workforce through the urgent pandemic disruption, true long-term value lied in the ability to drive performance across the enterprise, getting the most from people, data and technology, it added.

However, the report found that most executives continued to question HR's strategic value to the organsation with 60 per cent of the CEOs and executive vice-presidents (EVPs) surveyed saying that their organisations consider HR to be an 'administrator' rather than a value driver.

This disconnect between HR and the C-suite shows that HR needs to be bolder in proving its strategic worth to senior decision makers, the report added.

The KPMG report is based on a survey among 1,288 HR executives from 59 countries, including in India, and territories with majority representation from the largest economies in the world.

The survey was conducted in July and August among HR executives operating in 31 industries, including asset management, automotive, banking, consumer and retail, energy, healthcare, insurance, life sciences, manufacturing, technology, and telecommunications.

KPMG in India Partner and Head (People and Change) Vishalli Dongrie said the pandemic made people the number one priority for organisations around the world.

'As a result, HR emerged as a critical business partner and was brought to the forefront to guide the organisation in managing its workforce, which faced a sudden and dramatic change in working circumstances,' she said.

Dongrie added that the impediments to physical connect made remote working a mandate, which challenged many pre-existing paradigms pertaining to driving workforce engagement and performance.

Businesses around the world were compelled to become more digital to ensure their workforce remains connected and productive.

To help organisations maneuver an economic downturn, HR had to wear its strategic hat and partner in business decision-making, keeping people at the core and pivoting on evolving financial imperatives, she added.

'HR functions need to bring lasting business value by building the workforce needed to compete in a digital future and driving performance across the enterprise by getting the most from people and technology,' she added.

The report said the pandemic has amplified many of the challenges already facing the organisations and has also exposed the need for workforce re-skilling, maintaining positive employee experiences, and accelerating digital transformation. PTI SM HRS