In my previous post, I wrote about how HR organizations are stepping up to be senior partners in banks’ and insurers’ digital transformation. Here, one of the most valuable roles the HR organization can play is in helping the enterprise and its workforce to build the resilience to change demanded by the shift to a digital world.

But to fulfil this role, HR organizations themselves need to change how they think about change. Over the next decade, the HR function promises to evolve in ways that are more dramatic than the changes HR organizations went through in the half century before. They need to prepare themselves for the lines between business and people management systems to blur, wiping away functional silos within HR and perhaps even HR as a standalone entity.

As talent management becomes integrated into other business processes, rigid functional boundaries between talent management processes may no longer continue to make sense.  People working in function such as recruiting, compensation and benefits, training and development, and career development may see their roles change drastically in the years to come.

HR organizations may become primarily coaches and educators for line managers, or their main role might be to support the organization with the data it needs to optimize performance management. Getting HR professionals ready for change is the key to making a positive transition—especially bearing in mind that change will be a constant as new digital technologies keep coming to the fore.

To cope and thrive in the digital age, HR organizations must become change-fit. This means continually building change capability into the heart of the organization, leaving HR professionals people in good shape to achieve and sustain high performance over the long haul. Rather than thinking of change as a big-ticket project, HR organizations need to think of it as business as usual.

They must gear themselves up to manage numerous change initiatives simultaneously, ensuring that they systematically build their change capabilities. A good starting point is to look at what sort of HR organization the enterprise will need to support its business in the years to come and what changes this might demand.

The HR organization should also evaluate its own capacity and capability to manage change. If necessary, it might need to attract more change talent to help manage its change portfolio. And it should also ensure it has the right tools, methods, governance, data and reporting to drive and de-risk change programs.

In my next post, a closer look at how IT for the HR organization is evolving and the IT skills HR professionals will need in the future.

To learn more, read: Digital Radically Disrupts HR: Digital technology is transforming how people work—demanding a fundamentally different HR strategy

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