The future of HR must be one of expanded focus and extended influence: expanding its focus to encompass the entirety of work and the workforce, and extending its sphere of influence to the enterprise and business ecosystem as a whole.
Out of all the chapters we drafted this year, we were most excited and, frankly, most nervous about this one. Over the past decade of our Global Human Capital Trends report, we have been prolific in our writing about HR. In fact, in looking back, we have written at least 13 distinct chapters on the topic, not including the calls to action for HR that we have embedded elsewhere. Our passion for this topic has resulted in us using words ranging from “transformation” to “reinvention” and even “revolution” as we started to ponder the impact that digital technologies could have on the function. But fundamentally, our consistent focus has been on what HR needed to do to meet the evolving needs of the business—recognizing that HR has always been more than a back-office function, but rather a core piece of the organizational fabric, one with the ability to influence the most powerful asset of any organization: its people.