How Do We Prepare Our HR Departments For The Beyond?

21st-century human resources is boldly going where no one has gone before.

At the beginning of every episode of Star Trek, Captain James T. Kirk or Captain Jean-Luc Picard
would proclaim a mission statement.

Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its continuing mission,
to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilisations. To boldly go where no
one has gone before!

This, in essence, is what Human Resources is in the 21st-century. An HR professional is in effect, a
Starfleet Captain, boldly steering the ship past new threats and challenges, on a mission to
improve job satisfaction and company success, while breaking new ground and adapting to the
ever-changing needs of corporations. They might even encounter an alien being or two in their

This is because a 21st-century company has to be employee-centric in order to stay relevant and
push the boundaries of the industry. After all, it’s great people that make a great company.
Talent is now a white-hot commodity in the universal marketplace and individuals have more power to
knowingly influence the culture of a company than ever before. This has resulted in a much need
transformation of corporate human resources teams who are now forced to navigate new technologies,
manage employee expectations and ensure that the organisation has a productive and happy workforce
– and doing so without a skin-tight, brightly coloured leotard.

The human resources department of the 21st-century will favour specialisation over a generalised,
one-size-fits-all approach to workforce management.

The human resources department of the 21st-century will favour specialisation over a generalised,
one-size-fits-all approach to workforce management. The responsibilities that fall onto the plate
of a Chief Human Resources Officer and his or her small “jack-of-all-trades” team will now be
spread out across a functionally diverse stack of specialists.

So what roles will fill the Starship that is 21st-century HR department?

Manager of Employee Engagement
Organisations are realising that a two-way conversation between leadership and teams is far more
engaging than a one-way dialogue, and are beginning to move away from the dry print-out
review process that dictated how we measure and assess employee performance, happiness, and
engagement. Because of modern employee engagement software,
teams can have more ongoing
and dynamic discussions about their job performance and no longer have to rely on rigid 6 or 12
month review cycles.

Director of Learning
Dynamic companies constantly level up the workforce through training and skills development.
Technology will change, processes will change; and more importantly, customers will change.

A Director of Learning will be a crucial role in the ongoing education of the workforce. This role
will require someone who understands the adult learning process, and will be key for designing
voluntary or mandatory training programs. Directors of learning will be responsible for bridging
virtual and in-person training sessions and exercises; produce content that will be consumed by
program participants; champion the program across the organisation, and ensure that tangible
behavioural changes take place across the company.

Diversity Officer
Studies prove that a diverse workforce results in a prosperous company. Diversity Officers will be
responsible for ensuring that the workforce is made up of talented individuals from many walks of
life. The Diversity Officer will work closely work with the Director of Learning and Employee
Engagement Manager to craft inclusion training programs that will foster understanding between
many different types of people and teams.

Mindset Coach
An overworked workforce is an unhappy workforce. A proper wellness program will include work-
life balance processes, stress management and therapy programs, and facilitating an open
dialogue around mental health and illness to remove much of the stigma that plagues the
conversation and ailments.

Talent and Repertoire Manager
Sports franchises and the entertainment industry have long benefitted from internal scouts with an
eye for great people. Companies should enjoy the same. A Talent and Repertoire Manager can be
the eyes and ears on the ground for specific industries, with a great relationship with top
recruitment firms, and incubators, ecosystems or industry communities. They will also navigate
transformative trends in the talent marketplace–salary expectations, hot skillsets, and prospect
track records–that will be crucial to the competitive offers an organisation may submit to potential

With a fully stocked team of professionals to work with, 21st-century HR managers will indeed feel
like they are on the bridge of their starship, bravely pushing forward to overcome the challenges
and reap the rewards that lay ahead in time and space.

To learn how to get your HR departments ready for the future, visit us at Accendo.


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