Why Organizations Must Take a More Modern Approach to HR


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In recent years, employee expectations have evolved in line with global, social and political events. In fact, despite the current market conditions, 40% of Americans plan to look for a new job this year while looking for employers that prioritize flexibility and culture while also valuing creativity, talent and hard work. To keep up with these expectations, HR leaders must redesign the HR function with a people-centric approach that includes:

Traditional HR departments cannot handle these changes alone, but a modern HR approach can. And People Operations is the next frontier of what modern human resources looks like. All organizations need strong human operations Build on traditional HR tasks such as compliance and policies by incorporating forward-thinking initiatives that are people-centric and support a data-driven approach to the employee experience.

Related: 6 steps your HR team can take to step out of the dark ages

HR: function vs. action

Over 35% of employees believe that HR’s primary role is to advocate for the organization – not its employees. Why? Because when it comes to employees, the traditional HR function is reactive, not proactive. For example, when an employee asks a question about a benefit or a policy, an HR manager often provides an answer straight from the manual. Or when an employee resigns, HR opens a requisition, posts the requisition, and works on hiring for that position.

Modern HR processes require a system of action, not just the existing framework for assembling and reviewing data. A strong HR department doesn’t sit in the background asking if they’re compliant — they ask questions designed to move an organization forward. A modern people team strengthens its entire organization through:

  • Pre-emptive assessment of employee onboarding, training, performance evaluation and compensation needs.

  • Close cooperation with finance teams

  • Implementation of training courses and information events on new services and vacancies

  • Providing real-time access to personal data

  • Facilitate connection and collaboration at all levels of the organization

  • Proactively recruiting and hiring people based on an organization’s business goals

  • Implementing informed, strategic and equitable HR practices

All of these responsibilities revolve around a common theme: putting people first.

People Operations: The new HR

Only every fourth worker say their HR managers are good at aligning their needs with those of their organization. This is due to the reliance on the historical HR approach, which focuses on compliance and back-office tasks. HR teams need to evolve. This starts with them embracing their role as People Operations and adopting a modern, people-centric approach to HR. Adopting the People Operations principles will help build employee trust by relying on these six attributes.

1. Visibility of Personal Data

Leaders should start by asking themselves, “How will all my employees access the information they need to make informed decisions?” HR leaders need to break down people data silos to give employees at every level visibility (e.g. where Joe from tech works) and can take action (e.g. update their address) without being dependent on the HR team. Traditional, siled solutions don’t tell the full story because the data isn’t stored in the same place and not everyone has access to it. Organizations should instead adopt a people operations platform to provide a single source of unified truth across the organization.

Even better, managing and storing personal information in one place has a positive impact across the organization. Executives can strategize more efficiently and effectively, and track metrics such as DEIB, forecasts, and employee retention over time. At the same time, managers are able to make decisions faster, more consciously and with less bias. And employees can access the information they need to feel connected to their organization—such as org charts, employee rosters, and employee personal information.

Related topics: Are your employees satisfied with the support you provide?


Over 90% of US workers want companies to commit to DEIB efforts. However, we know that DEIB is still an area where employees feel like their employers is missing. A people operations platform can help people leaders improve DEIB programs by gleaning data-driven insights from across the organization. Armed with the right data, companies can track and measure DEIB targets over time. However, it’s not enough to just track your HR data – employees need their leaders to take action.

Leaders can mobilize by engaging employees to develop DEIB initiatives that matter to them. For example, leaders can organize employee workshops to create plans, analyze data, and design support systems such as employee resource groups. Workshops, such as inviting subject matter experts to organization-wide meetings, drive DEIB initiatives and provide a safe space for conversations about past, current and future experiences.

3. Education

To maintain an employee-centric culture, organizations must invest in the growth of their employees. Almost 95% of people say they would stay in their role longer if their organization invested in learning and development opportunities.

It is no longer enough to offer a learning and development grant – managers need to provide guidance for their employees How to take advantage of this type. First, create a list of recommended programs, courses, and resources by department. Encourage your HR team to have regular learning and development meetings with department heads to ensure employees take advantage of these opportunities.

Alternatively, you can build this programming into required meetings. For example, host a leadership training class that runs periodically throughout the year and encourage follow-up discussions between managerial teams (e.g. create a “management” Slack channel to facilitate these conversations). Both options create a ‘standard’ so employees know exactly how to benefit from learning and development opportunities and know that their company is investing in their growth.

4. Ongoing Feedback

The annual review no longer meets the expectations of the employees. Instead, employees want continuous performance management from their management. Over 55% of employees believe that annual reviews have less impact on their performance than more regular, consistent constructive criticism and positive feedback.

Organizations should conduct regularly scheduled reviews, occurring at least twice a year or quarterly. More frequent conversations allow managers to:

  • Fix minor problems before they escalate into bigger problems

  • Identify and fix your employees’ weaknesses

  • Recognize accomplishments

While continuous performance management will vary from company to company, managers must always maintain consistent communication to foster trust and alignment with their employees and better support team success.

Related Topics: How HR professionals can effectively balance the needs of employees and the business

5. Transparency

What is the trust between employee and employer based on? Transparency. Employees need transparency from their managers And their leaders. While many HR teams have taken steps to move from compliance officers to employee representatives, People still lack trust in HR Function. To promote transparency, HR leaders should formalize internal communications through scheduled check-ins and meetings, signaling their commitment to the culture and trust in the workplace.

Employees may lack confidence in their leaders struggle to stay engaged or feel a sense of belonging. Nearly 65% of employees say that trust has a direct impact on their sense of belonging at work. When leaders embrace honesty and authenticity about organizational goals and change, their teams feel supported, prepared, and respected.

6. Flexibility with responsibility

In a culture that puts people first, HR leaders value a healthy work-life balance. When employees have time to take care of their physical, mental and emotional health, they arrive at work feeling at their best and supported.

To help employees achieve a healthy work-life balance, companies should move away from the traditional 9am-5pm schedule. Instead of tracking time spent online, companies should track progress based on scores and results. A people operations platform helps leaders set fair, clear, and measurable performance goals, even when employees have “flexible” days every two weeks. Leaders need to focus on the outcomes of those goals to influence performance management.

People Operations is the new HR department, and HR must adapt to the new normal of today’s workplace. Organizations should not jettison traditional HR practices, but instead adopt a more modern HR approach based on people-centric initiatives and outcomes.

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