HR is having a moment – here’s how to make it last

As the Royal Family’s HR department hits the headlines, the value of the function once again takes centre stage. It’s time vendors take advantage and help move it from backseat to boardroom.

If your business was a family in crisis, you’d want all the support you could get. And with the most famous ‘firm’ in the world in the spotlight for an alleged lack of due diligence to their members, we’re once again reminded how valuable HR is when times are tough.

Studies show that since the pandemic, HR has increased its value in the eyes of business. And with good reason. In 2021, mental health is front and centre. Diversity matters. And thanks to a huge shift to remote working, businesses need help with employee satisfaction. Software providers now have an opportunity to be the remedy.

Forbes has cited ‘greater emphasis on human capital’ as one of the top 10 governance trends for boards in 2021. Although this sounds transactional, it points to a desire to put people over process, talent management over resources, and engagement over retention.

With a myriad of HR and wellbeing software vendors popping up to support these endeavours, what can providers do to take advantage of HR in the hot seat?

Tap into a moment of public scrutiny

More than ever, organisations are being open and honest about the need to be more diverse and inclusive, and are actively looking for ways to make this happen. Boards are admitting their prior efforts have fallen short, and solutions to help bridge this disparity for the long-term are being welcomed.

However, fewer than two in five HR leaders say their workforce can effectively change direction based on changing needs or priorities. That’s worryingly low for a period of intense uncertainty.

HR vendors have an opportunity here to offer organisations a solution. Whether it’s tools to help leaders navigate a crisis or products focused on wellbeing, now is the time for providers to tailor their offering to the current moment. And with less than half of employees saying they can trust their organisation’s leaders during a period of unrest, they’ll be wanting to act sooner rather than later. Just ask Queen Elizabeth II.

Build their brand

Now that boards are more engaged, HR leaders are looking to branch out and build their brand among the C-suite. HR’s role has become more strategic and focused on wellbeing during the pandemic, with many employees seeing a substantial change.

As a function, there’s a huge opportunity to show they’ve been responsive enough to maintain a happy, productive workforce – which ultimately helps a business’s bottom line. But aside from crunching numbers, how can HR software providers prove their worth? Influencer marketing could be a great way to do this, and with over half of B2B marketers saying influencer content outperforms their own brand content, there is a case for this relatively untapped strategy.

Talk to the issue

Wellbeing fads such as standing desks and office dogs no longer cut it when it comes to employee satisfaction. In 2020, 26% of employees said work had a negative impact on their mental health, and organisations are looking for strategic guidance on what to do next.

With less than half of employees being given adequate information about returning to work, there’s a huge gap to be addressed by HR and innovative tools. While most workers are satisfied with their organisation’s response during the pandemic, there is clearly room for improvement, and HR vendors can be the ones to address it.

Make a case for change

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(Photo by Arthur Mazi on Unsplash)

One of the biggest surprises to come out of that Meghan and Harry interview is that the Royal Family has an HR department. But perhaps less surprisingly, it doesn’t seem to be working. While B2B organisations might not function like centuries’ old dynasties, it’s an example of why adapting during times of trouble is important.

HR software providers need to position themselves as the tool to overcome HR inertia, and show that improvements can be made easily. Content such as case studies, migration plans and genuine advice will stand them in good stead for companies on the lookout for help, as well as convincing those who aren’t that they might soon need it.

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(Photo by Arthur Mazi on Unsplash)