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HR Has Growing Pains Too

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Evan Rodd, PayScale

I recently made a life decision that is both scary, and exciting: I have taken the plunge and re-entered academia after some time away. When I was younger, I was on track to earn a degree, but my focus was fuzzy and I felt uncertain of the path I wanted to take. Had I stuck to my school guns, I would have probably pursued a BA in music, or an arts-based field. I don’t mean to bemoan these career paths, but given my current interests and ambitions, I’m glad I made the decision to wait to go to school.

I was in a period of transitions—as I began to explore various career options, I was fortunate to have the guidance of many different mentors. Through their advice and past experiences I have found the necessary skills to help shape a career path that feels right. How lucky I was to have such positive influence during my personal evolution. Honoring our individual paths gives us the ability and knowledge to work better cooperatively. One person simply cannot have all the answers, and we must recognize our individual strengths and weakness in order to achieve collective success.

I wonder where I would be now if I hadn’t been surrounded by so much encouraging guidance? What if my mentors had shamed me for straying from the path chosen by many? What if that advice and encouragement had never existed? Would I be the person I am today? Would I be on the same path towards career enrichment? Transition is scary, because the end result isn’t instantaneous. It takes times to reach our goals, and sometimes the journey from point A to point B isn’t as cut and dry as we are lead to believe.

What's This Have to do With Human Resources?

Despite the many valuable functions of HR, it still receives quite a bit of criticism in the business world. It has been labeled inefficient, bureaucratic, and even unnecessary. Some say that HR doesn’t contribute to success, or add value to an organization. Why is this?

HR and the surrounding profession is, much like myself, in a period of transition. HR managers have realized that responsibility of talent management and employment needs to be a collective effort, involving managers as well. HR is there to help, and provide tools, but it can’t do all the work alone. In an age where the pace of rapidly changing technology greatly influences the pace of business, who is to say HR doesn’t experience the need for growth as well?

Many companies are working to bring their HR departments into the 21st century by implementing new technology and systems that streamline the HR process, offering better talent management and data. Designing a compensation structure takes time, and while advancements in technology have made this easier, but this type of development cannot happen overnight.

Successful companies have also seen HR and management working side by side more than ever, sharing common goals and allowing management to focus on developing company culture while creating more open door policies across all departments. It is naïve to think that all areas of a company will develop at the same pace, especially when implementing new systems and procedures. This may very well be the year we see greater advancements in HR technology than ever before. As wages increase across various industries, the methods used to retain and develop talent will improve as well. As duties are re-examined and re-distributed, there can be more room for creative strategy and problem solving. This is a very exciting time, indeed.

Time will tell what the future holds for the progress of HR, so make sure to arm yourself with a wide variety of knowledge, data, and tools. Encourage development and collaboration, and success will surely come quickly. Maintain a positive outlook, and listen to the advice of others when necessary. This will not only contribute to your own achievements, but the future success of your company. 

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