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ATLANTA--No one can predict the rapidly changing future, but Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Board Chair Jose Berrios sees four keys to preparing for it and maximizing the influence and success of the HR profession.
“When I think about the future of HR, I think about four things—all ending in ‘y’: diversity, mobility, technology and adaptability,” Berrios said here during the June 25 general session at the SHRM 2012 Annual Conference. “I can promise that together—if we embrace technology, if we understand mobility, if we are passionate in the pursuit of diversity and if we are adaptable—we will pass along a stronger, smarter, better profession to the next generation.
“The real game-changers today are the ones who can make diversity a source of strength and a source of progress.” He said a recent study of 250 U.S. companies that compared various levels of diversity to overall business performance “found what all of us already know—that with every successive level of increased diversity, companies did better on all measures of business performance. Creativity increases, productivity increases, attitudes improve, and new solutions to difficult problems are found.”
While mobility in a global economy has long referred to movement of goods and services, “the quality that will most define work in the 21st century is the free movement of talent,” Berrios said. “The global competition for talent will be even more fierce than it is today. … The work we all do in finding talent is central to the growth and prosperity of every organization and every nation’s economy.”
In the area of technology, Berrios noted that people are increasingly finding jobs through networks, not resumes. And he described technology being tested that uses Twitter-like developments to send people tweets about how they’re doing in real time. The tweets can be saved electronically and reviewed with employees at year-end, making performance reviews easier and more effective.
As an example of adaptability, Berrios cited changes General Motors had to make as it came out of bankruptcy. “The company knew that in order to survive, their business had to become more adaptable. And so GM decided the best way to do that would be to put HR in charge of leading that change,” he said.
These four modern dynamics illustrate “why our focus at SHRM is on HR leading business results. Only we can lead and manage the changing global workforce. … SHRM’s job and our promise is to provide the strategies and information you need to drive business results on issues of diversity, mobility, technology and adaptability.
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