The Changing World of Human Resources

The Changing World of Human Resources

Why Great Workplaces are Increasingly Shifting their Focus to People

There has been a notable shift in the way organizations define their human resource functions. Increasingly, we see departments like "People Services" or "People Operations." Human Resource executives have titles such as "Chief People Officer" and "Vice President of People" and we see entire departments focused on analyzing an organization's people. The way traditional HR works is changing, and no matter what organizations call it, one thing is clear: people are at the center.

The Case for People-Focused HR

At Great Place to Work® we interact with these "people" functions in our client organizations on a regular basis and we know that these departments have significant power to change organizational culture. Through our experience we see that companies that find success in cultural change initiatives use a few common tactics:

  • Align executives around the initiative and integrate business objectives
  • Establish a core team to manage the initiative
  • Align HR practices around the vision of an ideal culture
  • Involve leaders and employees at all levels in looking for solutions
  • Prioritize strategic communication, using face-to-face as much as possible
  • Define and celebrate success

While these tactics are effective, they are certainly not easy. Organizations need champions for change, and those champions are often found in HR. HR groups facilitate culture change in some of the most successful organizations, and those who do it well are those groups that are focused first and foremost on people. HR departments who see people as both their key asset and their key responsibility know that culture is the common denominator. Great cultures bring in great people, and if they are cultures that can sustain greatness, they will keep great people too.

Recently, Deloitte released their report on trends in global human capital. The annual study compiles data from surveys of more than 3,300 HR and business leaders around the world, and identifies major trends. As highlighted in a recent Great Place to Work® blog post about the report's findings, culture and engagement are ranked as the top issues organizations face when competing for talent. What was once considered the "soft" side of business has now become an urgent priority for many organizations. Organizations that can attract and retain the best people are making significant business strides, whereas those who cannot are falling behind. This is where people-focused HR departments that prioritize and lead culture change initiatives are helping their companies succeed in big ways.

Learn from Transformative People Functions at Recognized Best Companies

This year's Great Place to Work® Conference will feature several breakout sessions that highlight the importance of transformative people services and the impacts they have on great workplaces. Even just glancing at the list of sessions shows many people-focused topics, but there are many that focus on specific ways in which the best companies serve their people and how they frame people as their biggest asset. Some particular sessions of interest include:

  • The Future of Work: Creating the Ultimate Employee Experience – Cisco

    This workshop will cover the role that Human Resources plays at Cisco, driving the company's overall transformation, leading organizational strategy, elevating team performance and ensuring employee development. Cisco's new People Strategy focuses on what the organization can do for employees, and what those well-served employees can then do for the organization.

  • Building Leaders Who Build the Future – PwC

    PwC knows that people are at the heart of their success, which is why building a great employee experience is a top priority for the firm. PwC cultivates organizational leaders through a focus on a style of leadership development that emphasizes frequent feedback, and real time learning. Through this framework, PwC invests in their people, increases their talent pipeline, and better prepares the organization to meet the challenges of the future.

  • Disrupt Everything: Use Culture, Technology and Analytics to Win the War for Talent – knows that hiring top talent and keeping them engaged is challenging, and they know that the old way of doing things just won't cut it anymore. This is why Global HR Operations at has transformed the way they use modern technology and analytics to better understand and engage their people. With the help of new and innovative tools they are strengthening their culture and improving life for their people every day.

Register today for the 2015 Great Place to Work® Conference in Dallas, TX on April 22-23!