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The world of work is evolving, and so too are the competencies required to drive effective Human Resources (HR) practice. No longer are HR professionals solely tasked with hiring and firing, but instead they’re at the forefront of culture-building, employee engagement, and strategic planning. This shift requires a fresh perspective and updated capabilities. So, how can we upgrade our HR professionals to better align with these expectations?

Embracing the Power of Emotional Intelligence

An HR professional with emotional intelligence (EQ) is like a ship’s captain who can navigate choppy waters with grace. EQ involves the ability to recognize and manage your own emotions, while understanding, and influencing the emotions of others. It’s what enables HR to mediate conflicts, lead change effectively, and foster a supportive, inclusive company culture. Prioritizing EQ in your HR team’s development plan can go a long way in establishing trust and facilitating more effective communication throughout your organization.

Strategic Thinking: Connecting People and Business

It’s crucial that your HR team can think strategically, aligning people strategies with business objectives. HR professionals need to understand your business inside and out, grasp how various functions interconnect, and visualize the impact of HR decisions on the broader organization. Training in strategic thinking helps HR to see the big picture, enabling them to design and implement initiatives that serve both employees’ needs and business goals.

Data Literacy: Making Informed Decisions

In an age of big data, HR professionals must be data-literate. This involves more than merely knowing how to read data. It’s about understanding which data are relevant, how to analyze them, and how to apply insights in decision-making. A data-literate HR professional can identify trends, forecast future needs, and provide evidence-based recommendations. Ensure your HR team has access to relevant data training and tools to elevate their strategic input.

Adaptability: The Key to Future-Proofing HR

The rate of change in the business world is accelerating. Consequently, adaptability has become a must-have HR competency. Adaptable HR professionals can pivot quickly, handle unforeseen circumstances, and embrace new ways of working. They are ready to learn, unlearn, and relearn as needed. Developing adaptability within your HR team fosters resilience and agility, ensuring they’re prepared for whatever comes their way.

Cultivating a Culture of Continuous Learning

Competencies don’t improve overnight, they develop over time through continuous learning. Foster a learning environment that encourages ongoing development. This might include investing in training programs, setting individualized learning goals, or providing access to online courses and resources. By promoting continuous learning, you create an environment where HR professionals feel empowered to grow, adapt, and ultimately drive business success.

In conclusion, it’s clear that the HR profession is changing, requiring an upgrade in the competencies we prioritize. By focusing on emotional intelligence, strategic thinking, data literacy, adaptability, and continuous learning, we can empower our HR teams to rise to the challenges of the modern workplace. In doing so, we ensure they continue to serve as the strategic partners our businesses need to thrive in an ever-changing landscape.

I hope this article has provided you with valuable insights and practical tips on how to upgrade your HR department. 

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Inscape Consulting Group
Greg Nichvalodoff, BSc. BM (Honors), MBA, PCC, CMC
Office: 604.943.0800
Mobile: 604.831.4734