Ronni Zehavi, CEO, Hibob, explores what it will take to be an HR superstar in 2020 – and explains why HR leaders will increasingly need to embrace and support agile working

As technology evolves at a rapid rate, it is increasingly influencing and evolving the HR function. Next year, we can expect automation to continue to replace many traditional roles and free up HR time to concentrate on long term, high-level tasks such as data-driven analysis of people’s job performance and strategising innovative ways to create an open and supportive culture. As a result, the HR professional will need to be ready to manage change without breaking a sweat – and four key skills will separate the HR superstars from the rest.

Firstly, HR teams will be increasingly relied on to build up their people’s hard and soft skills, prepare team members for organisational changes, and spearhead the streamlining of operations management, both within and between departments. It’ll therefore be vital for HR workers to understand where business, HR, and organisational operations connect within their company. The HR professional will also be responsible for mastering human resources information systems (HRIS) and educating their teams on how to use them to ensure that data is kept accurate and up-to-date

Importantly, the HR superstar will never stop learning. Organisational goals can often shift dramatically, so they should be passionate about staying current on evolving business goals and constantly fine-tuning their skill sets. As well as improving their own effectiveness, HR should strive to drive others to the top, whether that is through one-on-one conversations or group sessions. The best HR teams in 2020 will be those that use the data at their disposal to help people develop the skills that are most critical for their company to succeed.

With the workforce becoming more mobile, technologically-enabled, and diverse than ever before, the HR superstars will be those leaders who know how to hire, train, and retain talent that is able to cope with constant change.

Managing an agile workforce will be an essential skill

While agile working methods stemmed from software development, it’s no longer just technology companies and development teams that are adopting agile as a way of working. The next year will see even more businesses across a variety of industries shift towards an agile working model to enable them to remain relevant in an increasingly talent driven landscape. Agile working not only trusts its employees and cares about their wellbeing, but is simultaneously tied to strategic organisational goals. Ultimately, it allows companies to deepen their talent pool, accelerate productivity levels, streamline processes and keep people connected to the company for longer.

In the year ahead, then, it will be important that businesses put tools and processes in place to manage their agile workforce successfully. Communicating constantly will be crucial and making sure agile collaboration guidelines are established from the outset is essential. With this, implementing the appropriate technology tools to enable remote working will help strengthen a company’s collaboration culture and keep employees engaged. There are a variety of specialist platforms available, from chat apps to telepresence robots, which can be easily integrated with an organisation’s HR system that will help to reinforce the agile workforce culture.

Agile workers are most likely to feel empowered in a company that encourages autonomy as they are given a sense that they are doing something that matters. With this, focusing on personal growth should also be central and supporting workers to expand their skills will foster the mind-set that a job is much more than a pay check but a lifestyle choice.

There is no doubt that the uptake of agile working will continue to rise next year. When executed well, it will ensure that companies attract and retain their most important asset – their people. And by putting workers first and tapping into their desire for a better life, companies will not only help their people achieve a positive work-life balance but also boost long-term business results.