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Next in HR: 4 New Roles of HR in the Fourth Revolution

Strategic partner, change agent and creative people enabler. These are the 4 new roles of HR in the Fourth Revolution – here’s how to get a head and be part of Industry 4.0 today

Embracing technology. Rapid change adoption. And enhanced talent management. Welcome to HR Industry 4.0, as a new scientific study outlines the 4 new key roles of HR in the Fourth Revolution. Here’s how to ensure you’re part of the future of HR and people management.

QUICKLY: WHAT IS THE FOURTH REVOLUTION? 

Also called the Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0, the Fourth Revolution is the ongoing automation of traditional work, manufacturing and industry. And the key is how we will adapt to fully utilise it. For human resources and organisational management that means: How is your function going to change to enable your people to change and embrace the Fourth Revolution?

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(Note: It’s not still coming, it’s already here. As we saw from the impact of Covid-19 on HR.)

Now, a new scientific study in South Africa looks at how HR must adapt in Industry 4.0. And proposes 4 new key roles of HR in the Fourth Revolution.

ABOUT THE STUDY: THE ROLES & PURPOSE OF HR IN INDUSTRY 4.0

Researchers at the University of Johannesburg set out to explore the new roles of HR professionals in navigating the Fourth Industrial Revolution in Dhanpat et al’s “Industry 4.0: The role of human resource professionals”, published in the SA Journal of Human Resource Management in May 2020 – see it here

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They interviewed a group of professionals in the industry and used a specific analysis method to extract 7 key themes out of the interviews. The team then grouped these into 4 key new roles for HR in the Fourth Revolution. It can be used as a guide for what HR pros and managers could (and should) expect to be focusing on, or maybe even upskilling yourself to, in the seemingly immediate future.

FINDINGS: 4 NEW ROLES OF HR IN INDUSTRY 4.0

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1. STRATEGIC PARTNER

The days where HR was just another business function that may or may not have had a seat at the executive table is over. The new study suggest that HR now become more strategic, guiding organisations by:

  • Embracing an implementing technology
  • Finding and implementing new ways of work
  • Driving automation
  • Enabling rapid change through HR agility

2. AN AGENT OF CHANGE

HR’s responsibility for driving and managing change in organisations just became way more crucial. Expect to be asked to:

  • Help navigate uncertainties
  • Advise and roll out plans to help companies adapt to change

3. PEOPLE ENABLER

Your role in enabling people (and yourself) just became much more valuable. Expect to:

  • Lead the digitisation of work
  • Take responsibility for reskilling employees
  • And change the way you deliver your own HR work

4. CREATIVE INNOVATOR

It might feel like a new hat to some, but the future demands that HR now start leading in innovation:

  • Creative new or improve existing systems
  • Enhance talent management for the new era
  • Innovate in your own field: Create a new way for HR to work

In short, HR is absolutely vital for companies to thrive in the Fourth Revolution. With uncertainties like job losses and re-skilling on the cards, HR will be vital to put a company’s human capital at ease and equip them with the skills they need to thrive.

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But to do that, HRs will need to take the lead right now by equipping themselves with the skills they need, and change their roles themselves, starting today.

WHAT CAN YOU & YOUR COMPANY DO?

To adapt and fully equip yourself for the new role of HR in the Fourth Revolution, consider these options:

UNDERSTAND YOUR NEW ROLE

One of the most trusted methods in the world to grasp your own role and build towards a new role in the future is understanding your own strengths. If you’re not familiar with Clifton Strengths, discover the full list of Gallup Strengths and contact a professional to help guide you.

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You can organise a 45-minute online Strengths session right now by clicking the button below. Clicking will allow you to set a time and date, and a Strengths expert will contact you and help guide you to use strengths to understand and define your own role.

HELP YOUR PEOPLE UNDERSTAND THEIR NEW ROLES

At the same time, Strengths is a way to understand and develop your people’s roles. LifeXchange Solutions do that professionally through our organisational strengths-based development

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Again, here you can either contact us to talk about strengths and your people or use the below button to schedule a strengths session with an expert right now.

KEEP UP WITH HR TECH

It’s more important than ever to keep up with what’s available and how you can use it to manage things like people working remotely and flexi work. From one aspect, it’s becoming extremely important to help your people manage their time and productivity themselves. For help with this, discover our new self-management course.

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Also, we try to keep your updated with the latest news and insights affecting HR. So please keep an eye on our HR News and get the 7-day update with what’s new in HR This Week.

INVEST IN UNDERSTANDING CHANGE-MANAGEMENT

There’s a lot of complex things behind human behaviour. We look at the neuroscience that affects people and business through neuromanagement. And, one of the key things we’ve found is that management and HR too often overlook the extent of applying even a small change can have on their people. Even changing software can have huge repercussions for your employee performance and engagement.

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That’s why we help organisations navigate change. Through neuromanagement workshops for the whole company, to management training and complete 4IR organisational development, we basically help companies become more resilient. We’re a change management company, and if you need help understanding and facilitating change, talk to us.

It might also be worthwhile investing your human capital by learning to truly understand your company culture.

CONNECT WITH OTHER HRs ON YOUR JOURNEY

If you haven’t done so already, have a look at our new LinkedIn Group on building productive teams. We’ve just started it to create a platform for managers and HR to be able to share ideas and help and guide each other on the journey through the Fourth Revolution. You’re welcome to join it here.

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What’s your strategy for staying relevant and engaged in the Fourth Revolution? Let us know.


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Get 10X performance skills at a special price right now: We’ve just launched a brand-new online self-management course.

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See the difference in your performance management with strengths and our next-level strengths-based development and advanced organisational development.

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Plus: Check out all this year’s upcoming management and HR webinars.

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