What is HR’s new operating model?

Organizations are transforming at an unprecedented pace and Human Resources (HR) sits at the center of navigating this upheaval, which is creating a need to transform to a new level of adaptability and responsibility, argues McKinsey & Company in a new article.

McKinsey experts summed up its new approach: “HR plays a central role in navigating this upheaval, creating a need for the function to rise to a new level of adaptability and responsibility. While every organization has its own trajectory and HR operating model, our interviews with senior leaders revealed that organizations are innovating in ways that are collectively changing the HR function from the “classic Ulrich model”

According to their survey, the key trends concerning HR are as follows:

  1. Adopt agile principles to ensure both strict prioritization of HR’s existing capacity and swift reallocation of resources when needed, enabling a fundamentally faster rate of change in the business and with people and how they work.
  2. Excel along the employee experience (EX) journey to win the race for talent in the time of the Great Attrition, enabling both employee health and resilience.
  3. Re-empower frontline leaders in the business to create human-centric interactions, reduce complexity, and put decision rights (back) where they belong.
  4. Offer individualized HR services to address increasingly varied expectations of personalization.
  5. Productize’ HR services to build fit-for-purpose offerings with the needs of the business in mind, and to enable end-to-end responsibility for those services through cross-functional product owner teams in HR.
  6. Integrate design and delivery with end-to-end accountability to effectively address strategic HR priorities, reduce back-and-forth, and clarify ownership.
  7. Move from process excellence to data excellence to tap into novel sources of decision making using artificial intelligence and machine learning.
  8. Automate HR solutions to drive efficiency and capitalize on the power of digitalization in HR.


Source: McKinsey

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