Human Resources in Today’s Work Environment


There are different types of pressures or challenges facing companies in the current world. These include environmental issues such as technological changes, globalization increase, high competition; changes in the organization that includes new hierarchies and structures, new approaches to assigning work, organizational alliances, and work force change that include staff capabilities, demographic issues and priorities (Hashim 2012). These are examples of some different challenges facing the human resource; therefore, it is significant to the human resource management to carry critically its role in assisting the organization to withstand the pressure. For human resource to enhance its function effectively, it will be required to increase its role and value.

Changes in human resource

Human resource services have evolved over the decades, from being in the representation of “personal” to being a description of “human resource”.   For instance, the acknowledgment of the employee value as a valuable resource within the organization was a significant movement that led to the removal of some minor aspects associated with personal, bureaucratic and slow departments (Center for Business 2014). The changes from individual human resource enhanced to the introduction of human resource in becoming strategic management with the organizational leaders to contribute towards active and critical transitions, develop practical decisions and add value to the employees.

Implication of human resource role and today’s environment

“Human resource champions: The next agenda for adding Value and delivering results”  is a book that was developed by Ulrich David and argues that human resource functions must be in a position to meet different competitive aspects that the organization faces currently and in the future (Ulrich 2013). Ulrich illustrated different approaches towards delivering human resource capacity that meets both the needs of the employer and the employees and human resource positions that initiate useful contribution towards the future success of the organization (Ulrich 2013). He applies the aspects of outcomes or deliverables whereby the human resource is accounted responsible for administrative efficiency, strategy execution, change capabilities and employee contribution. In defining this issue, he further illustrates four significant human resource functions that enhance organizational effectiveness. These features include, strategic planner in a position to work and align business strategy and human resource. Human resource as an Expert in administration and in a position to improve all the processes involved in the organization and deliver effective human resource services. As a champion of the employee by responding and listening to all the needs of the employees and finally, as an agent of change capable to manage the processes of change and increase organizational effectiveness. The fundamental aspect that Ulrich tries to explain involves the approaches that the human resource needs to apply to deliver efficiency and value to the organization instead of shifting concentration from one place to another.

Johnson (1997) provides a significant experience in the search for good human resource managers and states that the group needs to possess the capabilities of strategic thinking, development of actual business partners and in a position to acknowledge the pressures facing the organization in the current world situation. Johnson states that many CEO requests for a manager who is not capable of handling the human resource roles within the changes of the current world. This approach illustrates that including the human resource functions as the “usual business role” does not provide an account of the organizations preparation in meeting different challenges in today’s market.

As a result of the changes in the work environment; defining the shifts to new and significant human resource functions will lead to the development of different challenges. On the other hand, there are important initiatives that can increase the effectiveness of the human resource despite the changes in the work environment and they include the following factors.

Strong leadership skills in human resource

Possession of strong leadership abilities by the human resource manager is a significant factor. In this case, as a result of the efforts of change, the leader is in a position to develop a compelling vision, share the vision with other employees, motivate them and finally assist them to work toward the vision achievement.  Therefore, for the function of the human resource to change, it is significant for the manager to work with both the organizational leaders and human resource group in reshaping all the corporate employee and managers on the expectations of what can be delivered by the human resource (Center for Business 2014). The changes effectiveness depends on the ability and development of the human resource in meeting the needs of the organization.

Creativity and flexibility

Creativity and flexibility are other significant factors, and this involves the human resource to be effective in enhancing creative measures and becoming flexible as a result of the changes. It needs to be responsive to the needs of the organization as well as the needs of the changes (Hashim 2012). In this case, responsiveness in the work environment changes requires a lot of creativity and flexibility.

Acute orientation of the future and present

One of the important approaches that the human resource can include in value provision is by understanding the impacts of environmental changes, workforce changes and organizational changes with the capability of influencing the organization and anticipating the needs of human resource, and be in a position to deliver meaningful solutions to meet those demands. A significant human resource function is one that acknowledges the implications of intellectual capital, evaluated the current practice impact and has created major recommendations and ideas for the human resource practice changes including other processes of the organization (Hashim 2012).


Center for Business (2014) Challenges facing 21st century HR managers; Retrieved from

Ulrich D. (2013) Human Resource Champions: The Next Agenda for Adding Value and Delivering Results; Harvard Business Press

Hashim M (2012) Human Resource Management in 21st Century: Issues & Challenges & Possible Solutions to Attain Competitiveness;

All Rights Reserved,