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Rethinking HR

Embracing AI and Shifting Towards People, Purpose, and Culture

Darryl Horn, Thursday, 2 May 2024 • 3 min read

In the realm of Human Resources (HR), the winds of change are blowing stronger than ever. With the rapid advancement of technology, particularly artificial intelligence (AI), traditional HR roles are being redefined, challenging us to reassess our approach to managing people and organisational culture. So, why should HR embrace AI and transition from a people resources-centric role to one that prioritises people, purpose, and culture? Let's delve into the questions that need answering.

Why AI in HR?

AI offers unprecedented opportunities to revolutionise HR processes, from recruitment and talent management to performance evaluation and employee engagement. By leveraging AI-powered tools and algorithms, HR professionals can analyse vast amounts of data to make more informed decisions, predict workforce trends, and personalise employee experiences. But, why should HR embrace this technological shift, and what benefits does it bring beyond the status quo?

People or Resources: Which Comes First?

Traditional HR models often treat employees as mere resources, focusing primarily on their productivity and cost-effectiveness. However, in today's knowledge-based economy, where talent is a key differentiator, should HR continue to view employees through the lens of resources, or should it prioritise their well-being, development, and fulfillment? Moreover, can AI help bridge the gap between viewing employees as resources and recognising their intrinsic value as individuals with unique talents and aspirations?

Shifting Towards Purpose and Culture

In a world where organisational culture and purpose-driven missions are increasingly important to employees and customers alike, HR's role extends beyond transactional tasks to shaping and nurturing a thriving workplace culture. But, how can HR leverage AI to cultivate a sense of purpose, belonging, and alignment with organisational values? And, more importantly, what steps can HR take to ensure that technology complements, rather than replaces, human connection and empathy in fostering a positive work culture?

The Ethical Dilemma

As AI becomes more integrated into HR processes, it raises ethical questions about privacy, bias, and accountability. How can HR navigate these ethical dilemmas and ensure that AI algorithms are transparent, fair, and unbiased in their decision-making? Moreover, how can HR safeguard employee trust and confidence in the face of increasing automation and algorithmic decision-making?

The Human Touch

While AI can augment HR capabilities in many ways, it cannot replace the human touch—the empathy, intuition, and interpersonal skills that are essential for building trust and meaningful relationships. How can HR strike the right balance between leveraging AI for efficiency and maintaining a human-centric approach to employee engagement, development, and support?

The journey toward embracing AI and redefining HR's role is fraught with challenges and uncertainties. However, by asking the right questions and embracing change with a forward-thinking mindset, HR has the opportunity to lead the way in driving organisational success through a focus on people, purpose, and culture.

Rethinking HR
This article was first published on 2/5/24.

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About the author

Darryl

Darryl is a Chartered CIPD Member, business leader and operational manager with 30 years experience in on-the-ground and strategic HR, specialising in Human Resources Management, Employment Law, Employee Relations and Learning & Development.

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