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HR Trends: Governance

Updated: Apr 16, 2019

Recently I moderated a panel of Chief HR Officers where we discussed, among other things, relevant trends in the field of human resources. While there are many HR trends that have emerged over the past several years, this three-part blog series will focus on three key trends that are both thematic and germane to all functional areas of HR. They are:

- HR Governance

- Digitization and the On-Demand Workforce

- Communications and Branding


HR Governance involves how HR priorities are set for the business. We know that priorities should reflect alignment with business goals and that business goals should translate to HR strategy. HR governance is about the process used to set and calibrate organizational priorities as they relate to HR action planning. Stakeholder involvement is critical to striking the alignment balance. However, governance means more than just vetting priorities after they have been established by HR or simply inviting key stakeholders to strategic planning sessions. This trend is about actually integrating senior business leaders into the decision-making process normally reserved for senior HR leaders creating joint governance in order to set HR priorities that affect the entire enterprise.


Typically, HR has one person, usually the head of HR, at the table for business and strategic conversations impacting the system. It is then incumbent upon that individual to carry the message reflecting the strategic direction of the enterprise back to the senior HR leadership team for it to be translated into HR strategy. The action plans and detailed steps necessary to make things happen are then developed by those senior HR leaders with their respective teams. Joint governance would occur at the point the senior HR leadership team begins its process of action planning and leveling incoming priorities against existing ones. This ensures that all priorities are well-balanced, which is crucial to success as both existing and emerging work obligations have implications for the effective delivery of HR services to its consumers.


Taking this approach to priority setting helps to manage HR consumer expectations, facilitates buy-in, establishes champions early on and enhances creditability of the initiative. When HR works in isolation, it runs the risk of building solutions that are not relevant to its customers. Conversely, when HR is not in the front seat the priorities set may miss the mark for enabling the right set of organizational workforce capabilities.


At Revolutionary HR Consulting, we so firmly believe in the importance of joint governance in HR priority setting that it, along with other areas of significance, are integrated into our signature assessment as well as the Revolutionary Style integrated talent management framework and other areas of our work.


How this type of governance “looks” from a logistics or operational perspective should be reflective of your organizational culture. A process that works in another organization may not work in yours…and, well hey, isn’t that the beauty of human resources? The unique nuances that emerge based on the variances of people will always influence outcomes.


LaCoya Shelton

CEO, Revolutionary HR Consulting


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