The voice of HR

The voice of HR

How the role of HR is changing and shaping the company

The voice of HR

Make your HR topics heard

In a modern organisation, HR acts as a strategic partner in the company. Working as a peer with management, HR prepares and implements decisions. We will show in five steps how to make your HR topics heard by management and how you can actively shape the future of your company.

While HR invested four hours more per week in administrative work five years ago, more time is left now for strategic tasks thanks to digitisation and HR optimisation. And this will continue to evolve in the future: Modern integrations and artificial intelligence (AI) continue to make administrative tasks redundant. The following three developments in particular contribute to progress:

  1. System integration: Interfaces or even a suite approach (multi-domain software) save a lot of time. For example, master data only needs to be entered once, rather than multiple times in different systems.
  2. Process integration: With RPA (robotic process automation), routine tasks can be delegated to bots. There is no need to copy data from one format to another – for example, email into Success Factors.
  3. User integration: Employees are provided with a single intuitive access point to multiple specialised software solutions. An example of this would be a chat bot, which employees can use to sign up for a course and receive travel suggestions that match the guidelines. Whereas in the past course registration took place via a learning platform and flight booking via an online booking engine, the employee now only needs to communicates with the chat bot.

HR management as a “sealing ring”

If administrative tasks decline and this development continues, will HR management die out? No! The reason HR managers will stay with us for a long time can explained with an analogy from David author:

Sealing-ring hypothesis: The more automated and complex our world becomes, the more important individual parts become. All the systems were perfectly integrated and coordinated in the Challenger Space Shuttle. But the rocket nevertheless exploded and led to the violent death of several people. The ultimate cause was a simple sealing ring that was not properly tightened. So much can be automated in HR, but people will still be needed to lead and to ensure alignment with corporate strategy. HR management remains to a certain extent as a kind of “sealing ring”.

Never-enough hypothesis: Even if we are becoming more and more productive and supposedly have enough, we still want more and more. In Switzerland, productivity has increased by 32% since 1991, while the unemployment rate has fallen by 28%. We work more and more efficiently in order to have more and more. This will place even greater demands on HR in the future.

The employees are central to this development. They become increasingly important in a highly competitive job market. Nearly half of Swiss SMEs have trouble finding candidates. The demands on employees are also changing. An OECD study shows that the share of “classic” office work has fallen by 16%, while highly complex occupations have grown by 16% at the same time.

Employees at the centre

Employees are becoming increasingly essential for the success of a company. HR plays a central role here. While in most business sectors the world is viewed through the eyes of the customer (“user experience design”), few HR strategies, processes or tools are designed to put the employees at the centre. The time saved by automated administration processes can be invested here for the future. To mention just a few examples:

  • Change instead of recruitment: Would you like to be recruited as an employee? The word “recruitment” alone sounds like it has to do with the military. A desire for change is in the foreground for employees.
  • Integration instead of onboarding/offboarding: From the point of view of the employee, they want to feel at home as quickly as possible in a new job. The want to feel included in a family. Today’s understanding of the process usually refers to the tools and knowledge needed to complete all tasks as quickly as possible. But the “feel of being cared for” is completely ignored.
  • HR service centre instead of administration: Employees want a service centre that will give them an answer to the most urgent questions as quickly as possible. In a generation that is used to having knowledge immediately at hand (“Just Google It”), an email address just will not cut it. Chat bots, for example, can fill this gap. They are available 24/7 and, combined with AI employees, can help with many topics.


Figure 2: HR Campus Future of Work graphic


Five steps how HR makes itself heard by the management

Dream big

Derive your HR vision and strategy from the corporate vision and strategy. Coordinate with management so ideas are mutually supported.

Clean up

Of course, you cannot neglect the outer circle of our Future of Work graphic. Optimise processes and tools for HR topics to create a basis for further strategic work.


We are in a world driven by numbers. This applies especially at the management level. The advantage of cleaning up in terms of tools is that you have numbers as a basis for your arguments. Use these numbers to make your message more credible.

Tell stories

People have been telling stories for centuries. that our brain can remember images and stories better than just facts and figures. Stories also release emotions, and we respond to them. Wrap your message in a story and combine it with numbers.

Stay fit

If HR does not stay fit, there is a risk that it will become superfluous and nobody will look out for the employees. Stay one step ahead and learn about new topics.

And before you think about things for too long: Get started! Happy Employee, Happy Company!



Find inspiration in a “Future of Work” workshop and develop concrete measures for your company with our support. For more information contactAnja Buser.

Published: 14. May 2019

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