Big Picture Thinking Needed in HR

Julie Shenkman
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With modern technology driving change in the human resources field, big picture thinking is essential for moving human resources departments into the future. Advanced recruitment and hiring software, cloud computing, employee mobility and social networking are shifting the focus in human resources, and creative, outside-the-box thinkers are the new leaders in the field. Keep your department viable by embracing these changes and letting the big picture guide your decisions.

Keeping an eye on the big picture starts with understanding the connections between human resources and every aspect of your company's business. This vision moves human resources beyond hiring and retaining employees. The new focus is employee productivity and the bottom line. As companies increasingly question the viability of separate human resources departments, it is essential that human resources decisions lead to increased profits and employee growth. Watch for opportunities to manage conflict, motivate employees and help people grow to add worth to your department and spread your influence throughout your organization.

Let your big picture outlook move beyond the walls of your organization. Global connectivity is an important human resources trend. Expand your recruitment efforts worldwide to people with different cultures, ages and educational backgrounds. As the pool of skilled job applicants in fields like technology and science dwindles, look farther afield to find the best applicants for each position in your business. Global networks, social media and technology make it easier than ever to increase worldwide visibility and attract the best, most promising talent for your organization.

Embrace technology to stay better connected and free up time for department growth. Human resources software systems automate recruitment, sort resumes and reduce human input requirements for payroll and employee benefit management. These tools open up time for real human interaction. Stay connected with employees, and be proactive in meeting their needs. Employees increasingly expect flexibility, transparency, engagement and growth opportunities in the workplace. Use big picture thinking to make decisions with those needs in mind while still considering the effect of your decisions on the company as a whole. Seeing connections while working out the details leads to win-win solutions for happy employees and a productive work environment.

Technology also makes it easier to stay connected to company culture and influence that culture toward growth. Social networks combined with mobile technology keep people connected in and out of the office. Training and collaboration occur anywhere and anytime leading to increased innovation and better business relationships. Take advantage of these connections to stay in tune with your workforce. Foster connections throughout your organization, and with more business taking place outside the office, use a broad view to measure productivity in your workforce.

As high-tech software programs take over many traditional human resources tasks, human resources managers with a big picture orientation are necessary to move the human resources field forward. Look for an increased focus in the field toward improving employee connections and fostering employee growth. Utilize big picture trends to keep an eye on expanded global recruiting and technology-driven innovation.


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  • Rich Milgram
    Rich Milgram

    Lots of moving parts in the world of HR to keep track of. Stay connected to the team and to potential candidates. You are a big marketing arm of the company and hopefully on of the organizations biggest champions.

  • Charles Z. R.
    Charles Z. R.

    Julie Shenkman's article is profound in defining the transitional leadership role and PAR (position-activity-results) values impact we must impart in society. We will create success by design that builds a better culture, standard of living for working, learning, and enjoying a lifestyle of abundance.

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