What’s important for HR in 2011?

As usual at the start of a new year, research companies and advisors publish articles with their thoughts on developments for the HR function and 2011 was no different. While I was reading, I decided to create a list to keep track of everything they think HR should engage in. It’s wonderful to read how many different words we can come up with to describe the activities of the HR function, without actually defining what the purpose of HR really is. There is some overlap between certain terms, but I thought it would be insightfull to create a full overview – don’t be scared:

  1. Personnel Administration
  2. Compensation & Benefits
  3. Payroll
  4. Compliance, Governance & Auditing
  5. Health & Safety
  6. Sourcing, Recruitment & Onboarding
  7. Talent Management
  8. Learning
  9. Employee Development
  10. Leadership Development
  11. Up-to-date HR Policies
  12. Time & Attendance
  13. Employee Empowerment (whatever that may be)
  14. Succession Planning
  15. Executive and Expat services
  16. Internal Mobility
  17. Diversity
  18. Vendor Management
  19. Exit Programs
  20. HR Analytics and Reporting
  21. Workforce Planning & Deployment
  22. Organizational Steward
  23. Employee Retention
  24. Social networks and media
  25. Strategy & Visioning
  26. Performance Management
  27. Workforce Productivity
  28. Teleworking
  29. HR Technology & Self-Service
  30. And finally: Employee Engagement (HR’s next hype?)

Sounds daunting? It seems that we are unable to focus on what is important for HR in 2011. It’s a lot to expect and most HR functions will be unable to live up to these expectations. The list above represents a wealth of subjects, and it’s difficult to combine them into an overall theme. This means that HR must make choices – however most HR functions don’t, so we’re in for another year of critical remarks on the accomplishments of the HR function.

So, what do you think HR should focus on? Any topics to add to this list?