International HR Day 2023! Celebrating HR’s Invaluable Role

You are here:
International HR Day 2023! Celebrating HR’s Invaluable Role

Every year on May 20, we celebrate International HR Day. This is the time for us to shine the spotlight on the valuable and irreplaceable role that you, as an HR professional, play in helping your organization succeed. 

Let’s look at what International HR Day truly means, why it’s important, and what you can do to celebrate this day — including how to further develop your HR career and improve your well-being to become your best HR self! 

What is International HR Day
The importance of celebrating International HR Day
Recognizing the value HR brings to the organization
How HR can celebrate International HR Day

What is International HR Day 

International HR Day is all about recognizing and celebrating the value and positive impact that HR brings to the organization and its people. It falls on the 20th of May. 

According to the European Association for People Management, the theme for International HR Day 2023 is Shaping the New Future. This theme points to the role of HR as the driving force in building a future of work that is more inclusive, accepting, and sustainable. At AIHR, celebrating International HR Day also means focusing on how you, as an HR professional, can take care of yourself and gain the skills you need to thrive, now and in the future. 

The importance of celebrating International HR Day 

It’s not an exaggeration to say that HR is the backbone of any organization. All the work that you do — from attracting and hiring new people to building an excellent EX and upskilling your employees, to managing vast amounts of employee data — ensures that your organization has what it needs to achieve its goals and be successful. This might sound simple on paper, but in this disruptive and highly competitive business environment, ensuring your organization succeeds is no easy feat. 

International HR Day represents a day for you to celebrate the valuable work you do to make the world of work better and more meaningful. It’s also the perfect opportunity to reflect on what steps you can take and the tools you need to continue growing in the HR profession. 

Recognizing the value HR brings to the organization 

In many ways, the value that your HR team brings to your organization is like rocket fuel. Your business is the rocket. It has a clear mission plan and knows where it wants to go. But to get there, it needs the right fuel at the right time. HR is the fuel. 

The work that you do in HR ensures that the composition of the fuel is correct (by having the right talent), there is enough fuel (by having the right capacity), and the rocket can take off (by managing employee performance). Here are a few ways HR’s values play out in an organizational setting. 

1. HR as the driver of business strategy

As HR, you enable your business to achieve its strategy and goals by ensuring they have access to the right talents, with the right skills, and at the right time. Think of the HR initiatives you develop and implement — creating a great employee experience, maintaining a positive work culture, promoting DEIB, and building a fair compensation system. They ensure that your employees are motivated and engaged and have what they need to perform to the best of their capabilities. 

Additionally, the people data and insights your team gathered allow your leaders to make better and more informed people decisions. Data-driven decision-making helps move your business towards its goals while making sure it acts in a responsible way towards the workforce. This is how your organization can attain and maintain its success long-term. 

Your HR team is also key to ensuring your organization has the leadership and people capability to deliver on goals. What this means is that: 

  • You advise business leaders on how to approach an issue, what to do, and how to behave in a responsible and ethical manner. 
  • You help your people understand what is expected of them, provide them with the right environment and motivation to do their job effectively and take care of their well-being.  

2. HR’s impact on employee engagement and productivity

Your HR team is the driving force behind making the organization a great place to work. From employee recognition programs to employee resource groups, DEIB initiatives to retention strategies – you ensure your employees feel welcomed, accepted, and appreciated for who they are and the values they bring to the organization. 

When employees are happy and satisfied, they are more engaged and productive, and more likely to stay with your organization long-term. In a shrinking labor market where it’s more complicated than ever to find the talent you need, retaining your employees ensures your organization can stay ahead of the competition. 

3. HR’s role in managing organizational change  

Change is a fundamental part of every organization. This can come in the form of implementing new technologies, organizational redesign, cultural transformation, or creating a new department. These processes require employees to shift and adapt to new working methods, which can lead to stress, anxiety, or even burnout. 

This is where you come in. As an HR professional, you play a pivotal role in helping your employees navigate change. Oftentimes, this means developing change management strategies to deal with resistance, training on new technologies and processes, and communicating the need for change to your workforce. Without effective change management, the transformation that your organization needs to go through will not be possible. 

Celebrate Your Growth & Success on International HR Day

How HR can celebrate International HR Day 

Idea 1: Communicate HR’s value to the organization & key stakeholders 

One of the best ways to celebrate International HR Day is to shine the spotlight on all the values that you and your HR team bring to your organization. To make it easy for everyone to understand, you can use the HR value chain tool. It is a three-step process that focuses on the efficiency, effectiveness, and impact of HRM activities. The HR value chain tool will give all of your stakeholders a clear picture of how HR contributes to organizational goals. 

On top of this, you can share success stories and key metrics to demonstrate HR’s impact. Tell people about your new learning program that boosted your training ROI. Or how the recruitment team significantly cut down on time-to-hire using asynchronous interviews. 

Idea 2: Reflect on personal achievements

Think back on everything that you have accomplished in the past year. This can be achievements related to your personal development, or career growth, or networking — basically, anything that you have achieved as an HR professional in the past 12 months. 

Perhaps you completed a new HR certification program, or you got a promotion. Or perhaps you have learned everything that you could have learned in your old role and decided that it was time to switch to a different track. Any achievements are worth celebrating, and you don’t have to limit yourself to what society deems successful to feel proud of what you accomplished. 

HR 2025
Competency Assessment

Do you have the competencies needed to remain relevant? Take the 5 minute assessment to find out!

Start Free Assessment

Idea 3: Connect with other HR professionals 

Humans are social creatures. We crave connections, and it’s something that is not limited to just your personal life. As an HR professional, or a professional in any other field, it’s always nice to connect with your peers to share best practices and insights. The best way to do this is by joining online HR communities where you can get in touch with thousands or even millions of other HR professionals around the world. 

For example, the Evil HR Lady Facebook Group provides a safe space for almost 30,000 global HR professionals to seek advice, celebrate successes, and share stories about issues they might have working in HR. Hacking HR is all about HR innovation, the future of work, and people transformation. In the AIHR community, you can discuss the latest HR topics, share your thoughts and ideas with other like-minded peers, and join regular live events. 

Idea 4: Prioritize your HR professional development 

The best gift that you can give to yourself on International HR Day or every other day of the year is investing in your development. If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the past couple of years, it’s that our business environment is highly volatile and unpredictable. As such, upskilling is the only way for you to ensure that you will be successful, no matter what might happen in the future. 

Here are several things that you can do. 

Planning your HR career:

Your first step is to map out your HR career path, so you know where you want to be in the future and what skills you need to gain to get there. There are a million skills out there that you can gain, but you will only have the time, effort, and resources to develop a select few. Planning out your career path allows you to focus on the skills that will truly contribute to your professional and personal goals. 

Keep in mind that your HR career doesn’t have to be a linear path where you go from the most junior to the most senior position. Each role that you take on isn’t a stepping stone that will help you reach the highest possible position. Rather, your past roles are a collection of meaningful experiences, each allowing you to gain new skills and competencies that help you grow further. 

Becoming a T-shaped HR professional:

To make sure that you can successfully transition into a new role, you need to go beyond your HR specialization and develop more general HR competencies. In other words, you need to become T-shaped. This means you need to specialize in at least one area of HR and develop proficiency in four core competencies: Business Acumen, Data Literacy, Digital Dexterity, and People Advocacy.

A T-Shaped HR Professional

Developing future-proof HR skills: 

40% of work-related skills will change by 2025. And HR skills are no exception. This means on top of core HR competencies, you will also need to focus on future-proofed HR skills.

As business needs change, and with it workforce needs for the business to achieve its goals, HR will need to rapidly change as well to support organizational changing needs and goals. This will require HR to seriously focus on upskilling themselves to drive this change.

Below are 13 future skills to prioritize and develop for your HR career.

Future HR Skills

Obtaining HR certifications: 

Certifications can help you improve your earnings potential by as much as 44%. Getting certified is also a good way to increase your knowledge and expertise in your HR specialization, keep you up-to-date with employment laws and best practices, and help you gain the most in-demand HR skills. 

If you want to obtain HR certifications, you can consider organizations such as AIHR, where you can get access to a catalog of 11 different HR certificate programs. This includes People Analytics, HR Business Partner, Learning and Development, and Compensation and Benefits. Many organizations also accept SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP certifications. You can also look at certifications from the HR Certification Institute. 

Stay up-to-date with trends and updates in the HR field is also highly valuable for your professional development. As time passes and technology advances, factors such as market climate, employee expectations, and industry practices will also change — sometimes at a very rapid pace. These changes have a profound impact on our ways of working and organizational operations. 

On an individual level, these changes will also determine the skills and knowledge that you need to succeed as an HR professional. As such, keeping up with HR trends and industry updates will help you anticipate the capabilities you need to develop to remain competitive in the job market. 

Idea 5: Take time to practice well-being for HR 

Self-care is, without a doubt, one of the most important skills for you as an HR professional. Let’s face it: you’re under a lot of pressure. From dealing with unpredictable labor markets to fast-changing employee expectations, it probably feels like you’re constantly in crisis mode. 

And while this might be the push HR needs to innovate and grow faster than ever before, it also means that you need to be more intentional than ever about taking care of your well-being. Because you can only help your organization and people to flourish when you’re in the best possible shape. 

Here are some tips to help you manage stress and burnout: 

  • Recognize that you need help and support 
  • Establish healthy boundaries 
  • Understand what stresses you out 
  • Find your own HR community 
HR for HR: How to Avoid HR Burnout & Improve Well-Being

To conclude

So that’s what International HR Day is all about! In this article, we’ve discussed what International HR Day is, the values HR brings to the organization, how you can develop your HR skill set, and how to take care of your well-being. 

While you deserve recognition for your daily work – every day, International HR Day gives us a moment to pause and consider the value HR brings to the organization. So be sure to take time on this HR day to celebrate your successes and contemplate how you can continue to reach for the stars.

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to stay up-to-date with the latest HR news, trends, and resources.

Are you ready for the future of HR?

Learn modern and relevant HR skills, online

Browse courses Enroll now