AmCham Slovakia


Navigating HR transformations

Over the last thirty years, human resources (HR) development in Slovakia has undergone a significant transformation. This transformation has been characterized by a shift from centrally managed labor relations to market mechanisms and a business culture, which has in turn been driven by social, economic, and technical changes, as well as international trends and globalization. As a result of these changes, a distinct field of HR has emerged, marked by a significant evolution from a traditional administrative position to a more strategic role.

 Throughout these three decades, AmCham has been an active supporter of positive shifts in the HR field, offering various HR events and emphasizing topics regarding labor and social affairs. Ranging from the very well received annual HR conferences and regional HR weeks, all the way to the current AmCham university accredited course “Hands-on HR: Global Trends” delivered to HR students in Bratislava and Nitra since the spring of 2020. These opportunities enable HR professionals to stay current with new trends and policies in the HR realm, actively participating in them.

Originally, HR played a critical yet primarily administrative role, concentrating on compliance, record-keeping, and labor relations. However, as organizations evolved, the concept of human capital gained recognition in HR, highlighting the value of employees as strategic assets. Organizations have come to understand that effective management of HR is crucial for long-term success and could provide a competitive advantage. Consequently, HR has evolved into a key role within businesses, responsible for talent management. Talent acquisition and retention remain constant challenges, due to a global talent shortage.

The emergence of technology, ranging from basic HR information systems to advanced analytics and more recently AI, has transformed HR practices. It has enabled data-driven decision-making and improved overall efficiency. Social media platforms have similarly reshaped how businesses approach talent acquisition and employer branding. With social media, employees now have a voice and a direct channel to express feedback and opinions to their employers. This has created a more transparent and open workplace culture, where employees feel empowered to provide constructive criticism and suggestions to their superiors.

Furthermore, social media has enabled employers to showcase their company culture and values, providing a glimpse into the inner workings of the organization. This has helped businesses to attract top talent and build a positive reputation in the industry. The COVID-19 pandemic has placed unprecedented focus on flexible work models and adjustments in personnel policies. Consequently, the concept of employee engagement has gained prominence. As a result, organizations have invested in various employee engagement initiatives, such as wellness programs, flexible work arrangements, and recognition and reward programs.

Looking ahead, HR faces ongoing challenges such as managing a diverse and global workforce, adapting to technological advancements, navigating changes in in employment regulations, and responding to evolving employee expectations. HR is shifting towards creating a holistic and personalized employee experience, encompassing all aspects of the employee lifecycle. The future of HR is likely to be characterized by a deeper integration of technology, a heightened focus on employee well-being, a proactive approach to talent management, and an ongoing commitment to fostering diverse, inclusive, and continuous learning-oriented organizational cultures.

Recognizing the growing significance of HR’s impact in helping businesses navigate ongoing changes, we have established the HR Learning Circle platform within AmCham as part of the Capital of Talents pillar. The main objective of this initiative is to foster collaboration and knowledge-sharing among various communities across different sectors, including business leaders, HR managers and professionals, and individuals passionate about this field.

Through this platform, members can engage in discussions and exchange practical insights on important aspects of the HR field and management, such as self-managed teams as a modern approach to organizational development, how mindset shapes our organization, lives, and society, or diversity and inclusion with an emphasis on belonging. The aim is to establish a supportive and inclusive space where we can collectively learn and grow, stay abreast of the latest industry trends, and devise innovative solutions to address common challenges in our field.

Looking back on the past three decades, the evolution of HR is evident in its transformative shift from an administrative function to a strategic partnership. The journey continues, so let’s explore together and chart a course for the future of work. I am delighted to extend an invitation to you all to participate in the AmCham HR Learning Circle series, scheduled throughout 2024. I truly believe that this series will be a valuable investment of your time, and I look forward to seeing you there.

Júlia Jurčíková, HR Manager, AmCham Slovakia