Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Strategic Role of HR :The Debate Continues

Sometimes I wonder what the HR guys are up to. There are big talks these days about the strategic role HR has to play. But do the HR guys really know enough of operational and business issues to play a real strategic role? That what my dear friend Mayank has to say about his HR...

His post reminded me of a post on Fast company blogpost "why we hate HR" which said

After close to 20 years of hopeful rhetoric about becoming "strategic partners" with a "seat at the table" where the business decisions that matter are made, most human-resources professionals aren't nearly there. They have no seat, and the table is locked inside a conference room to which they have no key. HR people are, for most practical purposes, neither strategic nor leaders.

The issues highlight above are just another example of Organization where HR folks decide the HR policy of the organization sitting in Corporate Offices.

This problem here is not with the HR but with the Vision and thought process of the Organization which believes that HR can add strategic value from Corporate Office,whcich essentially means staying away from from people who actually work in line.

The best way to integrate any function with the strategic objective of the organization is ensure a direct linkage between the business objective and the Policy framework .Be it HR ,Finance, Sales or Marketing ,as long as the we don’t have people aligned to face the business realities of the organization the disconnect will continue to remain.

Here’s my suggestion if you want to have a better or let’s says more strategic contribution from your HR Guy…

1) Let your HR be involved in actual Business making and Project execution. Once your HR joins the Business team they will have a realistic and objective overview of the ground realities. The best part is that policies can be tailor made for a particular business situation depending on the unique nature of the business.

2) HR’s roles in the organization should not only be confined to designing and suggesting policy framework, let HR take the ownership of executing and delivering the end result with line managers.

3) All HR policies/strategies action must involve senior line Management in deciding the policies. Don’t forget the ultimate aim of HR is to enable each manager to take ownership of HR functions for his team.

4) HR is enabler function, it aims at facilitating business objective and its contribution can not only measured in terms of tangibles but also the intangibles.
More on the role of HR .

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