Dave Ulrich has called on HR to be more in tune with business issues to deliver real value.
Speaking at a Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) annual international conference based in Rome, Ulrich told more than 400 HR practitioners to focus on outcomes - ie, what they deliver for their organisation and key customers, rather than what they do inside.Ask any business leader and chances are that they will all agree that HR teams continue to deliver day in day out on transactional activities. They meet the expectations and partner effectively on all key deliverables, but when it comes to contribute in leading from the front on strategic areas they are just unsure of the role they can play. They just don’t dare to take up challenges which are up for grab; sometimes they just feel it’s not their cup of tea.
He urged HR to have an opinion on external changes in technology, economic trends and demographics, and to understand their chief executive's expectations of the business.
"The challenge in HR is not what we do, but what we deliver how we add value," he said. "For decades we have been too focused on what we do. The world of HR for the future should not start with HR it should start with outcomes of HR."Ulrich urged HR to ask how they can use the knowledge they have to help their business leaders.
As Ulrich rightly says that instead of starting a discussion with chief executives on training, staffing, recruitment and so on, it is better to start with the outcome - how what HR does adds value to the customers, which ultimately should shape the business agenda."It's important to get customer and investor focus - not what HR thinks should happen, but what's the external reality facing this company in the next 10 years?"