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courtesy of opm.gov "How can human resources (HR) create value and deliver results?" Turning traditional thinking about HR management upside down, Dave Ulrich challenges HR professionals to define the value they create for customers and employees. Delivering results means focusing on the outcomes and results of human resources work. Organizational Capabilities. Ulrich notes that the pace of change required by technology, globalization, profitable growth, and customer demands places workforce competence and organizational capabilities at center stage. Organizational capabilities are things an organization does better than its competition, a source of competitive advantage (such as streamlining order-to-remittance process, learning more quickly than competitors, organizing around customer requirements). He challenges readers to redefine organizational capabilities to sustain and integrate individual competencies. He insists that HR professionals need to frame what they do in terms of the organizational capabilities they must create. Multiple Role Model. Most books on human resources are organized around human resources practices. This book is organized differently; it is organized around the deliverables or outcomes of human resources work and the activities required to accomplish these outcomes. Ulrich presents a framework that clearly shows four key roles that human resources professionals must fulfill in order to add the greatest value to the organization. The two axes represent focus and activities. HR professionals must focus on both the strategic and the operational, both long-term and short-term. Activities range from managing processes to managing people. These two axes delineate four principal roles. Future/Strategic Focus Processes Strategic Partner Change Agent Administrative Expert Employee Champion Day-to-day/Operational Focus Strategic partners translate business strategy into action. They systematically assess and align HR practices with business strategy. Organizations have numerous systems. The ability to design, integrate, and operate these systems is the essence of effective organizations. Building new organizational capabilities call for performance management programs aligned with the desired outcomes. Deliverable/outcome: executing strategy. Administrative experts improve processes, apply the principles of reengineering business processes to human resources processes, rethink value creation, rethink how work is performed, and measure human resources results in terms of efficiency (cost) and effectiveness (quality). Deliverable/outcome: building an efficient infrastructure. Employee champions listen and respond to employees and find the right balance between demands on employees and resources available to employees. They promote employee contributions. Deliverable/outcome: increasing employee commitment and capability. Change agents understand the theory and apply the tools of change. They lead transformation by doing it first within the human resources function. They serve as catalysts for change, facilitators of change, and designers of systems for change. Deliverable/outcome: creating a renewed organization. Ulrich devotes an entire chapter to each role. He provides numerous surveys and assessment tools. Actual business applications and outcomes permeate the book. His bottom line is that human resources champions master, align, and leverage these practices so that employees, customers, and investors receive value. 1 People
and capacity for change . Ulrich identified ‘in terms of deliverables . These four key roles are indicated in the table below. cost efficient. employee champion. something which if not implemented effectively can damage the employee relationship.including globalization. They need to evolve to reflect changing business priorities. in particular designing HR systems and processes that address strategic business issues: a big departure then for HR from the responsive approach adopted in the past.the management of human resources holds the key to future success. Ulrich urges a shift of the HR professional's mentality from "what I do" to "what I deliver" and identifies four distinct roles that human resources staff must assume in order to make the transition: strategic partner. administrative expert. In practice this means being more customer-focused. profitability through growth. Not surprisingly HR structures and HR roles are not static. In Human resource champions1. Practitioners operating as Administrative Experts can play a strategic role. and change agent. It offers specific recommendations for HR staff and line managers about how to establish a partnership to deliver value and make their organizations more competitive. and structured in such a way that it can quickly respond to changing priorities. Despite the popularity of the so-called 'Ulrich model'. Strategic Partners for example may also take on the role of Change Agent. Full of examples from dozens of companies that have transformed their HR functions. not all organisations have implemented it in its 2 . In practice there is often overlap across some of these roles. What is HR business partnering? The concept of business partnering emerged in the mid 1990s. Strategic Partner Administrative Expert Employee Champion Change Agent Aligning HR and business strategy: ‘organisational diagnosis’ Reengineering organisation processes: ‘shared services’ Listening and responding to employees: ‘providing resources to employees’ Managing transformation and change: ‘ensuring capacity for change’ The role identified by Ulrich here which has since received a great deal of attention is that of ‘Strategic Partner’ In essence this involves working closely with senior business leaders on strategy execution. Ulrich's identification of the Strategic Partner role has influenced the design of strategic business partner or business partner roles in many organisations . Most commentators agree that today’s HR function needs to be much more business-focused.four key roles that HR professionals must fulfill to make their business partnership a reality’ and for HR to transform itself into a 'value adding function'. technology.For companies striving to meet the competitive challenges of today and tomorrow . an example would be putting together a business case for implementing a shared service.although in practice there is a great deal of variety in terms of the nature and level of the work carried out by the job holder. Equally HR practitioners in roles other than Strategic Partner adopt a more strategic focus. Human Resource Champions provides hands-on tools that show HR professionals how they can operate in all four areas simultaneously. innovative.
partnering appears driven not by cost pressures but by the need for HR to support a smarter. 3 . referred to as the ‘three-legged stool’ model has been adopted by several larger organisations when re-structuring their HR function. these cannot be realised without other roles operating effectively. learning. In the US. Whilst the introduction of shared services is seen as being particularly important to achieving savings. payroll. effective HR administration. engagement and talent management. If not. HR functions that can’t show bottom-line business benefits will sooner or later be cut back. Broadly these three functional areas include: • • • Shared services – a single. in practice less than 30% of survey respondents had introduced the model in full. unit that handles all the routine ‘transactional’ services across the business. Some major multinationals have ‘centres of expertise’ focused purely on developing the HR talent pipeline. The key drivers are: • Cost efficiency. the reputation of the whole HR function will be in jeopardy. absence monitoring. Research by CIPD into the changing HR function indicates that although Ulrich’s model appears to be a popular structure adopted for the HR function in the UK. The role can vary enormously depending on organisational size and business priorities. particularly if they do not have the relevant skills or support from other functional areas. For further information see our factsheet on HR shared service centres. A further 30% indicated that they had partially introduced the Ulrich model. often relatively large. where ‘large’ is often interpreted as more than one HR professional per 100 employees. Strategic business partners – senior HR professionals working closely with business leaders influencing and steering strategy and strategy implementation. strategic partners can find themselves entangled in local employee relations issues.‘purest’ form. Why are organisations embracing business partnering? Business partners (or Strategic Partners) have been introduced as part of a broader HR transformation agenda. The role of centres of excellence is to deliver competitive business advantages through HR innovations in areas such as reward. and advice on the simpler employee relations issues. although complex employee relations issues might be handled by a centre of excellence. As business partners work more closely with seniors they are the ones that will have to deal with negative feedback about the HR function overall. • Find out more about our Changing HR function research report The research identified that a variation of Ulrich’s model. HR services that are distributed across a number of businesses or geographical locations may be likely candidates for restructuring. so they can raise issues that executives may not be aware of. Shared services’ remit is to provide low-cost. Few organisations create clear boundaries between these different functional areas and here is often a degree of overlap. For example. Some activities that strategic partners are likely to be involved in include: o organisational and people capability building o longer term resource and talent management planning o using business insights to drive change in people management practices o intelligence gathering of good people management practices internally and externally. Relatively large HR functions are also probable targets. Shared services typically provide resourcing. o Go to our HR shared service centres factsheet Centres of excellence – usually small teams of HR experts with specialist knowledge of leading-edge HR solutions. For business partnering to work successfully there needs to be good working relationships between HR practitioners in different functional teams. stronger organisation.
The popular answer is the appointment of strategic HR partners who become engaged with and accountable to the business. As line managers will be most affected by the changes it is important that they are consulted and adequately prepared for the changes.• • Accelerating competition. utilisation. Success of the business partner role is very much dependent on the organisation’s receptiveness to HR practitioners adopting new roles. Assess the skills needed to perform the business partner role. HR functions can strengthen partnering through the following: • • Taking an interest in the key business performance measures. Implementing business partnering Whilst business partnering can bring significant business benefits. Inevitably they go on to ask how their own HR functions need to change to make real differences to their businesses. or slow transactional HR services and intranets. both informally and formally. or lack of skills to do so. 4 . hence the growth of centres of excellence. Ensure sufficient time to openly discuss partnering. especially in knowledge-based sectors where the expertise and energy of employees is critical. flexible and committed employees. Strategic partners shape both what the business does and what HR does. yet are the eyes and ears of HR. Organisations need HR functions that can deliver skilled. enabling the execution of business plans. Making sure that business partners are involved in the business planning process at the outset and that they are well prepared for planning meetings. Organisations are beginning to expect more from HR. Think through the likely barriers to achieving a smooth transition to the new structures: o Line managers’ reluctance to take on more people management responsibilities. motivated. Business leaders see HR in other organisations contributing to strategy. they exist to ensure HR meets the new expectations of business leaders. o The absence of a consistent business strategy with which HR can work. Without a clear rationale and clear vision the expected cost efficiencies may not be realised. HR has become central to business competitiveness. social and political trends affecting the business. o Poor. and delivering tangible commercial benefits. costs. what it means and what adjustments are needed both within HR and across the wider business. sales. Strengthening partnering Very few organisations get partnering right first time. It is important to avoid making the assumption that existing HR managers have the necessary skills and behaviours to move into business partner roles. Innovative world-class HR has become a commercial necessity. Organisations thinking about introducing business partners as part of a broader HR transformation agenda need to consider: • • • • • Ensure that there is a clear rationale for the proposed changes and that this is a joint decision between the business and HR. Sufficient time needs to be allowed to ensure that there is a common understanding of what the role is and what it is not. Rising expectations of HR. creative. for example. organisations often experience a number of issues implementing the role as part of a broader HR transformation agenda. production. It is important that the relationship is reviewed on a regular basis. This requires spending time reading up on broader economic. Assess and prepare the ground for change. not one that HR tries to foist on the business.
business partners have risen significantly3. away-days. All of HR should be listening to. o Find out more about our Managing and developing HR careers report HR directors and line managers will want HR professionals who have added significant value to organisations. relationship management. Qualifications. change management. their credibility and confidence falls and they can revert to being helpful HR generalists. expert networker. Though they may need development. 5 . business and financial understanding. such as strategic thinker. Appointing and developing business partners Finding good business partners is proving difficult. In addition more attention may be needed to create pathways by which individuals can acquire the experience to perform senior HR roles. Where partnering seems to be faltering. and responding to.see our factsheet on Assessment centres in recruitment and selection. Ask the organisation’s leaders. o Go to our factsheet on 360 feedback Building teamwork within HR through joint projects. HR professionals will need to actively manage their own careers. The capabilities required by business partners are different to those required in other HR roles. Our research report Managing and developing HR careers shows that career paths may not be as clear as in the past and individuals may need to pursue ‘zig-zag’ careers to progress. consultancy skills. See our factsheet on 360 feedback for more information on that topic. get all the HR professionals involved in addressing the problem. its stakeholders. • Go to our factsheet on Assessment centres Those in the role often have to ‘hit the ground running’. Recognising that the skills and behaviours needed by business partners are different to those found in traditional HR manager roles many organisations are using assessment centres to select the right people . and salaries offered to. so it is important that development covers business and personal development. Implications for HR careers Partnering implies big changes in HR careers. HR professionals and other functions. demand for. are fulfilling their role. In the UK. knowledge sharing. years of experience and leading-edge projects may count for little. peer coaching and celebrating successes. The appointment of business partners presents special challenges. Use tools like 360 degree feedback and customer satisfaction surveys to obtain a broad range of views on how well the HR function. They need to develop different skill sets. Some US research concluded half of HR professionals lack the skill sets needed2. unless practitioners can demonstrate how they have added value. in the future there may be fewer of them. • • Whilst there will always be jobs for HR generalists. An increasing number of HR professionals will have to choose which specialist role is right for them. Maintaining an on-going debate about how HR is performing.• • • Setting the personal objectives of strategic HR partners (and perhaps those in centres of excellence) so that they are aligned to those of managers in the business areas that they are assigned to. if business partners don’t deliver successes in their first few months. including business partners. as well as influencing and political awareness skills. Making HR a role model for other functions by benchmarking HR team performance against HR teams in competitor organisations. line managers.
S. partnering is not simply a repackaging of good HR practice. LAWLER. Boston. an effective HR function needs to provide it. as well as ensuring corporate governance. and KEEGAN.30-31. CIPD viewpoint The key value of Ulrich’s model does not lie in outlining new structures but in his analysis of HR roles. with its increasing allegiance to strategic business partnering.• • • Branding is crucial. Many of today’s interpretations of partnering could mean a diminution of Ulrich’s ‘Employee Champion’ role. The function must ensure that it has the right structures and roles in place to meet organisational and employee needs rather than slavishly following a specific model because it seems fashionable to do so. ULRICH. HR functions that shape and implement business strategy will attract the most able HR professionals. However. pp16-17. References 1. D. H.23. L. • Go to our factsheet on Employee engagement If organisational performance would benefit from more emphasis on the ‘Employee Champion’ role.C. In addition the HR leader will need to ensure that there is a robust talent management programme for the HR function ensuring a future supply of skilled and agile HR professionals. and MCMAHAN. H.A.E. Partnering is a ‘paradigm shift’ for most HR functions. (1997) Human resource champions: the next agenda for adding value and delivering results. operation and skills. is not overlooked (see our factsheet on employee engagement). (2005) Slippery slope.19-20. G. A. It's important that the need to engage employees. MA: Harvard Business School Press. New York: Human Resource Planning Society. (2005) Perfect partners. People Management. BECKETT. Business partnering refocuses attention on some basic issues about how HR is to achieve its aims: supporting line managers. 2. one that requires a step change in HR’s values. 3. so they are willing to give discretionary effort. People Management supplement: The Guide to Recruitment Consultancies. Some writers have commented how HR. FRANCIS. is taking its eye off employee needs4. (1996) New directions for the human resources organization.. 30 June. MOHRMAN. 4. April. 6 . Ulrich has commented on the importance of ensuring the right HR leadership to lead the HR function: a role that involves: o leading the HR function o collaborating with other functions o setting and enhancing the standards for strategic thinking. aligning HR activities with the business and delivering efficient services. pp26-28. whereas those that tinker with a strategy largely decided by managers will struggle to get good people.
David Creelman of HR. and I am selective with who I hire. HR Champions. Are there things my branch needs to do? Are there things we can learn from other branches? Do we need to make decisions faster? Do we need a better work culture? And. the fourth would be an “administrative role” where you try to get things to happen better.Tell us about your views on the roles HR should play? DU. I don’t really want an HR person coming in from HQ to tell me what to do. DC. a strategic partner role. The key is to really be a business partner and create real value to a business. 4.” My job as the HR person is to bring some expertise and some knowledge to the table. 2. the HR person has to explain I am from corporate and I am here to help. DC. therefore. 2. so something must be going on here because you are not able to keep the people in place and. if we look at this in terms of the roles (and I will do this rather erratically). how can we focus to help the branch be more efficient and effective at what I need it to do? In the “change agent role” we have to ask: What are the changes going on in my branch? What are the customer expectations? What are the new technologies in banking and how do I get people ready and skilled to do it? In the “employee champion role” where HR is looking at the talent.Let’s take these roles and apply them to a case study. faster. Let’s say I am a bank manager and I think I do a pretty good job. so you could spend your time doing other things. but I also may have some expertise that may allow you to do your job better. you help it happen fast. benefits. For example an HR person may say: “You have a turnover rate of over 140%.The role you just described sounds like a consulting role. 1. the second is the “change agent role”. in particular.Well. where you help turn strategy into results by building organizations that create value. they need to ask: Do my people have the skills my customer’s expect? Do they interact the way the customers’ would want them to or when a customer comes into my branch are they getting their needs met the way the expected? And the “administrative role”: Are all the administrative things relating to the 20 people in my branch being done? Are payroll. but what an HR person does is bring in a particular expertise. where you help make change happen and. DU. and. The reality is the branch manager has ultimate responsibility for everything that goes in and out of his or her branch. 3. I take my job seriously. 3.COM DC. There are 4 roles you can play to accomplish this: 1. Maybe we could go do some research and see what we could do to get that turnover down to about 30% a year. I am not going to do your job that is silly. I take people seriously. as the HR people are trying to understand and 7 . and work hours being done in a way that helps me succeed? DC. what the HR manager should help you do is figure out how to deal with the organization and brass to help you succeed.There are four roles I talked about in the book. the third is the “employee champion role”.INTERVIEW WITH DAVE ULRICH by DAVID CREELMAN OF HR.Dave Ulrich DC. Why on earth do I need any HR person coming in with their systems and forms to help me do my job? DU. 4. where you manage the talent or the intellectual capital within a firm. cheaper.COM DU . you spend a lot of your time recruiting and re-engaging people.Well. with the “strategic partner role”.As the branch manager I think I’m already managing the HR issues myself.
a finance person. “We want you to implement this.Everyone I talk to likes being a strategic partner. and they say. My experience with HR is that they come into a branch with some new system that they have. but how can corporate HR help with the opening of the office in Taiwan? DU. The old HR was there to make sure you. HR is just one of the members of those virtual teams. DC. the branch manager. A third organizational diagnostic is compensation: What is going to be our compensation philosophy? A fourth would be the broader recognition of philosophy and rewards: Do we give flexible hours? Flexible benefits? And if so. HR is not the person who comes in and says. In the new HR. is what we do based on strategy and/or geographic conditions? A fifth would be communication: How do we begin to build a common form of communication and culture within the plant? A sixth might be policies and procedures: What are the policies and procedures within this plant? Again.help with the business issues.” It’s really an organizational consultant or diagnostician who helps build the entire organization to help a business succeed. which come together in virtual teams to help a company succeed.So if we talk of HR as a consultant or diagnostician/change agent. benefits administration.Absolutely. Whether an economist at a bank or an IT specialist. of course. “Let’s get payroll processed.Let me give you another situation: Our company has decided to open a branch office in Taiwan. what you often have are teams. such as a performance management system. And the corporate HR person there really becomes an organizational diagnostician. If you are opening a plant in Taiwan (if that’s where you are going to). you probably have a team of people: a legal person who understands local laws and restrictions. probably a geographic person. as what they are really doing is redefining the role of HR. do you think some of the other staff functions play a similar role? For example. redefining the view of HR. an HR person. What often gets talked about is creating centers of expertise in each of those areas. One would be.Well. what are the HR systems that will help us achieve these capabilities? One system is staffing: Do we want to hire local or do we want to hire expatriates? Do we want to hire part-time or full-time? A second system would be training and development: Do we want to bring in people from other sites and have them on part-time to train the new staff? That’s what Nordstrom’s does. there are still some of the administrative things to get done—hopefully through technology—you know.Yes. they 8 . there’s really a whole series of organizational diagnostics you need to do. DC. we will hire a local HR person to do the hiring. and the HR role is changing. all of those six things and the HR systems will build a set of capabilities that will allow the plant to succeed in Taiwan. Now. but my job as the HR person is to figure out how I get your organization to do its best. do everything we ask you to do. all that stuff. In fact. deal with local laws and stuff. I think what you are describing is the old HR. DC.” Any comment on that? DU. what kind of organization are we going to need? What will be the culture and the values? How will people work together and what will be the work environment? What kind of capabilities is the staffer going to need to be successful? Are we going to need to be fast? Are we going to have to have quality? What are the organizational characteristics that the firm will need to succeed? Secondly. is a finance director also a change agent? DU. your people will be paid on time.
some of that will be outsourced. you know. If I can change the “Comp & Ben” program 20%. If they can’t make that shift they very well could lose some of their opportunities. DC. where value is created for the business. Disintermediation is the buzzword. but imagine I am the “Comp and Ben” guy: I have “Comp and Ben” stamped all on my forehead. Are you concerned about there being too many people crowded around the table? DU.That’s true. it’s what people want.Give me an example of what you teach.all want to be part of that team. BD.Now this all sounds very exciting and interesting. Back to compensation and benefits and your branch example: What are the goals of the business? If they are productivity and our turnover is over 140% we will never meet our productivity goals. which is getting woven in there quite aggressively now. I don’t see my job changing. there are usually three resources that every business needs to have at the table in order to succeed: One resource is money. of course. And. If all I am is a transfer of knowledge from A to B. Some will be able to make that move some won’t.It’s a joke. The transformational part. and technology to succeed. BD.Actually.I think there is going to be a bifurcation in the HR job. and the third. I think this will add value. So I see these resources as ones that would be around any table. Usually you need architects of those three resources. They want to know that when they are doing economic analysis they are helping their business succeed and not just throwing out paperwork. But if we go back. I am administering all these existing programs and there are always new programs to manage. because they are really transaction people. If I am the benefits manager and all I see myself as is admin. Based on my costs. you need to weave those together in a way to serve customers.Whether it’s a new division or whatever. passing on and disseminating information. DU. I would argue that every employee should be able to say how his or her work relates to the business and. Some of the traditional “Comp & Ben” folks are really computers with shoes. we will find more efficient ways to do that rather than having people in that value chain. I think this will assist with our retention-bringing turnover from 140% down to 80%. data. It is then that I bring value to the business. DU. Frankly. Some of that information is going to put over the web. DC. BD. the transformational part of HR versus the administering part of HR—which is where everyone’s mind goes. All of this administrative work is going to get handled by technology. is data and information. So this is the bifurcation. that’s what you are probably hearing from economists. people. who should be around the table for a company that’s trying to grow whether it be in Taiwan. or in manufacturing or whatever? DU. show me an HR person and I’ll show you the great eyeshade guy.Sorry to hear that. I will be blocked out I think. the other is people—the talent and the people to do it—and that is HR. and that’s your financial person. and you’ll just disintermediate people in the transfer of knowledge.What?! DU.I teach a course in Labor Market Economics. is where I think HR will have to move.What would you see as a key role for teaching Labor Market Economics to future HR managers? DU. 9 . in some ways.
Your utility for northeast Canada is clearly a commodity business and if you can’t get your costs down. and it is the question I would ask it if I was looking at all at your course. and the second level of conversion is cultural conversion. the electrical system. The question to me as a labor economist is not what I know. “What is the business requirement?” Labor economics data is wonderful and it is certainly good to know. and I am more and more intrigued than ever with the quality of leadership. how we manage compensation. I think how HR can play a major part is not at the industry level (How do you become the global automotive maker of Jeeps?). giving discretionary energy. like a firm brands its identity. and the auto industry has converged all over the place. 10 . Some of that data around productivity numbers will be central to your ability to ensure your operation is competitive..BD. but I don’t think it is necessary unless I can deal with it as a value equation for the business. All the administration systems in a merger need to come together in order to have a unified voice. and giving what they can every day. what are you working on now. You want to brand your leaders. it wouldn’t be a very nice house. how we make decisions. If you didn’t have heating in a Canadian house.You’ve done some important work in the past. IT. and the buzzwords around that seem to be getting around the intangible aspects shareholders seem to value. The question is how do we put the parts together.Three or four things and I will get into more detail with them in a moment. and that’s your HR system—payroll. How do you know that HR is providing value. DC. A third piece is an HR measurement or score card system. Now you have to bring together those two systems so they are invisible to the outside world. but rather what would the business need to know in order to do the job more effectively. DU. The leaders really embody those brands and make the companies better to work with. So those are the areas we are working on. For instance. etc. Businesses succeed because they have a quality of leadership at every level of the hierarchy. what issues are you interested in? DU. I mean what should a good HR person know in the future? I think the whole question begins. The other level of convergence that I think is key is when you build a house. staffing. like Nordstrom’s has a service brand and Harley Davidson has a brand. I think in a merger you really have two heating systems coming together. Mergers and acquisitions create convergence on two levels: one is industry convergence.The buzzword I am hearing is “conversion”. Clearly your biggest variable is labor given the fixed costs of materials and equipment. This gets very much into the area of culture.It is hard to answer your question. One is a leadership role. HR creates those intangibles. all really work together to make your housework. you’re in trouble. but in the way you make these two parts that you have got work in an integrated and efficient way. AOL is merging with Time Warner and there’s a convergence of the creation of entertainment and information with distribution.For example the hours of work/pay and individual decision making around it. benefits. and some of that is an intangible difference. Two firms may have different stock values even though they make the same cash. Just because we put two pieces together doesn’t mean they are going to work. the plumbing system. You are trying to win on productivity. The second thing we are working on is employee commitment: how do you ensure an organization has a high percentage (90-99%) of it’s workers identifying with the firm. What is the impact from an HR perspective? DU.Mergers and acquisitions are all the rage today. how we manage people.
Jac’s now moving more into the strategic work of HR. “How does HR build value?” DC. What you want to do is turn those attributes into results. concern and commitment to serve customers well. and measures around that. “What are the generic characteristics of an effective leader?” They have energy. This advocacy includes expertise in how to create a work environment in which people will choose to be motivated.I would like to follow up on that. they energize others. In this role. hiring.com would like to thank David Ulrich for this interview. Fostering effective methods of goal setting. We all know his great work in HR but it seems that he’s a great driver as well: he conducted this flawless interview while driving to the university and never missed a beat coping with traffic and our questions simultaneously. performance development and appraisal systems. the HR manager plays an integral role in organizational success via his knowledge about and advocacy of people. 11 . The HR professional helps establish the organizational culture and climate in which people have the competency. recognition and strategic pay. One of the people we are planning on following up with is Jac Fitz-Enz. HR managers need to think of themselves as strategic partners. and happy. I think what’s happened is we have been asking the wrong question. the HR manager provides employee development opportunities. The tactical HR representative is deeply knowledgeable about the design of work systems in which people succeed and contribute.A lot of the academic research on leadership doesn’t amount to much. career and succession planning. and employee development. In this role. Do you think that’s the direction we need to move HR (Jac’s kind of measurements) or are there other ways of assessing? DU.Agreed. an employee sponsor or advocate and a change mentor. What we are now intrigued with is the concept of a brand. due process approaches to problem solving and regularly scheduled communication opportunities. to guarantee their viability and ability to contribute. Strategic Partner In today’s organizations. The HR business objectives are established to support the attainment of the overall strategic business plan and objectives. contributing. employee assistance programs. We have been asking. HR professional.The kind of work he was doing at the Saratoga Institute was related more to the transaction side of the job —how much does it cost to hire somebody. reward. HR. the HR person contributes to the development of and the accomplishment of the organization-wide business plan and objectives. The question we have been trying to figure out is that leadership is not just about character—leadership is about turning a set of behaviors into a clear set of business outcomes. I think he’s asking. organization development interventions. communication and empowerment through responsibility. DU.IT. You don’t want a generic list of attributes. Employee Advocate As an employee sponsor or advocate. This strategic partnership impacts HR services such as the design of work positions. who is considered necessary by line managers. gainsharing and profit-sharing strategies. is a strategic partner. builds employee ownership of the organization.
Knowing how to link change to the strategic needs of the organization will minimize employee dissatisfaction and resistance to change. The HR professional contributes to the organization by constantly assessing the effectiveness of the HR function. To promote the overall success of his organization. he helps determine the measures that will tell his organization how well it is succeeding in all of this. Finally. goals and action plans.Change Champion The constant evaluation of the effectiveness of the organization results in the need for the HR professional to frequently champion change. he champions the identification of the organizational mission. 12 . values. Both knowledge about and the ability to execute successful change strategies make the HR professional exceptionally valued. vision. He also sponsors change in other departments and in work practices.
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