The undermining of the HR fraternity as neither strategic partners nor leaders is not an agenda for discussion anymore. Or is it?

Keith Hammonds, argued or rather concluded in his article titled ‗Why We Hate HR?’, that the HR is neither a strategic partner nor a leader. Of course his words aroused a lot of noise in the lives of HR people around the world. To summarize his arguments: — HR people pragmatically lack strategic & leadership thought process; The HR‘s apprenticeship for the CFO is truly evident, proving its genius to curb benefits and grind the payroll; The duplicity and redundancy of HR processes produce stocks of paperwork even for smallest of transactions; HR people do not belong to the league of extraordinary gentlemen when it comes to the sharpest stacks in the heap; Where business pursues value, HR pursues efficiency; HR is not the blue-ribbon for employee‘s cause anymore; The label outside the corner office never ‗reads‘ HR; and HR is educated by ―literate‖ incapacity: Smart you might be, the ways you work today will not hold true a decade from now. But! Can you move to that level? No, you are glued! Submissively, it can be said for all those who ―worked‖ 20-30 years in Human Resources for the Fortunes list, there is no sanctity of Hammond‘s views on HR professionals to a large extent. HR has rightfully occupied a chair on the board and a label in the corner office or at the least to the one next to the CEO. HR - Partner of Choice? Does HR really have space to progress and elevate both its Services and likeness? Don‘t be surprised, the answer is in ―affirmative‖. Narrowing down to the improvements that can be made to demonstrate value and be called ―partner of choice‖ in developing the business: Tweak HR analytics for precision and authenticity: Undeterred by overpriced software packages, there is no denying to the fact that there is less than 100 per cent reliability of the data they produce. The importance of this fact cannot be mitigated by calling it a ‗back-office activity‘. Rather, it is a backbone-activity. What‘s missing is the Right talent, structured audits, and clearly-defined processes. Create a sturdy HR framework: There‘s more to HR framework than just a stack of people packed in a box. Thoughtfully nurturing an HR organization with conscience decision levels and segregation of authority is the first critical success factor. Many HR organizations say so, that there is barely any delegation, HR head goes through everything and everything goes to the HR head and, not so surprisingly, the HR head has neither the time nor the capability of justifying this over-centralized approach. The emphasis should be on the HR interventions and the clearly defined processes that serve the larger purpose – Business. Establish an escalation process and make it widely known: Escalation is viewed as a bad word by many HR professionals with some even taking it too personally. Confident HR leaders will establish a clear line of escalation, including which employees can go to if the HR leaders, is they are not responding with the requisite sense of urgency. And then, widely publicise this, post this on the intranet and educate employees during orientation programs. As structure and responsibilities change, this chart has to be updated and uploaded of course. Be and be seen as employee champion: Being an employee champion is more misunderstood than not in many HR teams. Employee champs ensure that communication process is smooth, employee grievances are listened to and addressed on time, managers who misbehave with employees are dealt with appropriately with admonishment or separation, career coaching is offered to needy employees, transactional and distributive justice is done in dealing with salary raises and promotions. This is, of course, a tall order, but how else can we motivate, engage and retain good people? Institute and Institutionalise a strong stable people management system: End of the day, employee engagement and productivity are managed through empowering and enabling the line managers to own and deliver the responsibility for people management. Again, in my experience and enquiry, I have noticed that majority of the organisations do not have a well-articulated philosophy, process and practice of people management. This is understood at an intellectual level, but rarely put into practice. The reason why

taking focus away from activity. Collaboration. For example. Several B-Schools have more recently introduced a paper on ―strategic HR.‖ But a deep-dive into what is being taught will reveal a glaring misunderstanding of the subject itself. not impact metrics. and the like represent soft people-related capabilities that drive strategy-focused behaviour on the part of the employees. with a prefix ―strategic. training. continuous learning. Smart HR leaders will identify opportunities for contribution keeping in view the ―best fit‖ for their organisations. mergers and acquisitions for inorganic growth and how HR can help here.‖ It is a no brainer that anything strategic has got to do with the way business is run such that a lasting competitive advantage is created.companies like IBM and GE have robust talent management practices is because the line managers in these companies own this and are equipped by HR with the competencies required to do a good job at this. execution bias. The same old stuff — call it recruitment. HR folks will do well to zero in on a few of these capabilities and use their learning and development teams to deliver these to their organisation. Similar examples can be drawn from all other aspects of HR management as well. Moving focus from operational HR to strategic HR: Strategic HR is again more misunderstood than not. Role of HR in enhancing customer intimacy. role-modelling by leaders. expanding geographically for market share. and the like — is taught. identifying strategic capabilities that deliver value in the market place and how talent segmentation can be done to strengthen further these capabilities are a few examples of how strategic HR can take shape The above list is only a sample. . HR must devise a mechanism to measure and report the outcome. Focus on organisational capabilities: Organisations often do not appreciate the people-related capabilities as much as they do with core competencies relating to production or distribution. compensation. accountability. number of man days of training or number of programs ―successfully‖ delivered is measured and reported. Organisations and CEOs value what capabilities were built or enhanced. Measure and report value: An examination of the MIS reports or scorecards churned out by the HR will reveal a startling focus on efficiency metrics. This is a perfect example of efficiency focus.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful