In my role as a Tech Sales Guy I am faced with the perplexing task of not just working with IT Leaders but also Human Resources Leaders and this for me is an uphill battle. I really and truly don’t understand HR, and beyond the hiring and firing what it is that they do for a company. I look to my right and I look to my left and for the majority of employees in a company the only real interaction that they have with HR is at the beginning and the end of their tenure with the organization. When we move to middle and upper management though, that interaction scales up dramatically but I wonder…what is the Strategic Value of HR if the masses don’t know or just don’t care about the HR Department?
I did some checking both with the resources available to me through the core HR Research and some deeper looking online and I found a very interesting article written by Brad Power at HumanResourcesIQ.com. It looks to the very question about HR Leading Change and focusing in on the fact that if a proper partnership with the different Stake Holders can be achieved that there becomes a tremendous value for both the business and the employees for that direct interaction.
The linked article brings two important facts to light:
- HR is not typically viewed as a Strategic Partner but more as a Support Unit for other Divisions
- Isolation breads continued isolation. HR is “specialized” and therefor generally closed to internal transfers from within the organization.
These two issues can be addressed and once addressed a move to a more Strategic Partnership can begin. The change to a more strategic role has to be started by the HR Department. Focusing on what is wrong with the world rarely leads to change. The HR department needs to focus on more direct involvement with HR Sponsored initiatives that impact the most people possible. Being the holder of Corporate Policies is just not good enough anymore.
Increased interaction with employees especially at times of Change are key to increasing the profile of the department. Looking to functional metrics that can demonstrate to key decision makers the success of initiatives. Employee Engagement improvements, New Hire Satisfaction Surveys etc all can assist in proving long term viability and sustainability of the HR Department as REAL business partner. The danger is not knowing the different expectations of different working groups. Sales will have a different focus than Finance, IT will always be different from the Warehouse or Manufacturing floor but knowing and acting upon those differences and focusing on the common goal of the Senior Leadership is key to long term viability…HR can be that driving force.
Today’s business world is far different than the 80s, 90s or even the 2000s but in many ways it is about the natural and organic progression of process and organization change that HR can actually really excel at and prove long term value to the entire business that they both support and build.
If you are a Resource Manager of any kind (even a IT Leader struggling with the people side of you role), there is a resource that can help narrow your focus and build a successful tomorrow for you, your department and your organization.
Don’t start from scratch by building out an exhaustive personal repository of tools and templates…while the internet is full of some really great resources (you found this site after all)…click the Contact Me link a the top of the page. It doesn’t cost anything to open up a dialogue and identify if there is any way that we can support and assist you.
Well, the week is now half over. With Bruised Ribs, a Head Ache and just 3 days left until my Vacation…I wonder…can we cancel today and tomorrow for lack of interest and just skip straight to Friday???
Chris J Powell