Monday, October 27, 2014

Why does HR struggle to be strategic?

HR needs to be strategic because it is an “official steward” to manage the most invaluable asset -People.
Digital is the age of people, both customer centricity and employee engagement is important for organization’s long term growth and digital transformation. However, historically HR professionals have been charged with keeping records and enforcing corporate rules. This turned them into gatekeepers and administrator only. At a time when the world of work is rapidly changing, talent management is transforming from managing people as human resource and cost to investing talent as human capital, HR is facing a transformation of roles, and they must step out of their comfort zone to become strategic in leaping up their organization. 

Most of HR organizations still play the transactional role instead of transformational role: Unfortunately, HR has a general tendency to support various myths and rituals that don't work in today's workplace. This must change for them to participate in a strategic way. HR is being shaken in all directions; some might have lost oversight, leading to being much behind on the requirements of today and tomorrow. Some organizations are now also seeing the impact of this on their overall performance results and the impact it has on their workforce.

HR leaders know people, but they do not necessarily know the industry that they serve or the business of business. To be successful at a strategic level, HR needs to intimately know the business that they are supporting, the industry trends, education trends in that industry to be able to contribute meaningfully or even directly to the strategic conversations. As Gallup reports, only 30% of workers are engaged, while over 50% are not engaged and about 18% total disengaged want to quit. Think of the resources that are being wasted, it is an enormous cost of business. How can HR step up to that table and talk candidly and strategically with senior executive teams, to think people as human capital and invest them wisely. 

One size does not fit all. There are several reasons for this- 
- not all managers/leaders have the same personality, drive, capabilities, aptitudes, attitudes and personalities. Each must adapt to their skill level, personality. 
- not all employees are the same. They have different attitudes, needs, desires, etc. 
-recruitment is part of HR, although often the hiring decision is not theirs.                                            -also a lot is dependent on the vision of the leadership of the organization and the value they give towards the people employed by the organization. Often this last part is strongly visualized in the value for the HR within the respective organization.

Lack of alignment of talent management and business strategy. Regarding HR becoming more strategic, an alignment with the senior executive team will be required to get at the table; although maybe a main part will be that HR leaders have more than only experience within HR but rather also have experience from other parts of the business so they can understand the business and the people to build together towards the mission in line with the vision and strategy of the organization. Leadership, and employee engagement, requires differing skills for different people, and sometimes they change from day to day. You need to look at the cause of employee engagement, not at the symptoms, at least if you want to threat it. If the leadership and management are engaged, they will enable the people to achieve more. 

People are the most invaluable asset in business, and HR is an “official steward” to manage such strategic asset, only via more radical digital transformation, HR can become a strategic business partner to manage people 2.0, also become a culture master to shape more creative working environment, and help business achieve better result via more systematic performance management as well.


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