As I was reviewing recent “Answers” on Linked In, I came across one that inspired this post. An HR pro had posted a question asking what others would recommend as focus areas when starting or reviving HR in an organization. An Operations Manager had answered the question by saying “None”, and going on to clarify that it sounded like the organization was smaller and therefore wouldn’t actually need a Full Time HR person, so they should probably simply contract out for services.
Now first, let me say, there are a lot of services that I think it makes sense to contract out at times. However, I also think that even in a smaller organization, having a dedicated HR professional helping to develop strategy and people practices is essential to success. The unfortunate thing is that many managers don’t understand the full value of HR and what a true HR leader can bring to the organization. There could be many reasons for this, including perhaps only having experience with non-strategic HR administrators. In a world where change is the only constant, and companies are emerging from recession, the old days of HR as a service or administrative function are in the past. Having a strong strategic HR partner dedicated to your business is critical.
Some examples of the value a true strategic HR professional can bring to an organization:
- In changing times, HR pros become change agents – they work with leaders to develop the strategy for the change, how to accomplish the change, how to engage employees in the change to ensure it is sustainable
- HR works with C-suite leaders to determine the capabilities needed to drive the organization’s strategy. They are the experts in evaluating and developing talent, and can help leaders make decisions to ensure the right talent is getting the right develoment in order to reach the organization’s goals.
- HR will lead the sustainability and/or change of the organization’s culture. They will examine all areas of people processes and practices that help to communicate culture, and work with leaders to ensure all are aligned and delivering the right messages.
- For companies looking to expand into new or emerging markets, HR will help you determine how to source and develop talent in these new markets, and how to ensure the best parts of your culture are maintained.
- On a more basic level, HR will help to ensure your people practices are legislatively compliant, reducing risk to the organization.
I could go on (and on), but I would love to hear from others – what other value do you think strategic HR professionals add to an organization, or do you disagree? Comment here or tweet to me at http://twitter.com/pamelamaeross.