My company has been a slow adapter to letting HR move out of the ‘watch-dog’ role to a more strategic approach. Are there things that I can do myself, even without their support, to make small changes in my HR strategies and show the value of such a changed role?
Obviously, having the buy-in from your senior staff would be ideal, but in the absence of such support, there are changes you can make that will hopefully show the leaders of your organization the value of such a change. Listed are some suggested HR strategies you can implement to inch toward such a change.
- Get out there. Become more visible in the operations/business lines. HR is often pushed “out” of the business and into administrative tasks. Spend time on the floor and be involved. Understand the business and learn what is going on. You should be integrated into the operations of the business, not just be the paperwork police.
- Recruitment and Retention. Get involved beyond job posting and screening candidates. Help your hiring managers understand the difficulties in recruitment and retention and work with them to identify the key capabilities that will make candidates a success. Identify current and future competencies that can be developed with the “almost” candidates and turn them into a successful hire. Tie recruitment and development together to hire those who may not yet be the perfect fit. In addition, focus on internal development. Recognize and develop internal competencies and provide growth opportunities.
- Maintain transparency in your role and exceed service expectations. Provide performance based commitments to those you support and live up to those established priorities. You may not be making widgets but you can still meet and exceed the goals of your customers internally.
- Create agile policy and process that will empower managers and allow them better decision making. When managers are able to think for themselves and are accountable for those decisions, you may be surprised at their success. Yes…we know it doesn’t always work but creating a 2 x 2 box that they have to stay in, will almost always result in failure.
- Create and maintain a culture that involves trust and support. Allow those around to take risks and have autonomy instead of serving as the police. There will be times when you need to redirect, but you will find in the beginning that managers will seek your guidance BEFORE they leap. Ultimately, this will result in personal development for them and soon a more trusting and supportive environment when actions need to be taken.
Hopefully, success with these small movements in your HR strategies will show upper management the value of human resources, beyond the paperwork police. As stated in an article by Inc.: HR isn’t a department, it’s a competitive advantage–if you make it one.
In many organizations HR still struggles to find a place at the leadership table. By thinking strategically and relying on proven business practices and tools HR can show value and become a partner with the leadership team. Strategic HR knows how difficult it can be to integrate practices with the overall business strategy. Let us assist you with your strategic initiatives – visit our HR Strategy page to learn more.