Why Strategic HR Matters And How HR Can Become More Strategic?
As we move into the year 2020 and beyond, we find that Human Resources has continuously been evolving from its traditional role as a department merely processing administrative transactions to moving outside the organization premises in order to have a competitive edge. Traditionally HR handled the hiring and firing aspects of an organization’s employees.
Over a period of time HR has evolved into handling recruiting, selecting, inducting, maintaining proper relations with employees and their trade unions, performing performance appraisals, managing employee motivation, usage of free HR software to decide on compensation packages, ensuring employee safety and welfare and managing compliance with labor laws of the state.
As we look at the field of HR, we see a natural evolution which is organic in its development, HR caught on steam and started to be an intrinsic part of organizations in the 1930s and 1940s. Initially, it focussed on the administrative systems of work, managing the processes, managing the terms and conditions of work labor contracts.
HR then began to shift to a set of HR practices where a lot of the focus was on staff, training, compensation and it involved how we structure these practices, do session planning and do organizational design in an effective way. A lot of this was widespread in its implementation due to the availability of free HR softwares.Then over the period of the last 15 years, HR has moved to strategy and is still evolving.
HR now involved some very smart leaders in the organizational design field and HR strategy field. Now we want to look at an organization strategy and from that mirror begin to create an organization’s HR system.
What HR leaders and researchers now believe will be the next step in the evolution is that HR will step out of the organization and go outside to the customer. It involves not just looking at strategy as a mirror but as a window to begin to see how an organization can do a better job by stepping outside its offices.
The going outside involves HR interacting with Customers, Investors, Government agencies and Communities so that HR can become a lever for those external factors, thus now directly impacting organization goals and milestones.
WHAT IS STRATEGIC HR?
In today’s world managing employees strategically is a lot like looking for the right tool for the job. The different practices used to carry out the primary HR activities are manager’s tools. These practices may actually be knowledge, skill, and abilities but are nonetheless tools that we use to accomplish organizational goals through the management of human resources.
With the advent of free HR software these tools are more readily available today than ever before. Organizational demands are factors in a business that affect decisions regarding how to manage employees. A key component of organizational demands is strategy.
A strategy is a company’s plan for achieving a competitive advantage. The strategy sets the overall objectives of the company, it also sets the parameters for the needed overall employee contribution that will add value within the company.
Strategic HR does not refer to a service department or a soft skill and it is not about rewards either, it is not an isolated department dealing with compliance and forms, neither is it the team that hires and fires an organization’s employees or brings about conflict resolution. Strategic HR does involve people but it’s much bigger than just the people of the organization. Strategic HR is an applied philosophy of leadership that enables a learning organization.
Strategic HR synchronizes business goals with people via thought out and proven approaches. It directly impacts successful business outcomes. This team also holds the organization accountable to its values and maintains the humane culture of the organization. At the heart of its functions, it anticipates trends and foresees attains long term planning goals.
Strategic HR is an intrinsic part of organizations and it directly lays claim to the company’s growing market share, involves itself directly in product design and innovation, has a direct impact on company sales and customer base thus making the company more efficient and competitive.
SKILLS OF STRATEGIC HR PRACTITIONERS
An organization preparing to have a competitive edge in today’s market with the assistance of Strategic HR needs HR leaders with certain key skills that are paramount to the individual and organization’s success
.> HR leaders need to understand that employees represent the company and interact with customers. A happy employee is the best brand ambassador to customers and directly impacts bottom lines.
> Leaders need to be inclusive to enable them to bring about the best in every employee regardless of race, gender and age.
> Strategic HR leaders drive the culture of the organization and see to it that all members of the company remain aligned to the same culture.
> These leaders require strong data analytical skills.
> Strategic HR leaders need to know their businesses inside out and ideally should be business experts. They need to have the ability to be up to date with various paid or free HR softwares available to them. It will ease their work and increase efficiency
> Leaders need to be highly change-management oriented to be able to steer the organization in any direction to meet business imperatives.
> Strategic HR leaders need to figure out how to bring about solutions to the table rather than getting stuck in following policy.
Strategic HR has evolved to become of prime importance to all kinds of organizations looking for a competitive edge in the current market. It is considered as the most valuable resource of the organization. Strategic HR teams are now integrated with the mission and vision of the company.