How HR Can Better Contribute to the Business

How HR Can Better Contribute to the Business
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How HR Can Better Contribute to the Business
Smart leaders seek to understand how HR can better contribute to the business.  Traditionally HR functions have operated more like a service provider to their company and have not consistently been involved in critical corporate-level strategies, decision making, and investments. HR was seen to live more on the implementation and soft-side of the company; and, frankly, we find that too many HR leaders are content there.

High Performing HR Functions
Nowadays, organizationally savvy HR folks understand exactly how HR can better contribute to the business.  They know HR not only has a lot to offer, but they are also beginning to better understand what it takes to get the attention of executives. Progressive HR leaders are learning to speak the language of executives in terms of strategic priorities, business results, and performance outcomes.

For HR, it starts with being able to articulate how effective talent management can contribute directly to business performance and strategic initiatives. We define talent management as the workforce that leaders build and manage to create a unique people advantage that competitors cannot easily replicate.  At a minimum, HR’s role should be helping their company to better attract, engage, develop, and retain top talent that will thrive and perform.

HR’s Responsibility
It becomes HR’s responsibility to ensure that their company has the human capital it needs to compete in the current environment, adapt to changing requirements, and be ready for the challenges of the future.  In essence, when HR can “up their game” to contribute meaningfully to the business, they become a true business partner rather than simply a reactive (and often transactional) service provider.

HR can (and should) have a measurable impact on operational and financial performance by linking talent strategies directly to business strategies.

3 Main Talent Management Buckets to Start Off on the Right Foot
Talent management involves three main buckets of information that HR can analyze to supply the insight that executives need to make sound decisions regarding their people. The quality of the information is critical – it needs to be reliable, accurate, rich and detailed. It should be analyzed in a way that supports business strategies and it should be shared across the board with those who need the results in order to make smart decisions.

  1. How Many?
    HR needs to be sure that they have right folks in the right roles and in the right amounts to execute the current and future business plans.
  2. How Much?
    HR needs to understand and report current costs and accurately forecast future workforce and compensation investments that will keep the necessary talent in place to get the job done in a way that makes sense.
  3. How Well?
    Here is where HR needs to identify the critical success metrics and competencies needed in each job category and how well employees are performing against performance standards. HR must be able to answer questions like:
  • What is needed to improve employee performance, engagement, and retention?
  • What kind of employee development would ensure that employees have the right skills at the right time?
  • When new employees are needed, where can they be found and how can they be onboarded quickly?

The Bottom Line
To understand how HR can better contribute to the business, HR also needs to be aligned and proactive. With a clear understanding of the company’s overall strategy, HR must support that strategy through the workforce, be agile enough to adapt as needed, and provide the metrics of progress toward improved performance.

To learn more about taking your HR function to the next level, download What HR Needs to Do to Earn a Seat at the Executive Table – According to Executives

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