Our guest blogger and HR guru Debbie Cohen of Streetwise HR, delves into how HR has evolved to have a more strategic role in the overall business plan and to not just be about employee relations.
When you think about business strategy, you probably think about board level decisions made by CEOs, MDs, and a bunch of other authoritative abbreviations.
But what about HR?
We can hear you yell ‘It’s about people management, not business management!’ from here…
But the truth is, HR is a powerful weapon when it comes to sharpening an organisation’s strategy.
Because it’s one of the only functions to understand – and affect – every part of a business, from the guys in the photocopier room right through to the board.
This all-encompassing role means that HR has a handle on the inner workings of every cog in the machine, and is therefore inherently privy to what makes a company successful, and what does not.
So how do we get the most out of our HR?
The only way to get the absolute most out of your HR function is to ensure it has solid relationships with the guys at the top – if the MD doesn’t recognise its potential contribution to the business’ day-to-day operations and wider strategy, then HR’s valuable comprehensive knowledge goes to waste.
How do we align HR with the business’ strategy?
Whilst it’s up to the business to acknowledge HR’s strategic role, it’s also HR’s responsibility to ensure it’s completely aligned to the business’ needs and goals. This means working closely with the Directors and getting its hands dirty with as many change situations as possible; the more HR engages with the development of the business, the more the business will depend on its input. Having the right HR person that ‘gets you’ is key, whether that is in-house or outsourced.
And of course, by immersing itself in the business, HR is in the perfect position to spot when an issue is likely to develop.
The good news is that more and more business owners are making HR a key part of the executive team, allowing it to have a more strategic role in the overall business plan. Yep, the days of HR being solely about employee relations are a thing of the past.
So for all you savvy business owners out there, make sure your HR function is an integral part of your company’s growth and development, otherwise you’ll miss out on a mountain of inside knowledge and experience.
If you’d like to make the most of how HR works within your business then get in touch. The team at Streetwise HR would be more than happy to come and carry out a HR strategic review on your business to see how you can operate more effectively.