Human Resources Management (HRM) is probably the only business function that has faced intensive criticism. Within as well as outside organizations, the HR is seen as ineffective, bureaucratic, and highly incompetent function. Many argue that HR should be abolished to make organizations agiler. However, under current business environment, organizations need HR more than anything else. The business challenges require organizations to develop new capabilities quickly. HR can do this task if they consider themselves the business partner of organizations and not just the administrative and support function. Therefore, it is important for HR Leaders and CXOs to work together to develop an organizational culture in which HR assumes the role of strategic business partner.
HR can become strategic business partner in four ways as explained below:
Executing Strategy - HR can help line managers in implementing the strategy. Line managers face several challenges and uncertainties while implementing a new strategy. HR can align with the business managers to ensure that the planning transitions smoothly from conference room to the end solution. For efficient implementation of the strategy, HR should work as a bridge between top management and the employees at the bottom of the hierarchy.
Resources Management Experts – HR should become an expert in resources management. They should streamline the value chain to deliver quality products or services at minimum operating cost. They should also provide the administrative efficiency to ensure effective usage of the workforce. Optimum utilization of manpower will enhance productivity and HR can directly add tangible value to the organization's bottom line.
Employees’ Champion – HR should become true champions of employees. They should actively represent employees’ concerns to the top management. At the same time, they should motivate employees to contribute more towards the organization’s success. HR should boost the morale of employees by engaging them in various ways. The workers should find their true well-wisher in HR professionals.
Change Agent – Today, the business environment is more dynamic than ever before. The organizations need to adapt themselves to the external environment to stay ahead in the business. While other business functions are busy in delivering the value to customers and maintaining deadlines, the HR can play a crucial role in preparing the organization for the future. The HR can become a change agent to ensure that organization is quickly unlearning and learning to stay competitive in the long run. To do this, the HR must have expertise in various organizational processes, and willingness to accept new challenges.
To conclude, the HR must start considering itself as the primary business function and not just as a business support system. The first step towards unleashing the HR’s full potential is to start acting professionally and acknowledge the need to change their role in the organization. They should be held accountable for certain business performance parameters and start focusing on deliverables of their work. For an organization to stay competitive in the long term, its HR must lead cultural transformations rather than using consolidation and cost cutting methods to make the firm profitable. To boost the morale of HR professionals, senior management should stop seeing HR as value-sapping function and encourage them to take calculated risks to take the business to next level.