When will the Business listen to HR?
Author: Ragland Thomas
Leaders continue to stress the need for HR to become part of the strategy table. While we see this happening in a few organizations, there are still gaps in most places. As HR Professionals, we can say that HR plays a critical role in organizations, but the question is whether other stakeholders believe this. In the words of Jack Welch, “…to look at the companies today where the CFO reigns supreme and HR is relegated to the background. It just doesn’t make sense.” What does make sense is when the function which is responsible for managing the most critical resource for the organization – Human Resources – has a much-needed seat at the strategy table and when business listens to HR. So what can the HR Function do to achieve this position of importance in their organization? Here are a few thoughts…
- Speak the language of the Business – As HR, we tend to speak the HR language to all. It’s a natural tendency, however, the focus should be on speaking the language of the business you are in, in terms of how the HR function can deliver value and meet the specific needs of the business.
- Transition to becoming a Strategic Business Partner – In the HR role, you can be hit by multiple issues and challenges at the same time, forcing you to be highly transactional. While the transactional HR processes are important, we need to find the space & skill to be more strategic and focus on what the business wants.
- Build Your Confidence – Just think about it – as an HR function, you are responsible for creating a competitive advantage for the business through people. Is this not a powerful trigger for you to boost your confidence? Build your confidence by acquiring the right skills, delivering the right goals, and creating value for your business partner.
- Check your Mental Models – Mental models are “deeply ingrained assumptions, generalizations or even pictures that influence how we understand the world and how we take action (Senge, 1990)”. As HR we need to become self-aware of our mental models and how our mental models are influencing the way we deliver the HR agenda.
So when will the business listen to HR? The business will listen to HR when HR speaks the language of the business, operates as a strategic business partner, has the confidence to create a competitive advantage, and has the right mental models that focus on partnering for a win-win. When this happens, then the business will go a step further and say, lead the business. The upcoming HR Business Partner Certification program is an excellent option to learn these four critical aspects which will help HR members to gain a seat at the strategy table and become strategic HR Business partners.
Author: Ragland Thomas is the Vice President for Global Organization Development & Strategy for the Institute of Organization Development. He is an HR/OD Professional with over 21 years of experience in Consulting, Manufacturing, Information Technology, BPO & KPO & Shared Services Industry verticals and has worked with organizations such as Visteon, Rane, iGate, GE Capital, HSBC, Zenta, Amazon & Shell. He is the lead facilitator for IOD’s HR Business Partner Certification Program (HRBP).
The Institute of Organization Development’s HR Business Partner Certification Program is designed to help participants learn to consult and partner with their clients to develop strategies, manage change, improve processes, solve problems, resolve conflicts, and improve relationships.
Participants examine how HR departments have transformed and redesigned their resources by employing business and OD skills to become a strategic partner and leader. Participants will learn proven skills and tools to help turbo-charge the organization’s growth results by boosting their consulting capabilities and facilitation skills to develop strategic partnerships with senior leaders.
For more information about our certification programs and professional development workshops, visit our website www.instituteod.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.