extracts from a recent article published on the HR Africa
"One of the biggest challenges facing Human
Resources managers is the dire need to re-position human resources' services
so that they represent a strategic alliance with the other core business
departments within the organisation.
The HR paradigm needs to shift in order for HR to strategically align with
the business - which in turn will facilitate a change of business mindset
about the value of HR. What is needed now is a guideline that spells out the
way forward for HR and that describes the core elements of a 'strategic HR
alliance'. This would provide at the very least, a benchmark against which
embryonic HR partnerships can grow and develop.
the organisation's products and services does not enable strategic
partnerships. It's knowing how and why the organisation does what it does,
that enables HR to fully understand the nature of the business. The
organisation's mission, vision and values; the business strategy; the
business plan as well as the core business drivers need to be fully
understood by HR. In addition, HR needs to gain an in-depth understanding of
the organisation's value chain as a whole, as well as a solid understanding
of each link within that chain. Without this comprehensive understanding of
the business, HR will remain a peripheral player in the business game.
The only way to know what each
department's needs are - is to ask. Proactively set about meeting with key
stakeholders to discuss their needs, both current and future. HR needs to be
proactive - in finding out departmental needs and deliberately planning
solutions - with the business partners. To do that well, HR needs to be able
to talk through business issues in a way that reflects a good understanding
of not only the business but also the available HR solutions.
Empowerment and accountability are good words indeed, but they demand from
HR practitioners a certain level of functioning that leads to the
entitlement of credibility in a business sphere. The debate whether HR
should be professionalised or not rages on, but certainly there is a dire
need for HR standards. The truth is self-evident - HR needs to provide
organisations with a professional service. Organisations need to demand that HR
practitioners are able to meet the challenge of building - and maintaining -
a strategic HR alliance with their business units.
It is clear that the ideal HR business partnership is still a way off for
some organisations. The time is right for HR practitioners to take a long,
hard look at the way HR is positioned within their organisations and use
these guidelines to start the metamorphosis that will lead HR out of the
back-office and into the Boardroom.