Call it a slow-down or a recession, the impact is the same—times are challenging. We now must look with greater attention at what we do, the decisions we make, and their impact on service, performance and profitability. Surviving the recession is not just about cutting expenses — it is about changing how we think about every aspect of our business. Tough times require a look at our challenges as ways to regroup, realign and redefine our approach to being successful.
There is an ongoing debate about the role of human resources in strategic planning. In some cases, senior managers view human resource management solely as a compliance function. Other senior managers look to the HR function for more consultative services such as leadership development, performance management and employee engagement. Often times HR is called to help implement a key initiative of strategy after the decision has already been made.
Human resources departments are in a state of transition. Even as companies increasingly outsource administrative HR tasks, these departments are being asked to identify and develop next generation leaders and manage globalized talent pools. And yet, it is clear that not every HR executive has embraced this larger strategic role.
Today’s Business Demands
The HR function is in a state of transition caused by the increasing pressure to identify and develop next-generation leaders, the growing globalization of businesses and talent pools and the CEO’s requirement that HR be more strategic and relevant to the business as a whole. As HR seeks to meet these demands, others have questioned its effectiveness.
Where do we fit in the big picture?
To become a strategic partner, human resources professionals need to understand the business beyond our little domain. We need to be “big picture” people and understand our business’s objectives and how HR can help meet those objectives.
Strategic management focuses on building a solid underlying structure to your business. This structure can then be fleshed out through the combined efforts of every individual you employ.