How to define the profile of Human Resources & drive effective business performance
Is there a more unloved business function than HR at the moment? A recent global survey by KPMG found that as many as one in five (21 per cent) C-suite executives fail to see a tangible correlation between the HR function and business outcomes. Nearly 30 per cent of those surveyed cited a lack of skills, resources and experience within the HR function.
HR at the heart of the organization
I can almost hear the screams from HR as you read those figures! Human Resources plays a vital role in enabling a modern organizations to meet their goals, you cry! It helps the business understand its employees, what makes them productive and engaged, what makes them tick!
Yes, that may be so – but how can HR professionals prove that to their skeptical executive colleagues? It’s a complex task to deal with aspects such as culture, environment and reward in a highly competitive business environment, not to mention developing employer brands and building talent pools. So I would argue that HR must first actively promote the business in the same way marketing does: use social networking, talent communities, and peer outreach to attract and engage the talent they need.
Change the relationship with the business leaders
The next essential part is a transformation of HR’s relationship with business leaders and the issues of the business. If HR wants to argue its case, the opportunity is there. Thanks to technology-enabled services, HR now has the ability to zoom in and identify crucial business issues, in real time.
Skills gaps for example – something that 65% of CEOs say they’re most worried about – can be turned into skills mapping and engagement creation. Or greater flexible working options such as variable work hours, job-sharing, or working from home, can create a culture that is attractive to prospective employees. According to SHRM, 41% of Millennials prefer to communicate electronically and 21% want flexible working arrangements, so it’s essential for companies to look at this evolving workstyle more closely.
Accommodating all these various needs and demands can be a difficult task. So an HR strategy that caters to all could begin with these KPIs:
Developing inspiring leadership and efficient line management
Building a two-way communication relationship with employees that enables organizations to understand how the workplace could be improved and what makes them thrive.
Presenting employees with development opportunities; employees who feel that they are constantly developing and moving along their chosen career path are more satisfied in their roles.
Tracking the development of employees and their contribution to the organization to reveal important patterns of productivity and engagement levels.
HR has all the information
HR already owns the business’s most valuable internal data – its Human Capital information. Providing organizations with a wealth of insight into employees, workplace trends and the overall company performance, must be what HR does best and where it positions itself. HR departments have long invested in software and systems devoted entirely to capturing, reporting and securely storing its ‘people data’. So now let’s use those systems to truly unleash the information and enable HR to demonstrate the value it generates. This is a format that senior management can easily understand.
In truth, HR shouldn’t need to prove its worth. It should be obvious to any executive that a business is only as strong as its people. The problem is, every manager believes they are people experts. It’s HR’s job to provide the reality check: the insight and data about what is really going on, organization-wide, and how it can be improved.
Using cloud-based, HCM systems provides the tools, integrated systems and expert support partners to achieve this and reduce costs by removing inefficient systems.
HR can take on a stronger leadership role as well as boosting both its and the organisation’s value. As more large enterprises consolidate their HCM systems, they will move beyond basic metrics (employee headcount and hours worked) to more meaningful analytics that help solve complex business issues. Then, it’s about time business leaders start to show HR the love they deserve!