This column addresses emerging trends and issues in the development and implementation of human resource strategies. Please respond with your views and experiences to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are We Business Leaders?
While many HR leaders today envision themselves as strategic business partners, sitting at the table and building organizational capabilities, many are finding it difficult to fulfill this role. Managers value HR's functional expertise, quick response to their problems and crises, and personal rapport and relationships; however, they do not always see HR leaders as fully contributing members of a management team. Further, they do not perceive people-related business issues and initiatives to be as important as financial, sales, and other business concerns.
HR leaders often accept a supporting role and concentrate on HR initiatives aligned with vaguely defined organizational capabilities, e.g., becoming an employer of choice (best place to work), improving employee retention, building a more collaborative and knowledge-sharing culture, becoming a more adaptive and flexible organization. Strengthening leadership, building and valuing diversity, improving productivity, increasing employee satisfaction, or building high performance work organizations are also common priorities.
Such initiatives may be important, but do we position them as critical actions for implementing specific business strategies? As business leaders we make a specific, clear, and convincing business case for sustained business attention to each people-related business issue. To do this, we address HR initiatives from a business point of …