Magazine article New Zealand Management

New HR-Confident Courageous and Business Savvy

Magazine article New Zealand Management

New HR-Confident Courageous and Business Savvy

Article excerpt

As the "people matter" mantra starts seriously penetrating corporate consciousness worldwide, the role of human resource specialist is also changing--to be both more business oriented and more strategic.

It's no longer enough for HR to be a "strategic partner" in business, says David Hutchins, chair of the US-based Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

"We need to move beyond that and understand we need to be strategic leaders and strategic contributors to organisational success.

"That means we need to be fully involved and actively engaged in establishing business strategy. We need to understand the economic environment in which the organisation operates, bring more business perspective to how people are deployed and utilised in that organisation, and we need to be thinking forward, anticipating change and creating organisational readiness for it."

And yes, that does mean encouraging HR to take a seat at the boardroom table, agrees Hutchins.

"For HR professionals to be successful as strategic leaders, they need to gain access to the board level because boards of directors are making critical and strategic decisions that have human capital implications--and we must be part of that discussion."

All of which means HR practitioners need to look at broadening their perspective and their skill base.

Hutchins characterises the perspective shift as moving from "inside-out" to "outside in".

In other words, instead of viewing HR needs and practices through the narrow lens of their own speciality, practitioners need to identify, understand and focus on the needs of their specific business and industry.

"That input is then taken into how HR practices are developed within that organisation to meet both its needs and the needs of the people working in it. It's not HR for the sake of HR but HR for the sake of the organisation."

Okay, so being a HR leader now means having good business knowledge. …

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