The Role of Strategic HR
Human Resources is changing. Once relegated to benefits tracking and payroll services, Human Resources (HR) has become a high-quality service provider that plays a trusted advisory, business partner, and consultant role in strategic decision-making. While HR continues to perform the still important transactional functions, HR Business Partners are working with executives and managers to set priorities and guide change for organizations.
This is the first in a series of blog posts on what a HR professional needs to succeed in the new Strategic HR role. The contributors include the editors and contributors to the Handbook for Strategic HR: Best Practices in Organization Development from the OD Network.
What Does Strategic HR Look Like
In order to succeed as a HR Business Partner you need to:
- Be knowledgeable about the business’ products or services, customers, markets, competitors, business model, performance and financial drivers, human resources, mission, direction, strategy, history, culture, environment, and global influences. If you need to strengthen your knowledge in these areas, try subscribing to your industry magazine and then read it religiously.
- Know how the business makes and spends its money so you can effectively contribute to the bottom line and organizational sustainability.
- Understand how to design and implement a total rewards compensation approach to support the behaviors that will meet the needs of customers.
- Anticipate the company’s future talent needs created by a new business strategy.
- Know how to partner with senior leadership and management. This means developing collaborative relationships, including understanding interpersonal relations, personality characteristics and styles, and having empathy.
In addition you need to develop foundational Organization Development skills:
- How to think systemically, see the big picture, understand how individuals, teams, and the organization influence each other, and strategically identify where best to foster change in the organization.
- How to effect whole systems change, organization design, strategy development, leadership development, team development, organization diagnostics and assessment, coaching, facilitation, organization culture change, and the use of applied behavioral sciences to improve the effectiveness of human system dynamics.
- How to effectively use one’s self as an instrument of change
- How to put employee engagement to practical use and engage “minds, hearts, and hands” in the important work of the organization
- How to operate effectively in the global market, cross-cultural situations, and virtual working arrangements
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