As the new Vice President of Human Resources for the Society for Human Resource Management, I am proud to launch the first installment of a bi-monthly social media column that I’ve titled Strategic HR! First and foremost, it’s my hope that this will become a very candid and interactive forum, rather than a one-way conversation where I simply post some of my philosophies. I invite all stakeholders within our community to engage in a lively debate of opinions from all corners of the employment spectrum. While I will respond to many of the conversations the real value of this column will come from your interaction with each other. So, sharpen those critical thinking skills and prepare to engage as all that I ask is that all entries are civil and professional.
Why the title Strategic HR? Well, in my opinion, our profession has not received the credit which it is due. I am referring to the difference between the antiquated concept of the old Personnel Office in our organizations of the last century, versus the more functional, effective, and comprehensive role of human resources evolving today. In the historical context the sole purpose of those working in the Personnel Office was reactionary and transactional in nature. The focus was on processing paper and interacting primarily with individuals either entering or leaving the workforce of the organization. This dedicated group of employees considered themselves, and were considered by the organization, to be perfunctory players in a sidelines game with little impact on the operating results of the entity for which they worked. But the times, and the responsibilities of the human resources department, in modern organizations have changed!
The role of today’s Human Resources Department is slowly moving from one of a transactional and processing nature to that of a vital strategic partner in all facets of the management of the entity. The senior ranks of management of many organizations contain at least one member with a top management title and responsibilities, and HR employees are actively partnering with those at all levels to effect strategic operating results on a regular basis. One of the many positive outcomes of this shift in functions is the development of a clearly identified continuum of responsibilities, duties, and tasks for every organizational employee tying directly into the strategic plan, and which are embodied in every Job Description, Standards of Performance document, and then finally in every organizational Performance Evaluation Instrument. The emphasis now is clearly on strategic performance at the individual employee level. This system of comprehensive strategic performance optimization will be the topic of our next column installment right here.
The world is changing rapidly, and the role and functions of the HR department are changing dramatically, but more slowly. I would like to hear from you in the form of responses to my portrayal of these changes. Are they good for employees as well as for the organizations? Where is your organization in this trend of HR transformation? And should there be changes in addition to the ones I have mentioned here? Share some of your best practices with us. The forum is open for your opinions.
Now- Look forward to hearing from you!