How to Create a Value-Added Human Resources Function

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Human resource management is under tremendous pressure to develop innovative people strategies that will ensure overall business success. In a large number of companies today, human resources, or HR, still plays the traditional role of a transactional and administrative people services provider. In this role, HR is usually viewed as necessary but not valuable. Every now and then an employee problem occurs, and HR moves to the forefront ready to save the day and company dollars by invoking policies, employment law, and preventative or reactive measures to stop the drain of company profits. But for the most part, people-related processes and services still take a back seat to more pressing business issues and are often the first to be cut or eliminated in a financial crisis.

In its simplest form, human resource management focuses on getting things done through people and is an essential part of every manager's responsibilities. It has an enormous influence on the success of an organization. People are the most important assets of any company, and the investment a company makes in its human resource department can make the difference between the successful utilization of these assets or their destruction. To aid in creating valuable and strategic human resource management, consider these 10 tips.

Develop a strategic plan for HR that aligns with and supports the company's overall vision and mission. This human resource management tool will increase the function's credibility and value.

Start small, but take some calculated risks. Implement human resource initiatives and approaches that are suitable to your company's size, interests, and business resources.

Seek assistance from all stakeholders to further evaluate ideas you have decided to pursue. Collaborate with other business functions to gain their support for the human resource management.

Stick with your human resource plan and make appropriate course corrections as required. Persistence is a key ingredient for success. New ideas and solutions may not be readily accepted, even though they may eventually have broad appeal to leaders and employees.

Watch out for scope-creep. Little refinements can become whole new initiatives that you are expected to deliver in addition to the original human resources plan. To combat this, use another human resource management tool, a roadmap or action plan to remain focused. Resist the urge to add on.

Get buy-in. Taking a new direction is like exploring new territory -- you never know for sure how the organization is going to respond. Focus on and sell the positive impact your strategic human resource management plan will have on the business.

Make sure existing human resource services and the basics are delivered in a consistent high quality manner. Measure their effectiveness and make appropriate changes. Do not cannibalize these services in favor of more exciting ones that are part of HR's new direction.

Communication is critical! All materials and information should reflect the company's image, and be crafted and designed to appeal to your leaders and employees.

Don't forget your desired outcomes. Remember, your goal is to help the company improve its long-term performance by using its human capital more effectively and aligning it with the overall business plan.

Do whatever it takes to help the people in your organization prosper and successfully achieve the company's vision.

Tips & Warnings

  • Valuable human resource management will require new thinkers who dare to change the rules to keep their organizations ahead of the competition.
  • Tremendous commitment and perseverance will be required to create a valuable human resource function, but the rewards will be well worth the effort in using these 10 tips.

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