Case for Human Resources as a Strategic Partner
In an era of organizational flux due to competition and globalization, companies and employees are faced with constant change. Leaders must be able to adapt to change as the environment shifts. HR has been known as the organizational change agent, administrative expert, and employee advocate. More recently they have been regarded as business strategic partners for many organizations. In order to be successful and remain competitive in today’s market, Human Resources (HR) must be considered a strategic partner if an organization wants to flourish. Top executives today commit significant resources to ensure that their company’s functions are capable of rapid change and achieving their goals. Far too often, the Human Resources (HR) function is nominal thus they are not as quick to respond to the rapid rate of change. When “this occurs, companies may be perpetuating or even creating barriers to fully leveraging their human capital. Organizations can begin the process of removing these barriers by assessing the Human Resources function and its alignment with business objectives” (Wert & Liwanag , 2002). This paper will make a case for having HR report to the CEO. In order to do so the author will describe the relationship between HR strategies and business strategies. Examples of HR strategies that can be effective will be discussed. In addition, the author will examine the benefits and consequence of having HR as a strategic partner and well as the key business competencies that they must retain. Furthermore, she will discuss an optimal career path for a senior HR executive.
HR Strategies and Business Strategies
In order for an organization to succeed and be competitive they must be strategic and have a strategic management plan. According to Webster’s New American Dictionary, strategy is defined “as the skillful employment and coordination of tactics and as artful planning and management” (Noe et al., 2002, 55). Business strategies touch every entity of the business including HR which is where many of the business necessities begin. The HR function needs to be involved in the strategic management process as “each component of the process involves people related business issues” (Noe et al., 2002, 59) which is the primary function of HR. “Once the strategy has been determined, HRM has a profound impact on the implementation of the plan by developing and aligning HRM practices that ensure that the company has motivated employees with the necessary skills” (Noe et al., 2002, 83).
HR must enact its own strategies which can aid the organization in meeting its goals and mission. They are referred to as strategic human resource management (SHRM). SHRM is “a pattern of planned human resource deployments and activities intended to enable an organization to achieve its goals” (Noe et al., 2002, 55). The following are examples in which HR strategies can positively impact an organization in...