Whether an organization consists of five or 25,000 employees, human resources management is vital to the success of the organization. HR is important to all managers because it provides managers with the resources – the employees – necessary to produce the work for the managers and the organization. Beyond this role, HR is capable of becoming a strong strategic partner when it comes to “establishing the overall direction and objectives of key areas of human resource management in order to ensure that they not only are consistent with but also support the achievement of business goals.” (Massey, 1994, p. 27)
Managers rely on HR to provide effective staff capable of accomplishing the goals of the organization. HR is valuable in ensuring employees are high performers, dealing with performance issues, and certifying that existing methods are compliant to the rules, contracts and laws under which the organization operates. When HR succeeds in developing processes to attract, hire and develop motivated employees, managers are able to focus on the objectives of their department and the organization.
At my organization, the City, managers look to HR to provide effective staff. Managers at the City are often employees who have worked their way up the career ladder and achieved promotions through proven skill, education and ability. They are not schooled in the field of human resources. The managers rely on HR to help satisfy staffing needs for departments and to help determine how best to use existing human assets. HR can determine if existing staff can be used, create a business case for a new position or job description and develop processes for identifying suitable employees. The expectation is that HR be able to identify qualities and transferable skills in new staff that can be developed for positions beyond that for which the individual was hired. A benefit to looking for employees with these skills is that they provide a good human asset base for succession planning.
HR functions as a strategic partner by planning and implementing methods that support the objectives of the City. HR works on identifying needs and trends and developing strategies to address them. HR takes direction from the Mayor and Council, CAO and the Director of Corporate Services. HR uses data and knowledge of the City to try to predict future needs and develop plans of attack for different objectives.
Succession planning is an area within the City where HR is acting as a strategic...