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Article No.: 2011-1 (Welcome to a new year!)

Article Title: HR's Role in Supporting the Company's Business Imperatives in a Turbulent Economy
(This is the first in a series of articles focusing on HR's role as a strategic business partner.)

Author: Linda Gravett, Ph.D., SPHR, CEQC

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Another challenging year for many organizations has just passed.  HR professionals have been called on like never before to step up and serve as true strategic business partners.  Survival is Mission One.  Thriving in a turbulent economy is a close second.  In this article, I’ll share some thoughts about how HR professionals can add value and help line managers and executives meet the challenges their organizations are facing in the year to come.
The role of Human Resources in 2011 will be that of optimizing employee skills and ensuring alignment between individual values and the organization’s values and business imperatives.  Key activities of HR will include:

  • Work redesign and job analysis
  • Recruiting, selecting and retaining the best and the brightest
  • Building productive teams
  • Developing human potential
  • Measuring human resource effectiveness

To achieve these activities, HR professionals will need to become systems oriented rather than focused primarily on functions in isolation.  HR’s activities will be channeled towards both short term and long term results that support the organization’s Mission and Vision.
If you are considering where you want to spend time in terms of your competency development as an HR professional, I recommend that in 2011 you build expertise in human resource development and expanding the EQ (Emotional Intelligence) of your employees.  Think about how you can leverage the skills, knowledge and abilities of your workforce to meet the needs of customers and potential customers.  Do you understand the marketplace of the company for which you work?  Start there, because that understanding will help you serve as a resource to assist your organization in achieving a competitive advantage.  That understanding will help you ensure that you have the right people, with the right skills, in the right place at the right time.
Everyone within your organization is probably lobbying for budget monies this time of year.  In order to be successful in 2011 with the objectives discussed above, you’ll need to demonstrate how investment in human resources will help deliver business results.  Each month in 2011, I’ll offer articles with concrete ideas to assist you in this effort.  The impetus behind these articles will be on ways to align human resource strategies and practices with changing business needs.
My February article will discuss how HR can build its competency in the area of strategic planning.  I invite you to visit again to read about this important topic.  In the meantime, if you have any questions about this month’s article, please click here to complete and submit my Contact form.

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