ELEVATING THE ROLE OF HUMAN RESOURCES IN AN ORGANIZATION: BECOMING BUSINESS SAVVY
A 2012 report by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), Business Savvy: Giving HR the Edge, brought to light the need for the human resource professional to move from its traditional functional operations of service delivery and process focus into a more involved and strategic role in determining how to prepare his organization for the future. This evolves the Human Resource role from delivering support to playing an active and vital role in an organization’s development and sustainability to reach its business goals.
The report identified four foundations that human resources must establish to create more meaningful impact in the organizational environment: understanding the business model at depth; generating awareness through evidence and data; connecting with curiosity, purpose and impact; and leading with integrity, consideration and challenge.
When the HR professional understands the business at depth he is able to work with leaders by providing solutions that are attuned and better informed by the realities of business, making them more effective in the organization. While this can be easier said than done, given the perception of its roles, HR needs to transcend the functional mindset so that it can prepare the organization for its future needs. Aligning interventions, policies and strategies with the business model and goals of the organization becomes vital.
Using data and evidence to generate awareness provides clearer insight, inspiration and impact on the organization. There is a need to present numbers as evidence and to stand by what the data illustrates. Data however does not just focus on hard information but on the stories, feedback and documented experiences of the people in the organization or soft data as well. It allows the HR professional and his team to challenge existing systems and processes, and policies to provide solutions and improve performance.
By stepping outside the HR function and making connections and being curious about the roles of others from inside the organization, and with other professionals in other businesses allows the HR professional to learn from these encounters and gain insight into the business. These learnings, combined with their unique view of people management, equip the HR professional with background and basis to improve organizational value as well as change the profile of the human resource profession.
Given the three pillars of a business savvy HR professional, the fourth pillar drives the HR professional to lead with integrity, consideration and challenge so that they can serve the organization’s stakeholders rather than the power structure. They are able to challenge unsustainable practices and systems with stronger data-based evidence and business insight and make strong and sometimes difficult decisions with compassion.
While many organizations in the Philippines have adopted the business partnering model in their people management systems, the role is still often viewed in light of providing and facilitating operational services, causing them to miss out on the vital and unique strategic perspective of a business savvy HR professional.
Recognizing the need to spark the evolution of the Human Resource profession, Human Resource Innovations and Solutions, Inc. (HURIS, Inc.), the exclusive Philippine partner of CIPD in the Philippines, has brought the HR Business Partner master class program to Philippine shores.