he age of Covid really has put a twist on the work of HR professionals. Staff are feeling levels of stress that we haven’t seen for a decade, working from home has completely redesigned the way employees communicate with their employers and each other, and there has been complete restructuring of entire businesses to cope with the pandemic.
It’s definitely an interesting time to be a part of the HR family. There have been some businesses who have come to the (unfortunate) conclusion that Human Resources is not part of the core business strategy. We just can’t agree with this, so we’re going to delve into why HR is so key to business strategy in the modern world.
The beauty of HR is that every organisation will have its own problems to solve, and every HR pro will have their own ideas for solving the problem. That’s why a “one size fits all” HR strategy just isn’t possible in any business that wants to succeed and improve. Every HR initiative must be tailored to the projects, people and passions of the particular business. It is absolutely in the best interests of the organisational leadership to involve HR in any discussion about major business strategy to make sure the team knows exactly what is going on and what will be asked of them as the new strategy is implemented.
From the point of view of the HR team, being involved in those discussions will be key to getting their own strategies sorted. It almost goes without saying that any job is much easier when the bosses tell you what is needed, but in the exciting world of HR anything can happen. There will always be the CEO who sees HR as a magic tool to keep staff happy no matter the reality of the business. We’ve also seen a recent trend of HR Directors pushing for the job to include a more strategic role, and we’re loving it. With HR involvement at the strategy level, it will not only make the lives of HR professionals easier but give a much more balanced and hopefully well-rounded approach to the decisions and diktats filtered down from up high.
Now, sure this may give the HR Directors a little bit more work to do, as the preparation for and participation in these meetings will be a new skill to pick up, but from what we’ve seen of the current crop of HR professionals it won’t be an issue. In the long term, it would allow us to take a more holistic view of the way we approach every business. It would also let us give input at the very top of a business, allowing us to meld the strategy and influence the business’ direction, something we know many HR pros will be excited to get started with.
Let’s not forget that HR Strategic Thinking is a big win for the businesses we are all so passionate about. The further development and refining of business strategies through the HR lens can be a great help for executives who might not be totally comfortable with the intricacies of Human Resources. At the end of the day, it’s more experienced and learned professionals providing their feedback on a strategy that would impact the business as a whole, and that can (hopefully) never be a bad thing. We don’t imagine many business leaders will take too much convincing to expand upon the role of HR in their business as the awareness of the benefits of a good HR team grows. However, if they do need some extra convincing, the amount of literature to show how much good HR can impact a business is astounding.
The role of our industry is always changing, but that’s what makes it special. We adapt to the needs of the times, and these times have some very daunting needs indeed. The effort to take our work to that next level might be a step up, but the effects that come with it will be more than worth the time. Not only is it an opportunity for HR professionals to increase their influence and role within their business, but it is an opportunity for businesses as a whole to improve their strategy and approach to projects and employees from the very top, and that’s more than just exciting, that’s exhilarating.