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Creating Space for Strategic HR in Organizations

What does HR mean to your organization? What is the role of HR in your company? Ask these basic questions to company chiefs, you will find that the answers pertain to recruitment, training, development and retention. In some cases organization heads agreed that HR encompasses talent management and organization design. HR is largely seen as a one-stop shop for all employee issues. If you have a problem regarding employees, HR should have the solution. HR units are formed to largely operate as the employment hub. It is no wonder then that organizations don't give serious thought to HR while making plans for the future. Often HR is the last department to be considered in the organization's budget allocation.

What needs to be done in order to create a strategic role for HR within organizations? Here are some pointers:

  • HR has to rise above the mere operational needs of the business to meet strategic goals. HR can play a very important role in giving a strategic impetus to organization development.
  • HR needs to stretch beyond the basic business imperatives to create an organization with unlimited potential and resources for strategic development.
  • Strategic thinking has to be initiated at the top. Business plans for each unit of the organization have to be synergized with the help of HR activities.
  • It is all very well for HR professionals to develop intuitive theories and models for better HR practices. But the key to developing strategic HR is to create models which are in tune with organization's competency requirements.
  • Competency development should not be the focal point of the HR initiatives. Rather, it should be the means to achieve organizations strategic plans.
  • Research has proven that more and more HR professionals strive to create equilibrium with the conflicting forces within the organization without giving much thought to the business dynamics. HR leaders need to strive for paradigm shift in their thought process and analysis of organization's core issues.
  • Very often the perceptions of HR regarding organization's capability requirements vary from the real business scenario. Organizations need to be molded to ensure maximum exploitation of business opportunities. Flexibility, adaptability, and environment sensitivity need to be ingrained within the organization culture to build organization's competencies.

Strategic thinking in HR is a choice that organizations make. There is a wide gap between theorization and implementation. This gap can only be reduced with practical testing of the HR philosophy and its core values.

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