HR Today: Increasing HR value in your organization

Human Resources play a very vital role in modern day corporate governance and administration. It is seen as a strategic business partner and therefore given an important role that includes being an integral part of the processes and procedures geared towards achieving the overall goals and objectives for the organization.

There are many business hurdles that confront management in today’s business modules – amongst them are developing strategies to suit customer expectation aside everyday administrative challenges.  Hiring and the ability to retain such skill in the business therefore becomes a major challenge for HR especially when newly recruits with a lot of potential are quick to move to a more paying job. HR sits in the strategic meetings and therefore appreciates the position of the business in terms of its focus, business expansion, financial strength, customer expectation amongst others. This has helped the HR in moving beyond a traditional role to a more strategic and weighty function other than the tag of a cost component.

Increasing the value of HR in a business therefore needs a conscious effort with a proper structure that will help administering an effective and efficient HR practice.

Segment your Customers – There are different categories of people/bodies under the organizational umbrella and it is expected that HR provide services to all. They are both internal and external customers, internal customers are mainly employees– either permanent or contract and potential employees whiles HR’s external customers includes vendors, service providers etc. There is the need to tailor activities and events to meet the expectation of all the different groups of people as well as the individuals. Customers expect to have a lasting experience with HR. The various descriptions will assist enrich the design of a structure which will be in-line with the expectations of the respective customers. Breaking down customer expectations becomes one of the first steps needed in attending to the business needs of the larger group. It helps in assigning responsibilities and also keeping an eye on the outcomes especially since we know the strength and weaknesses of our teams.

Recognize and Optimize – With the customer database, projections can now be made into what we foresee to be the needs of our segmented customers, work should commence into providing them standard service delivery. HR must focus on corporate culture, recruitment needs, onboarding, employee engagement/experience, learning and development (L&D), performance and talent management concerns, succession planning etc. and operational efficiency. These are a few amongst the many areas where you can make a huge impact in the business.  Human Resources is part of every decision making process during management meetings so it can develop an excellent communication system through which strategic decisions on goals and objectives will be cascaded to every employee. KPI setting at the beginning of every year is a necessary activity that needs to be adhered to. Also, to work in an optimum manner, HR needs to provide matured and sound judgement on related issues, HR should be able to advice decision makers on all staffing and other related concerns. For example, if there are agitations on compensation and benefit or lack of career opportunities resulting in high turnover, Human Resources should be in a position to advice and provide retention strategies. This clearly situates HR as an added value business unit. To be more efficient and effective; the business partnership approach in resolving customer needs and meeting their expectations should be adopted. For the purposes of oversight on all HR deliverables, someone can be dedicated to oversee all external Human Resource related activities.

Evaluate the Impact – It’s very important to know your market value, especially when you are providing services largely to internal customers. Because we see and interact with our colleagues on a daily basis, it might be difficult to get accurate feedback on things you are not doing right. One of the many ways to assess your value in the organization is to use technology – simple and concise questionnaires can be uploaded and a link sent to all employees to appraise HR on initiatives, responsiveness amongst others.  An industry survey can also be conducted to measure against industry practices. HR should be mindful that employees have wild expectations and once they are made to answer questions, they expect to see change; we should therefore be able to provide innovative ways of meeting all these demands. And if for some reason we cannot meet such demands, we should be quick to respond to them and assure them of improvement in standards. Once we are proactive in our communication approach to customers and also able to advise management on these issues, HR continues to stay relevant and influential.

Resources and Budget – Manpower planning and allotment is a critical business need. You should be prompt in providing human resources as well as other logistics needed to effectively work and produce the required results. When you understand budgeting issues you will appreciate the fact that any delay will affect operational efficiency and increase expense. This again kills drive and initiative, once momentum is down apathy sets in and it affects overall productivity.  You should be focused on maximizing your potentials by giving value. HR must be interested in the return on investment (ROI) on every single individual and sometimes in teams. HR should be able to draw a proper budget and provide justification for every budgeted item – it is likely to get approval if it is well defended. Every item should be able to add value either in the short or long term. One of the surest ways in providing resources is the building of employee capacity and allocating them when need be – HR should coordinate the development of the soft skills of its employees through the use of technology. It will help save cost and increase efficiency.

Strategy and Networking – Every HR strategy begins with a very important element – a direct connection with the people we represent their interest. A direct interaction creates loyalty, employee engagement, a sense of belonging, motivation, hope that leads to a strong and vibrant company culture and identity. Trust can be built through well-defined strategy. Once employees see practical and workable strategy, they get along and that increases HR value. Loyalty towards external customers builds a great image and visibility over time and positions your brand as a brand of choice especially for young and potential employees who are likely to come in with fresh and innovative ideas.  All initiatives that will be commenced should have a strategy with a clear target audience and a guideline so intended results and outcomes can be measured.

The world of HR practice has evolved and positioned well in the business. With the introduction of Chief Human Resource Officers (CHRO), employee value propositions (EVP), business partnership framework, HR and people analytics; it is clear that HR is poised to deliver excellent service and enhance customer experience. Human Resources was in the era of employee engagement but the practices has evolved so fast that there is a new face called employee experience, this demonstrates how expectant employees are when an issue relates to HR. The main focus is to capitalize on technology and serve customers with superior service delivery. HR together with the entire organization should not become helpless victims of technology, activities and expectations which will keep changing with time and must be ready to accept the change. Engage the people with the right attitude and build a culture that retains your best employees, it will show in their productivity and reduce business risk. It is one of the best ways of adding value to your organization and positioning HR as a strategic business partner.

By Bright Ampadu Okyere | Email Address: hrtoday@gmail.com | 0244204664

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