Case for HR as a Strategic Partner Term Paper

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HR as a Strategic Partner

Over the years in a lot of organizations Human Resources -HR are considered as a source of competitive edge. An increasing appreciation of the fact that unique competencies are got by way of greatly developed employee skills, unique organizational cultures, management processes and systems. It has been more and more acknowledged that competitive edge can be got by way of high quality personnel that facilitate organizations to compete on the basis of market responsiveness, quality of service and product, differentiated products and technological innovation. Strategic HR Management can be defined as "connecting HR with the strategic targets and objectives so as to improve the performance of business and develop organizational culture which promote innovation and flexibility." (Strategic Human Resource Management)

Strategic HR indicates accepting the HR function as a strategic partner in devising of the strategies of the companies as also in the execution of those strategies by way of HR functions like recruiting, selecting, training and rewarding the employees. While strategic HR appreciates the partnership role of HR in the process of strategizing, HR strategies indicate the HR courses of action which the organization intends to carry out to attain its objectives. (Strategic Human Resource Management) A comprehensive HR strategy plays an important part in the achievement of an organization's general objectives and visibly shows that HR functions completely understands and favors the path in which the organization is moving. A complete HR strategy will also favor other specific strategic objectives performed by the marketing, financial, operational and technology divisions. (A guide to strategic human resource planning)

In its real meaning an HR strategy should aim to capture "the people component" of what an organization is expecting to achieve in the medium to long-term making sure that (i) it has the correct people in place (ii) it has the correct mix of competencies (iii) the personnel exhibit the correct attitudes and behaviors, and (iv) the workforce are developed in the proper manner. An HR strategy will be adding value to the organization in case of (a) expresses more visibly some of the common themes which are responsible for the fulfilling of other plans and strategies that have not been identified earlier and (b) finds out basic underlying concerns that must be tackled by any organization or business incase its people are required to be motivated, dedicated and function efficiently. The HR strategy will require depicting that cautious planning of the people problem will render it significantly simpler for the organization to attain its broad strategic and functional objectives. (A guide to strategic human resource planning)

Apart from that, the human resource practitioner must make sure that the HR strategy is unified with wider organizational objectives. To top it, it must guarantee that the rest of the organization accepts the strategy. In order to attain this objective, practitioners must (i) discuss with every stakeholder regarding the type of strategy, (ii) nurture and develop partners and supporters of the strategies through the procedure of consultation (iii) concentrate on the advantages that are being reaped from the strategy with solid instances of the manner in which it has helped. (iv) verify the facts that there is real dedication to the strategy at every stages of the organization (v) In case where possible put up quantifiable results that can be easily observed and assessed, so that it is likely to display the effect. (vi) Build the strategy part of the recruitment process particularly in case of senior managers. (A guide to strategic human resource planning)

Key Competencies of HR Executive:

In the pursuit of rethinking novel approaches to HR, a lot of businesses are moving in the direction of competencies and competency-based systems as a solution for fulfilling wants of the organization. However the question remains as to what is understood by competencies and what is the manner in which it relates to HR? According to Boyatzis, competency in HR indicates a fundamental characteristic of personnel, which might be a motive, skill, trait, features of one's self-image, social role, or a body of knowledge that brings about in efficient and better performance. According to Tucker and Cofsky, (1994), competencies can be grouped as (a) skills: the display of competence which for instance indicates the ability to make efficient presentations, or to negotiate successfully. (ii) Knowledge: information gathered in a functional area of expertise viz. accounting, HR management. (iii) Self-concepts: attitudes, values and self-image, (iv) Traits: a normal temperament to behave in a certain manner and (v) Motives: continuous thoughts that drive behaviors viz. drive in order to achieve.

Competencies are therefore a combination of Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs) which when acquired permits an individual perform a job or function at a defined stage of proficiency. Among the level of competencies, strategic competencies are the most sought after competencies which are the core competencies of the organization. These concentrate on organizational ability and within it are included competencies which create a competitive advantage viz ingenuity, speed, service, technology. It is widely acknowledged that competencies can be utilized to facilitate change in HR and that the role of HR is shifting from a prominence on rules to attention on results. To aid in this paradigm shift, a number of organizations are finding out new competencies. Competencies are utilized as a means to refocus the organization on what is truly vital and what is necessary for the workforce to emerge victorious. (Looking to the Future: Human Resources Competencies)

Apart from that, competencies give the means to concentrate on the technical features of a specific job and find out a critical path through regulations and laws to the outcomes desired by the management. Besides, competency models emphasize competencies required by the organization and cater as means for change. In HR development, competencies are utilized to find out plug the gaps in the capabilities of individuals. In case of performance management, competencies and results are evaluated to link the manner in which a job was performed with the results achieved. In compensation, remuneration can be based on the acknowledged skills and proficiencies used on the job. (Looking to the Future: Human Resources Competencies)

A lot of people expect that competencies will also assist their organizations communicate preferred behaviors, control costs and increase customer contentment. Competencies are also being used in the following manners to support the new HR role: (i) as a strategy to reinforce the association with organizational culture, outcomes, and individual performance by stressing competencies which are required across occupational forte. (ii) As an instrument to assist in describing work and what is expected from employees in jobs in a wider, more comprehensive manner. (iii) As a way to align performance of individual as well as team with organization, vision, strategies, and the external environment. (Looking to the Future: Human Resources Competencies)

Business and HR strategies:

A business strategy depicts the business direction for the future both short, medium and long-term as regards vision, strategic themes and an assortment of planned alterations to which every program and project gives. It is necessary to think strategically regarding the organization's business direction and future plans. In the absence of definite business strategy, the organization runs the risk of (i) devoid of ownership by the business of its programs of change. (ii) Overlook opportunities to exploit novel ways of working for business benefit. (iii) Absence of consistency in HR planning (iv) absence of consistency in investment in workplace, infrastructure (v) incapability to share assets, and information. (vi) Inflexibility when confronted with modifications in the business and its environment. HR. (Business and supporting strategies)

HR strategy is focused on aligning the HR function, its precedence, channels of service delivery and abilities to support the human capital strategy of the company and get quantifiable business results. The respondents in a study conducted by Mercer Human Resource Consulting mentioned that their company possesses a human capital strategy might possibly have a HR strategy. In excess of 79% of respondents stated that they posses an HR strategy, and 88% of those mentioned that it is linked to their company's business strategy. Companies having a HR strategy report devoting greater time within HR on strategic, value added functions, and less time administration. Particularly, they devote more time designing HR programs or systems an on strategic partnering activities and less time on transacting and maintaining of records. (Transforming HR for Business Results: A Study of U.S. Organizations)

Apart from that organizations possessing an HR strategy have increased chances to measure activities, use yardsticks and use the measures to drive HR decisions. Developing human capital and HR strategies can be difficult and is at times considered not essential to the business. But research suggests that companies who have developed human capital strategies have tendency to invest more in their human capital assets and possess a better sense of the value their people contribute to the organization. Plus, those possessing an HR strategy have increased chances of devoting time on designing strategic partnering functions- functions to which HR can add the…

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