An organisation’s most important asset is its people. Their happiness, level of engagement and productivity are the key to the success of businesses across the globe. HR is the gateway to these people, and therefore holds a critical position in enabling organisations to meet their goals and pursue their ambitions.
Yet although the importance of HR is substantial, it’s often undervalued. Management, directors and other departments may incorrectly perceive the HR function as limited to looking after various administrative, hiring and payroll needs. In order to be seen as a strategic business partner that influences the organisation in its entirety, HR professionals need to demonstrate the true value they generate.
So, how exactly can HR professionals make this happen?
Get to know your stakeholders
Today’s HR professionals work in a complex environment, which requires them to master all aspects of stakeholder management. They not only have to fulfil the requirements of senior executives, line managers and directors who count on HR to manage the internal talent pool, but are also expected to simultaneously create a culture that is attractive to existing and prospective employees.
With so many different needs and desires to consider, managing stakeholder expectations can prove a challenging task. Yet in order to move towards becoming a valued business partner, HR professionals need to take time to thoroughly understand differing stakeholder requirements, and how their engagement impacts the organisation. Showing appreciation, empathy and understanding for each stakeholder will help them develop a relationship based upon respect and trust. This will pave the way for other departments to build an understanding of HR, and begin to attach greater value to the role of HR professionals.
Become a trusted partner
In order for HR to prove its importance to the overall business strategy, HR professionals must consider how they can align their approach with the broader business model and drive the organisation toward high performance and success.
By using their specialist skills, HR professionals can provide useful insight into employment trends, productivity and workforce engagement. For example, by involving HR in strategic planning, organisations will be better positioned to identify potential talent gaps, prepare the business for future challenges, and ensure it is equipped with the capabilities to create a competitive advantage.
Create an A-grade workforce
In the modern workplace, the organisational agenda is placing more importance on being people-focused. Leaders across the globe understand that engagement and productivity are critical in order to achieve success. As a result, senior management now demand that the talent pool is carefully managed, and invested in at all times. Ultimately this responsibility lies in the hands of HR professionals, who need to ensure they create a satisfied, engaged and productive workforce.
Inspiring leadership and efficient line management are two ways HR can look to motivate employees and create an environment in which they can thrive. Presenting workers with development opportunities is also important in retaining an engaged workforce. Those who feel they are constantly developing and moving along their chosen career path tend to be satisfied in their roles and more productive in their output. Using these tactics to create a high performing workplace will help business leaders achieve success and by consequence; HR will strengthen its position as a partner to the organisation.
Demonstrate your value
HR already owns much of an organisations most valuable internal data – its ’people’ data. This data provides organisations with a wealth of insight into employees, workplace trends and the overall company performance. By unleashing this gold mine of information in a way that is understood by senior management and directors, HR can demonstrate the value it generates, as well as patterns in people management that are important to all aspects of an organisation.
For example, this data can be used to show changes to work processes, patterns in employee engagement and productivity, insight into workforce trends and employee compliance issues that could affect various elements of the working environment. Revealing this information in an easy to digest manner will ensure the organisation is prepared for any people based issues that may arise, tailoring their strategies as appropriate.
The importance of HR in helping organisations generate success is substantial. HR professionals need to ensure they demonstrate the value they bring to all aspects of a business strategy. From understanding stakeholder needs, to creating an efficient and engaged workforce and communicating value via useful insight, there are many ways HR professionals can make a significant impact for organisations of all sizes. In doing so, organisations will thrive from this valuable expertise and HR professionals can continue offering strategies that create a fully engaged, efficient and content workforce.
By Annabel Jones, HR Director, ADP