Strategy Execution Blog, Research and Analysis
Smart CEOs Work With Human Resources
The relationship with work and human resources is a strained and confusing one. If “Work” and “Human Resources” had Facebook pages the relationship status would be set as “It’s complicated.” Ask the average employee what does HR do? And they will tell you that HR handles the hiring, firing, and garnishments of my wages. We don’t have a very good reputation. Human resources is much more than simply compensation, benefits, and disciplinary actions. A great organization with great leadership and vision understands HR’s true function within the company.
Workplace leaders; managers, supervisor and executives should know that HR is capable of driving organizational success and in order for that to happen, it must come from the top down – I’m talking about the C-SUITE players. The CEO’s, COO’s, CFO’s and CHRO’S have to champion the cause of HR as a strategy partner which helps shape, drive and executes initiatives. These top executives should incorporate the HR team in the company’s plans and communications throughout the organization and the public – external and internal customers.
The first quarter of the year, is usually time for big objectives and forecasting of things to come. The analysts have researched global and market trends and performed metrics to help the C-Suite develop goals. The smart money is on those companies that invite the CHRO, Directors and VP of HR in on the meetings – that’s right the seat at the table- to be an active participant in strategizing and implementing those plans. Since HR manages the human capital or people, which make work happen, it’s only right that HR is involved because HR can provide critical information on job duties, technology, employee productivity and ability.
Let me break it down – You’re the CEO, You want to change the way you make product- you want to be more efficient – lower costs- and reach new markets. Welp, you can’t do any of that without the right employees. Organizational change is difficult on everyone, especially incumbents. No one likes change; it’s something that you learn to accept and for many, acceptance is not in their character. You need to replace those employees; manage them out. You will need to new technology and someone needs to source, screen, recruit, train, compensate and onboard those employees. You’re going to need to perform job analysis to identify areas of improvement in the workflow process. You’re going to need help spearheading this new direction.
That’s us – that’s HR.
Yeah we can fire people, we can hire people, but it’s not that simple and relegating HR to those functions represents a major flaw in planning your company’s future.
One of my favorite CEO’s is Alan Mulally of FORD Motor Company. I admired the way he brought the company through rough times without accepting government bail-out money. Now Ford makes a better product and is profitable again. Here’s a snippet from an article on Human Resource Executive Online written by Tom Starner:
“With a major change-management scenario required to bring his company out of the cavern of near-financial disaster, Mulally would need to lean heavily on Ford's human resource department. So when Ford began its tough climb back from the darkness in early 2008, Felicia Fields, its newly promoted top HR executive, was included on Mulally's top team.
"One of the first things we did was add Felicia to the Ford leadership team," Mulally says. "During this latest turnaround effort, HR has been there every step of the way. It has played, and will continue to play, a pivotal role in enhancing and executing our mission."
That just about sums it up.