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While there is no doubt about the potential in the management of the HR functions to contribute to business, the capability to do so lies only at the individual level. Using one's knowledge of HR tools and methodologies to add business value is a competency HR professionals develop by intimately understanding the business levers and which methodology to integrate them with.
The objective of each function is to maximize revenue and profitability. Functional concepts and tools which drive these are performance planning, management and measurement; leadership development to drive employee motivation and teamwork; learning and training on tools which support employee performance, productivity and effectiveness; compensation planning – variable pay, performance incentives and ESOPs.
This in no way rubbishes the impact of the other aspects of HRD like generalist functions and employee engagement or organizational development as these and others determine the robustness of the four pillars of business HR. Nor does it downplay respect and consideration for people who run the business, i.e. the employees, and for whom the business runs, i.e. the customers. Discerning readers can spot why a thorough commercial understanding of business is needed along with understanding of HR, behavioral sciences and finance.
However, putting in place HR systems and processes alone and then expecting business improvement or growth is like expecting a low horsepower engine to win an F1 race.
Growing businesses are those that have understood this equation and, therefore, invest HR resources equally or proportionately in leadership building, employee learning and performance and compensation planning. Corporate haves are the companies which are building employee capabilities for the future; the have-nots are those that are obsessing about compliance. Decide where you want to be.
• Firms must build employee capabilities not focus on compliance
• Knowledge of HR tools and methodologies adds business value
• Growing firms invest HR resources in leadership building, etc.
Click on HR Management and read on making that shift to knowledge economy
Source: Geet Mala Jalota, Special to Jobs & Careers
The writer is an Independent HR Trainer and Consultant