Harvard Business Review’s Prescription for a More Appreciated HR Function

Amber Hyatt, Vice President, Product Marketing, SilkRoad
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The July/August 2015 Harvard Business Review features a story about Human Resource professionals that might make you cringe initially, “Why We Love to Hate HR … and What HR Can Do About It.” [Note requires registration or subscription.] The article offers a walk through the history of human resources, highlighting the profession’s highs and lows, which tend to rise and fall over the years, in-step with demand for skilled labor.

On the other hand, the feature offers some great tips for talent management professionals and departments, including “what HR should be doing now” tips. These tips encourage HR pros and departments to be more proactive. Emphasizing the importance of setting the agenda, this section challenges HR pros to articulate “a point of view on every people-related topic relevant to the business” to show executives what they should care about and why, including layoffs, recruiting, flexible work arrangements, performance management and more. The article praises some of the trailblazers that manage HR proactively; PwC, Juniper Networks, Microsoft, Deloitte, Google and IBM all receive props.

  • A few of the most powerful recommendations contained in the article include:
    Acquire business knowledge: HR departments should mine and manage their own analytics; don’t rely on other departments in the business to answer fundamental HR questions
  • Highlight financial benefits: connect programs that work to the organization’s bottom line
  • Walk away from the time wasters: abandon programs that don’t help the organization

While the article cites big companies as evidence of how innovation and new ways of thinking are making select HR departments more useful and impactful than ever, technology advances have made it possible for mid-sized organizations to also succeed through innovation. Look no further than your cloud-based HRM software; it’s enabling a wide range of organizations to do the same.

Looking for guidance on how to be more proactive and strategic? Try the Ultimate Guide to Strategy for HR Leaders a new eBook from SilkRoad designed for HR teams who want to be more strategic and gain that coveted place at the table.

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