In the article the writer had expressed his concern on underestimating role of Human resources Department in an organizational set up. The role of HR manager has confined to paper work related to recruitment and termination of employees, compensation and incentives, impart training to employees and design of developmental programmes etc. The HR Manager is responsible for implementation of policies made by CEOs or line Managers.
David Ulrich has emphasized that the role of HR should be organizational excellence rather than focusing on fundamental HR issues only.
HR has to take the lead to enable organizations survive in globalized era, to sustain revenue growth, to harness technological advances, to protect intellectual property and keep pace with changing business environment.
In global competitive economy, managers are required to be aware of entire global market scenario, political uncertainties, trade issues, fluctuating exchange rates and customer preferences. Revenue growth by way of lay- offs, cost cuts and merger & acquisitions has become new mantra for organizations. He feels rather companies should focus on creativity and innovation. The employees should be encouraged to share learning and honing their skills for achieving required revenue growth.
The geographical distance has been bridged by technological advances. In the era of technological revolution employees had to learn how to exploit technology for organizational goal.
In the changing scenario companies, who can attract, retain and develop best talent will lead the world. Companies have to keep on shifting gears to beat competition, has to take rapid decisions and invent new ways of doing work.
He affirmed that HR can deliver excellence by being partner with the senior management in the strategy execution of organization.HR can help in reducing cost of organization by work organization, delivering administrative efficiency with quality.HR should be an interface between employees and higher management to apprise concerns of the employee to management and to motivate employees to contribute to the organization.
HR should transform itself with change in organizations processes, culture.
HR should be given responsibility for designing organizational structure. The structure should identify each element of an organization and put them together for seamless operations.HR should be accountable for organizational audit. Audits are required to identify which parts require change. After the components are identified which need renovation HR should seek ways and methods to renovate that part.HR at the same time must audit its own work. HR must assess impact of each activity in collaboration with operating managers.
HR must identify processes within their domain which can be done faster, cheaper and better. For example resume screening can be done using scanner software tools to reduce recruitment cycle time.
They can design and implement new system that allows sharing administrative services.
In new role HR must be responsible for ensuring employee engagement & commitment. HR must train operating managers about importance of employee morale. Workshop reports, employee surveys and written reports are few of the tools to train line managers on importance of high employee morale. HR should recommend ways to maintain high morale. HR may suggest recruitment of few more employees on a particular project or for imparting training to employees to execute some work.
HR must make people adaptable to changes rather than resist. HR must introduce change model such as one introduced by GE Change Begins asking Who, Why, What & How. Before enforcing a change, management must ask Why are we seeking change? What will be the benefits to the organization? How to implement changes? HR must brain storm with management team to answer these questions.
However Ulrich thinks that it the collective responsibility of line managers, CEO, and HR to transform an organization. The line managers can help HR in focusing on results by talking serious about how organizational capability will create value to shareholders. They can invest more time on issues related to people. Line Managers should clearly tell HR what they wanted from them. Management shall invest in HR tools like conferences and management literature. Senior line should be always ready to adapt new HR practices.
Management shall insure that HR managers are aware of intricacies of processes and reengineering. They should be updated regularly to deliver results.
Ulrich stated that it is not an easy task to take up the new role for HR managers. They must work toward goals. They must redefine their goals in terms of value addition to the organization and business results. Senior line must drop their attitude towards HR as incompetent and ineffective staff.