HR has come a long way since the advent of the fax machine. What was once merely an administrative arm of a company, tasked with organizing the odd welcome party or farewell gift, has evolved into a strategic powerhouse in today's fast-paced startup world. No longer content with simply arranging annual trips to Bali, HR departments are now driving the direction and success of businesses everywhere.
Gone are the days when HR was confined to basic administrative duties. Today's Strategic HR Management is a dynamic and multi-faceted field that reaches beyond the HR department and into the heart of a company. Internally, HR leaders must expertly navigate a complex web of employee acquisition, retention, training, and compensation, constantly fine-tuning their strategies to keep their company ahead of the curve. But that's just the beginning. The true power of Strategic HR lies in its ability to impact a company both internally and externally, shaping its future for the better.
HR's role extends far beyond the walls of the organization. Externally, they must be the sentinels of change, anticipating and deftly navigating the shifting landscape of external factors that can impact their employees. Whether it's the disruptive forces of globalization and offshoring, changes in employment laws, skyrocketing healthcare costs, or the ever-evolving demographics of the workforce, HR must be at the forefront, ready to adapt and overcome. But before we delve into these complex challenges, let's take a step back and revisit the fundamentals.
What’s Human Resource Management?
Human Resource Management (HRM) or Human Capital Management (HCM), is the strategic approach to the effective and efficient management of people in a company. It's the art and science of harnessing the power of people to drive business success.
By carefully balancing the needs and goals of both the organization and its employees, HRM experts craft strategies that maximize employee performance and unleash a flood of productivity. It’s HRM or HR’s job to employ people, training them, compensating them, developing policies relating to them, and developing strategies to retain them.
Why Are Human Resource Management Important?
Unleashing human potential is the ultimate game-changer in any organization, and that's why the role of Human Resource Management is crucial. Picture this - HR pros are the architects of employee excellence, building a foundation of talent that drives the company forward. With their expertise in onboarding, development, and succession planning, HR ensures that the company's most valuable asset - its people - are equipped to perform at their best. A high-performing workforce can elevate a company to new heights, but conversely, a lack of investment in employee growth can lead to mediocre results.
The HR team stays ahead of the game by constantly surveying the job market to ensure the company remains a top contender. They fiercely advocate for fair compensation and benefits for all employees. But it's not just about attracting new talent. The HR team also crafts innovative strategies to keep current employees thriving and prevents burnout, so the company can pivot to meet evolving needs with a well-rounded and motivated team.
Objective Of Strategic Human Resource Management
Strategic Human Resource Management sets its sights high with four powerhouse objectives. These objectives are laser-focused on maximizing employee potential and delivering tangible results to the company's bottom line. When executed with precision, HRM can supercharge a company's success and skyrocket its growth trajectory.
HRM takes a hands-on approach to helping employees reach their personal goals, especially when aligned with the company's mission. Equipping employees with the right tools and fueling them with the proper motivation is key to this objective and drives both individual and organizational success.
At its essence, HRM's primary function is to align resources with strategic goals. The HR team meticulously crafts and enforces rules and guidelines to ensure everything they do supports this critical objective, and propels the company forward.
HRM serves as the right-hand to the organization, guiding the company to success by expertly handling employee training, hiring, and retention, all while ensuring the employees' efforts are aligned with and drive the company's growth goals.
HRM shoulders a heavy responsibility to act with ethics and social awareness, addressing challenges and needs from all angles with finesse. This role requires HR to minimize the fallout from any negative impact, including navigating legal issues with a steady hand and thoughtful approach, safeguarding the well-being of the company and its employees.
HR basic that every HR Professional Should Know
As an HR professional or aspirant, it's crucial to master the four cornerstone roles of HRM. By honing your skills in these areas, you'll be well-equipped to tackle any HR challenge and drive organizational success.
Hiring The Right People
Finding the perfect match for a role is a delicate balance. Candidates may have the necessary credentials, but a misalignment with company culture or an intangible quality can make all the difference. Hiring the right person is a complex puzzle where the solution is often hard to quantify.
HRM can simplify the hiring process and secure the right fit by tapping into the expertise of those closest to the role. Inviting input from employees can reveal the specific qualities, background, and traits they need in a new hire, and provide valuable insights to HR during the hiring process.
Empowering employees to join the recruitment process can pay big dividends. From screening CVs with HR, to conducting interviews, involving employees in the hiring journey adds another layer of expertise and ensures a perfect match for the role and company culture.
Training & Retaining
As individuals constantly evolve, it's vital for HR to keep employees up-to-date with the changing needs of the company. Whether it's job-specific training or broader topics like ethics, legal compliance, or preventing harassment, HR has a crucial role to play in ensuring employees are equipped with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed.
Investing in employee training has a double benefit: not only do employees acquire new skills and knowledge, they also feel more fulfilled and satisfied in their jobs. A happy employee is more likely to be engaged with the company and produce higher quality work, creating a positive cycle of growth and success.
Happy employees equal engaged employees, leading to greater job satisfaction and employee retention. However, be on the lookout for factors that may lead to demotivation and job departure, such as:
- Unfit organizational culture
- Poor workplace environment
- Issues with problematic managers
- Unnecessary bureaucracy
Money, Money, Money
Attracting the best candidates starts with compensation and benefits - a higher salary is certainly a draw for many job seekers. However, HR can get creative and offer other enticing perks to make the job opportunity even more appealing. From flexible work arrangements to professional development opportunities, there are multiple ways to sweeten the deal and attract the right fit for the job.
- A fair compensation that meets the industry’s standard
- Health benefits such as insurance, gym & spa membership
- A clear and concise retirement plans
- Company shares or RSUs
- The option to work from anywhere
- Longer vacation time and option to have sabbaticals
- Un-deducted sick leaves
- Carried over or cashing of unspent leaves
- Multi-tiered bonuses, not just yearly but quarterly as well
- Tuition reimbursement
Don't wait for the unexpected - be ready for it! A strong HRM system is crucial in ensuring seamless transitions when an employee decides to leave. By having a succession plan in place, the company can avoid the chaos of finding a replacement at the last minute and instead, smoothly transition to a new team member. Be proactive, plan ahead, and always have a backup plan!
Don't wait until it's too late to plan for the future. Be proactive and ensure a seamless transition by having a succession plan in place. Identify potential successors for critical positions, groom them from the get-go, and empower them to take on more responsibility through coaching and mentorship. By doing so, the company will always be ready for the unexpected and the successors will be well-equipped to step up and fill the shoes of their predecessors. It's a smart move for both the company and the employees.
HRM is like the conductor of an orchestra, leading the company towards a harmonious symphony of success. With the responsibility to guide and manage the human element of the organization, HRM must be flexible and ready to pivot their strategy in response to ever-evolving company needs.