What good HR can do for a business


Captured from DailyFT (13th May 2011)
- By Mr. Dinesh Weerakkody
Good people are very crucial for any business. So finding them, managing them, motivating them and holding them are key responsibilities of HR.
However, in many companies we know of, HR gets it wrong – either operating as a cloak-and-dagger society or a health-and-happiness sideshow.
These are extremes, of course, but if there is anything we have learned over the past three years in our consulting practice, it is that that’s an outrage, made only more so by the fact that most HR leaders aren’t scrambling to fix it for reasons best known to the HR heads.
In our view, HR should be every single company’s engine of growth. What could possibly be more important in a company than who gets hired, developed, promoted, or moved out of the door? After all, business is in a game to make profit and, as with all games, the team that puts the best people on the field and gets them playing together as a team wins and makes adequate money to breed more success, give salary increases to their players and to become famous.

It’s not that simple anyway to get the best out of your human resources. You would never know that though, until you get the right man on board as your HR head.
Why the CFO reigns supreme

However, even though many CEOs believe that people power is the real engine of any business, in many companies the CFO reigns supreme and as a result HR is relegated to the background. It just doesn’t make sense.
If you owned the Indian cricket team, for instance, would you hang around with the team captain or the Treasurer of the Board? Sure, the treasurer can tell you how much money the board has, but the captain knows what it takes to win, how good each player is and where to find strong recruits to fill talent gaps. That’s what HR should be all about. And as we see when we move around, it’s usually not.
That was never as painfully clear to us as it was few years ago when we spoke to some HR professionals about their role.
At one point, we asked the audience: “How many of you work at companies where the CEO gives HR a seat at the table equal to that of the CFO or the Marketing head?” After an awkward silence, fewer than five people raised their hands. Awful!
Since then, we’ve tried to understand why HR has become so marginalised and often treated as the poor cousin in the management team, and as noted above, there are at least two poles of bad behaviour. The cloak-and-dagger role:
That occurs when HR managers become stealthy little kingmakers, making and breaking careers, sometimes not even at the CEO’s behest.
These HR departments can indeed be powerful but often in a detrimental way, prompting the best people to leave just to get away from the palace intrigue of it all, then after a while become a drag on the business and finally get marginalised.
Just as often, though, you get the other extreme: HR departments that plan picnics, put out the in-house newsletter and generally drive everyone crazy by enforcing rules and regulations that appear to have no purpose other than to increase bureaucracy. They derive the little power they have by being the ‘you can’t do that,’ which we call the audit or police role.
Get HR to do its real job
So to get it right, it all starts with the kind of people boards appoint to run their HR – not kingmakers or cops but real HR professionals, people with real stature and credibility.
In fact, they need to fill HR with a special kind of hybrid: people who are one part a priest, hearing all sins and complaints without recrimination, and other part the parent role, loving and nurturing but giving it to you straight when you are off-track.
Priest-parent types can rise through HR, but more often than not, they have run something during their careers, such as a factory or a function.
They get a good feel of the business – its inner workings, history and tensions, the hidden hierarchies in people’s minds.
They are known to be relentlessly candid, even when the message is hard, and hold the confidence at any cost. Indeed, with their insight and integrity, the priest-parent earns the trust of the organisation. But priest-parent types don’t just sit around making people feel warm and happy.
They make the company better, first and foremost by overseeing a rigorous performance management system that lets every person in the organisation know where he or she stands, and monitoring that system with the same intensity of Sarbanes-Oxley compliance.
CEOs should also make sure that HR fulfils two other roles: That they create effective mechanisms to reward and recognise the right people in the business and prepare the organisation to face their most charged relationships, such as those with unions, individuals who are no longer delivering results, or stars who are becoming problematic, for instance, becoming arrogant, greedy, instead of growing.
Now, given our experience with HR, the kind of high-impact HR activity we talked about probably sounds like a pipedream to a CEO.
But given the fact that most CEOs loudly proclaim that people are their ‘biggest asset,’ CEOs need to put their money where their mouth is and get HR do its real job: elevating people management to the same level of professionalism and integrity as financial management.
Since people in our view are the whole game, what could be more important in a business than to put money behind the people who run your business and create that competitive advantage that other companies cannot copy in a hurry.
(The writer is CEO, HR Cornucopia.)

Share this post with peer HR professionals now !!!

Stumble This Fav This With Technorati Add To Del.icio.us Digg This Add To Reddit Add To Facebook Add To Yahoo I'm reading: What good HR can do for a businessAdd To Yahoo

Posted in Labels: , |

24 comments:

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Hi, Neat post. There is an issue together with your website in internet explorer, could
    test this? IE still is the market chief and
    a good component to other people will omit your wonderful writing due to this problem.


    Also visit my site ... Abercrombie and Fitch

  2. Anonymous Says:

    I do not drop a lot of remarks, however after looking at a few of the
    remarks on this page "What good HR can do for a business".

    I actually do have 2 questions for you if you don't mind. Could it be just me or do a few of these responses look like they are written by brain dead individuals? :-P And, if you are writing at other social sites, I'd
    like to follow you. Could you make a list of all of your
    social community sites like your linkedin profile,
    Facebook page or twitter feed?

    Here is my site ... Abercrombie Bruxelles

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Wonderful blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo News.
    Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I've been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Many thanks

    Check out my blog: Converse All Star

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Terrific article! That is the type of info that should
    be shared across the web. Shame on the search engines for now
    not positioning this submit upper! Come on
    over and talk over with my web site . Thanks =)

    my site - http://www.drolet.ca/masters/michaelkorsoutlet.html

  5. Anonymous Says:

    I wanted to thank you for this fantastic read!! I absolutely enjoyed every little bit of
    it. I have got you saved as a favorite to look at new stuff you post…

    Also visit my web-site; cheap louis vuitton bags

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Wow that was odd. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn't show up. Grrrr... well I'm not
    writing all that over again. Anyhow, just wanted to say fantastic
    blog!

    Check out my web site :: Michael Kors Canada

  7. Anonymous Says:

    It's actually a nice and useful piece of info. I am happy that you just shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

    Look at my blog post Louis Vuitton Outlet1

  8. Anonymous Says:

    I love reading a post that will make people think. Also, thank you for allowing me to comment!


    My site ... Cheap Jerseys3

  9. Anonymous Says:

    Do you have a spam issue on this site; I also am a blogger, and I
    was wanting to know your situation; many of us have developed some nice procedures and we are looking to trade methods with others, why not
    shoot me an e-mail if interested.

    Here is my website: Montre Guess

  10. Anonymous Says:

    Fantastic beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your website, how can
    i subscribe for a blog website? The account helped me a acceptable
    deal. I had been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast provided bright clear concept

    Feel free to visit my web site; Abercrombie Paris

  11. Anonymous Says:

    Hello there! This article could not be written much better!

    Looking through this post reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He constantly kept talking about this. I am going to send this information to him.
    Pretty sure he's going to have a very good read. Many thanks for sharing!

    Here is my blog :: Chaussure De Foot Pas Cher

  12. Anonymous Says:

    I like the valuable info you provide in your articles.
    I will bookmark your weblog and check again here regularly.

    I am quite certain I will learn plenty of new stuff right here!

    Best of luck for the next!

    Also visit my website ... Cheap Louis Vuitton Bags

  13. Anonymous Says:

    You made some really good points there. I looked on the web for more information
    about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this site.


    my web page :: Chaussure Air Jordan

  14. Anonymous Says:

    Awesome article.

    My web-site: Louis Vuitton Pas Cher

  15. Anonymous Says:

    You will need to set aside of excitement to any exercise routine.
    Typically the work outs are diverse and apparently put together
    1 complete system purposes and it can be used whether
    you are correct order for p90x workouts interested in
    the entire program or not. I also bought and had no appetite correct order for p90x
    workouts or strength.

    Also visit my site ... http://iesjoanfustersueca.edu.gva.es/fuster/user/view.php?id=17987&course=1

  16. Anonymous Says:

    Today, I went to the beachfront with my kids. I
    found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said "You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear." She placed
    the shell to her ear and screamed. There was
    a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants
    to go back! LoL I know this is completely off topic but I had to tell someone!



    Feel free to surf to my web site - Louis Vuitton Handbags

  17. Anonymous Says:

    Informative article, exactly what I was looking for.

    my web blog - Boutique Air Max

  18. Anonymous Says:

    We're a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your website provided us with valuable information to work on. You've done a formidable job and our whole community will be thankful to you.


    Check out my page :: Tory Burch Shoes

  19. Anonymous Says:

    Nice response in return of this query with real arguments and describing everything
    concerning that.

    Here is my website: Continued

  20. Anonymous Says:

    Thanks on your marvelous posting! I genuinely enjoyed reading it, you're a great author.I will make sure to bookmark your blog and will come back at some point. I want to encourage you continue your great posts, have a nice morning!

    Also visit my website: homepage

  21. Anonymous Says:

    I visited many web sites however the audio feature for audio
    songs present at this website is in fact wonderful.

    my web site; Discover More

  22. Anonymous Says:

    Wow! This blog looks exactly like my old one!

    It's on a completely different topic but it has pretty much the same page layout and design. Wonderful choice of colors!

    Here is my website Nike Black Blazers

  23. paradyne Says:

    Amazing responsibilities of HR @ thanks for sharing

  24. Anonymous Says:

    Link exchange is nothing else however it is simply placing the other person's webpage link on your page at suitable place and other person will also do similar in favor of you.

    Also visit my blog post Air Jordan Pas Cher