In recent years, organizations have awakened to the critical need include human resources as part of their strategic planning process. CEO of the organization is recognizing that HR can be the proactive warrior for them. Employees and their continued work – related learning are key to organizational goal attainment. Continuous improvement at all levels ongoing work-based learning opportunities – that is, organizations need to become “learning organizations”. Who actually behind of all these activities, the Director or the Head of HR or better to say all the personnel involved with HR? "Everyone is cost-sensitive today. Companies go out of business all the time. That's what makes expensive programs difficult to sell," "CEOs are cautious about making a mistake". "It would be difficult to sell a program that had a large price tag, with the business economy having potholes in it. Learning is no longer just an employee benefit, but rather a competitive necessity. Corporate strategies must link training and development to key business goals, with an emphasis on measurement, such as return on investment (ROI) and the accompanying new tools for human resources management. The CEO is no more interested to only providing the training but very much interested to see the end result and HR successfully can do it for the organizations.
Spreading and sustaining organizational culture, especially in today’s global organizations, requires new ways to coordinate and deliver consistent information and values about one’s organization. Quality is a strategic goal requiring involvement of all levels of employees, customers and suppliers in organizational change efforts. Not only that developing measurement standard for quality requires organization – wide learning through training e.g. six sigma, balance score cards, ISO 9000+ etc., HR can easily get one step closer to all these and achieving the success for the organizations.
Organization culture is reflected in the role of HR in the organization. Some HR departments are still inhabited by mere paper pushers and number crunchers. They sit waiting, like a Venus's-flytrap, for a problem to land on their sensitive trigger hairs. When it does, they react, swallowing the problem and digesting it—without the aid of even a rudimentary nervous system—and then return to waiting. Other HR professionals sit in on strategic planning sessions with the CEO. These HR functions are always one step ahead of the rest of the organization, analyzing, predicting and designing programs for problems that haven't begun to germinate, like frogs sitting on lily pads, watchful eyes searching for problems on the horizon. Problems that are identified as being credible are snatched out of mid air before they have a chance to light. Where the culture allows it, the frog approach is preferable.
The culture isn't the only factor that determines the ability of HR to be proactive, however. In addition to understanding of the culture, there are two other factors that influence the chances of success as an hr warrior for the CEO:
· The relationship with the CEO
· The credibility as a business leader
Build a relationship with the CEO
Before the build a relationship with the CEO, must know who he or she is. What are the CEO's likes and dislikes? What's the CEO's hidden agenda, his or her background? Study the CEO the way would study an HR problem. Gather data. Do research. Observe. The CEO is a strategist and a visionary. People who have risen to the company's top position must have those characteristics. They may view the world a little differently simply because they're CEOs. The CEO lives in a position of high risk. "HR people don't get many opportunities to play Bet Your Job," The job of a CEO is on the line with almost every decision he or she makes. This has a tremendous impact on motivation. Keep that in mind when develop and present programs.
Living with risk means that the CEO is more likely to be a big-picture person. The HR professional must be able to separate issues and put them into perspective for management. This requires the ability to see the big picture and not just a piece of the problem. It also means being able to take people issues and presents them in quantifiable business terms. "HR is a squirrelly, soft, touchy-feely thing. It's as much intuitive as it is scientific. Human resources is the most complex resource that management has to deal with. It's difficult to quantify the softer issues of attitude, empowerment and fairness, but at least should try to quantify them in terms of what they may mean to the bottom line."
Find out which key topics this CEO will listen to, no matter what, and build the proposals around them, understand the work style of the CEO as well. Is the CEO an action or a bottom-line person? Is the boss excited about the ripple effects and not just the splashes? Does he or she want concise, one-page support? In what kind of environment does he or she listen best—in the office or in a restaurant? "It behooves the HR professional to moderate his or her style to blend with the work style of the boss."
Conforming the style to the CEO's doesn't mean that should become a yes-man or -woman. Credibility is crucial to the acceptance of HR programs. For HR—and you—to be credible, have to take responsibility, even if it means bringing bad news to top management.
"It's a mistake to think that CEOs have all the answers. If they did, they could run companies without anyone else." "It's incumbent on us to find solutions to the problems we have today and to promote those programs diligently within the company, even if it means convincing the CEO that they need to be done. In HR there has been too much deference to our seniors, and this has hurt. It's important, I think, not to be sycophantic. We all have to have the courage to proceed with what we feel is the right thing."
The organization counts on HR to look out for the interests of employees. "Most CEOs have sensitivity to the value of employees, but they're going a mile a minute, making decisions on other things. They take comfort in the idea that HR is looking out for the work force and will come forward with the point of view of employees." It's important to be a proactive ombudsman for employees. Not to do so destroys the credibility of human resources. It’s quite impossible to work well with other groups in the organization, if don't have a good understanding of the business, and this understanding is vital to developing credibility.
Another way to gain credibility is to be proactive rather than reactive. This requires creativity, something too many HR people lack. "There's a joke inside most companies that if there's a debate, people in HR run to the rule book. It's a major frustration that executive management has with HR people. They should throw away the rule book and do things by common sense."
There are organizations in which HR won't be allowed to do what they want to do, no matter how good are. "HR can spend time trying to change the place, but culture is changed by the boss, not HR. HR can be a strong leader, a great resource and the person to carry the banner, but if the boss doesn't want to do it, things aren't going to change."
So, be ready! Year 2009 can be yours. Be proactive and run as a Gladiator. Prove that HR is the new warrior for the CEO but make sure that employees understand what the new steps of HR program means—because if they understand it, they'll see how it's going to impact them." Wish all human capital a very successful and challenging new year-2009!