How HR can support Organizational strategy?

Human resources (HR) is a critical requirement for any organization that is poised to grow in a highly competitive business environment amidst ever-growing complexity of job positions that are evolving to be cross-functional.

A recruitment activity cannot be a ‘stand-alone’ business operation any longer – and a capable recruitment consultant has to empathize, understand and be pro-active keeping his client’s requirements as well as the working environment on top of his mind. And, every organization is not the same or even similar to each other.

Recruitment & Selection
The ability to attract and select human resource having the right experience, knowledge, specific skills and attitude is an important function of HR. If HR is successful on accomplishing this goal, it will support the organization strategy in the long run. Employee engagement and ‘right attitude’ are the critical burning issues in any organization and any positive contribution of HR in these areas will be of paramount importance. I find that there is a gap here and most often it is because the HR (client) expects a ready-made solution and is not willing to experiment. While talking to my seniors, I realized, even the brightest CEOs were not completely prepared for the new assignment they did take up at the start. As capable recruitment consultants, we conduct a thorough unflinching executive search – the perfect fits are rare to find though it is not impossible to get either.

Performance Appraisal, Management and Compensation
Once the new recruit/ executive joins – it is essential to hand-hold him or her for sometime (especially in case of juniors who will feel marooned otherwise) and provide a ‘learning’ working atmosphere, a culture that can build confidence amongst the new senior executives to experiment through decision making. At the same time, let us realize that – formulating a system which is fully aligned with organizational strategy, and implementing the same in an objective and transparent manner not only makes the system acceptable, but also positively affects the employees motivation. This is essential to avoid misunderstanding, attrition or poor output among those who have recently joined.

A good HR system based on organizational strategy will deliver results faster and easier too. Compensation is an another area I would to mention about – the employer should not leave even an ‘element of doubt’ on this aspect in the new recruit’s mind or try to be ‘penny wise, pound foolish’. Working comfort, trust, ability to act freely and decisively within the set parameters encourages better performance. Again, Personnel policies should be implemented keeping in mind the ‘big’ picture of organizational strategy.

Training & Development –
Learning organizations are becoming a reality in India and are not just limited to textbooks on Organizational behavior written by Koontz and O’Donnell we studied in management schools. Infosys Limited can be termed to be a leading Indian learning organization, having mastered the technique of building employee morale in short time, by considering each employee as a stakeholder in the business process through its ESOP programmes. The working atmosphere at Infosys is conducive and relaxed – enabling free thinking, inculcating a sense of urgency that is self-initiated by employees, bringing in a feeling of ownership amongst its employees. Training & Development is a continuous process in such learning organizations.

The HR systems should be created or adopted in alignment with the organization’s strategy. HR must ensure that employees are strategically focused. Every element of HR function, from hiring, compensation, training etc, needs to be developed in order to enlarge the human capital in the organization. When HR is strategic and involved with or linked to organizational performance, it plays an important role in the success of an organization.

In essence, an organization’s competitive advantage is more easily achieved when HR is effectively linked with Organizational strategy.

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