The Strategic Nature Of HR

The HR department should be seen, and utilized, as a living and growing natural structure. Returning to our analogy of nature and HR, we would then want to represent HR as one of the main feeding branches to our ‘tree’ (the company as a whole) and that feeding branch needs to be looked after. We must appoint competent HR managers and show support to the department. Sometimes it seems that companies have forgotten the old model of HR…putting the right people, in the right place, at the right time. At Prosperity Management Services we interpret this as putting currently competent (or future potential) people, in the right organisational growth path, within the right timeframe for future growth.

With this being said, we can see that as a company we have a future orientated view to any company development and strategic objective. As for HR, what is clearly visible, is that the department needs to keep up with the rest of the company; actually the department needs to be a driver of change. As the seasons are ever changing, such is the environments where companies need to operate within. Without becoming lyrical about the analogy, we need to start changing with the environments, if not become the reason why environments are changing.

Within the HR arena we are told to look at the departmental structure and work within that. It is not often that we are encouraged to look at broader aspects surrounding the company. We need to ask ourselves; how much are we involved in the environment (and I am speaking of more than just ‘going green’ – although a very important aspect)? How much do I know about future skills shortages in my industry (and related industries)? If I cannot manage my own career path, how do I plan to manage someone else’s? Do I need to study further to excel more in what I do? What are the skills levels of the community that I come from, that I work in and where my employees stay?

I am not only talking about social responsibility and community development; I am talking about changing your thinking as an HR manager, employee, or trainee. We also need to think of the social costs involved – where the rest of society pays for the adverse effects a company has on them. Have you ever thought of the way you think about your position? We are not moving into a revolution, it has already happened and it is still happening.

Watching a video the other day on a popular video format website, I realised that the world has in fact changed quite dramatically; think of this: the top 10 in-demand jobs in 2010…did not exist in 2004; the students that just enrolled for high school will probably be doing jobs that do not yet exist…using technologies that have not yet been invented. We are in fact living in exponential times, but the final question that we need to ask ourselves then; will the tree be ready to handle what is thrown at it?

Unless we become proactive and change with the environment we will be left behind, wishing there was someone to give us water. HR needs to see their role in this and needs to breathe new life into their company…our everyday thoughts need to be strategic and not only yearly on a breakaway session. HR needs to interact with the environment (wind, water, fire and earth); HR needs to devise plans to get ahead of competitors while using the most important asset (human capital – growth of new branches) and finally HR needs to get involved on a daily basis (giving a life force to the tree – become the gardener).

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