ROLE OF HR AS A STRATEGIC PARTNER
BANKING FINANCE|October 2021
Strategic human resource management involves a future-focused goal-oriented process of developing and implementing HR programs and initiatives that will address and solve business problems and directly contribute in achieving major long-term business objectives of the organization.
Abhinav Jain

Gone are the days when HR management was seen as an administrative function focused on daily responsibilities such as employee recruiting and selection and managing employee benefits. Changing market conditions and new business thinking call for HR business strategies that include recruiting and retaining the right people, as well as providing ethical and cultural leadership.

Strategic planning presents great challenges and plethora of opportunities for HR professionals. Nearly all HR leaders in the largest global companies are involved in strategic decision-making and are member of the organization's strategy team, and a majority of HR professionals have strategic planning as part of their core job. In contrast, HR professionals in many medium and small organizations are not often involved in organizational or functional strategic planning.

Consequently, to achieve long-term strategic HR objectives that are set by HR and to be a key player in the organization's strategic planning process, some HR departments may need to strive and justify to senior management about the value and contribution they can provide, and in overall organizations strategy.

How to develop a strategic HR plan?

Developing a strategic HR plan is an art as well as it needs scientific approach. HR's role includes developing a plan of HR initiatives to achieve and promote the behaviors, culture and competencies needed to attain and achieve organizational goals.

Results-oriented goals broadly include the following:

1) Correctly assessing staff requirement, skill set, job role requirements.

2) Developing and maintaining competitive pay and benefits at par with industry standards.

3) Managing performance and designing a rewards system that keeps employees motivated and developing yardsticks to measure and quantify performance.

4) Knowing about strategies and techniques competitors are using to recruit and retain talent.

5) Providing training, including ethics, which reinforces corporate values and instill a sense of responsibility towards corporate goals.

The strategic planning process begins with some critically analytical questions like:

1) Where is the organization now? - Reply to this question is expected to assess the current situation.

2) Where do we want to be? - Reply to this question is expected to Envision and articulate a desired future.

3) How organization will get there? - Reply to this question is expected to Formulate and implement a strategy and strategic objectives.

4) How will we know if we are on track toward our intended destination - Reply to this question is expected to establish a mechanism to evaluate progress in allotted task or project.

How to assess current situation?

Being a strategic business partner means carrying out HR activities with perspective of attaining long-range goals of the organization in mind. To do this following below-mentioned strategies can be helpful:

1) Try to clearly understand how the various organizational components interact and recognize the long-term implications of HR decisions. The impact of HR decisions must be thoroughly researched and analyzed before changes are implemented.

2) Have a deep insight of business basics, including finance, marketing, sales, operations and IT and all other back-office or key tasks. These skills help with budgeting and with maintaining a workforce with the correct mix of skills.

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