Human resource and employment law professionals often receive a bad rap for being ‘pink and fluffy’ rather than strategic and business focused.
The drive for HR professionals to be more strategic, which is perceived as beneficial to a business, has been a criticism fired at them for some time now – implying that the ‘human’ side of a professional HR Manager’s role fails to add value and is of no importance.
As a result, HR, Employment Law and Training departments are often viewed as an unwanted overhead with no business significance and is usually one of the first ‘costs’ that businesses look to reduce when they need to save money.
Committed HR Professionals are the most valuable resource
Clearly, these commentators have never had the pleasure of working with a true, committed HR professional and as a result are actually cutting one of the most valuable resources that any business can have.
It is this outdated perception that makes an HR professionals role even more difficult and challenging. An HR professional requires a multiple skill set to override this misconception, unlike many other roles whose titles alone command respect without it being questioned or earned.
Fundamentally, any well rounded, experienced, effective HR professional needs to be highly skilled in both of these key business areas i.e. the human side and the business strategy side in order to truly add measurable value to any business. In other words, talented, innovative HR and Employment law professionals have to be skilled in balancing the needs of both management (at all levels) and employees.
Effective HR professionals are:
- Able to impact and influence the ‘employee resources’ of a business in line with the business strategy to support the appropriate business outcome.
- Adept at minimising the people ‘costs’ – both physical and emotional.
- Skilled at minimising the risks associated with a business decision – and there are very few business decisions that do not have a direct impact on its employees. Ensuring that employees support the business strategy positively is key to ensuring their commitment and engagement.
- Committed and passionate about business goals and the satisfaction of its employees to support business KPI’s.
So bring on Pink and fluffy – as when delivered strategically this can add quantifiable value to any business.