In our work, we often hear HR executives lament about not having a seat at the table when it comes to being part of the strategic decision-making process. They frequently speak of the desire to be true strategic partners with their peers, rather than merely comp and benefits administrators or purveyors of training programs that may or may not contribute to the bottom line of the business.
The good news is that the time has never been better for HR execs to reconstitute their role — by shifting from Human Resource Managers to Chief Commitment Officers. What CEOs and business leaders want and need more than ever is employees who are 100% engaged and committed to the success of the organization, and no one is better positioned and equipped to support this need than HR.
But to do this, rather than say yes to every request for training they receive, HR instead needs to identify the key opportunities for driving increased engagement and commitment — and focus laser-like on dissolving the fear, apathy, cynicism, resistance and resignation that permeate most organizations.
Much of what HR has historically provided that does not make the greatest contribution to the success of the business can be either outsourced, if appropriate, or at least made routine and automated.
HR managers today are uniquely positioned to a) identify areas of misalignment and friction, and b) help business leaders transform those dynamics into total alignment and shared commitment. The results of partnering with business leaders in this fashion will be exactly what HR leaders have longed for all along.