Part 4. What it means to Drive the Agenda of the Business
Why does the HR function exist?
I often ask this question during interactive sessions with HR professionals because too many practitioners are caught up in the race of ‘activity for activity sake’. Few HR professionals take the time to understand what the agenda of their business is and subsequently analyse how their activities drive this agenda and create value for the organisation.
Rather, what you find extensively are professionals going through the motions and executing HR practices mindlessly with the mistaken assumption that their value-creating ability lies in the quantity rather than the quality of their activities.
I would like to set two things straight:
- HR does not exist for itself; HR exists for the business.
- It is not about the ‘doables’, it is about the deliverables.
In other words, as HR practitioners, you are not in the business of providing and managing people, you are in the business of facilitating and improving business results through people.
If I ask you to rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 on how much tangible value you create for your organisation, what will your answer be?
I usually get lots of overrated answers from HR practitioners until I break down what it means to truly create value.
To understand how well you are presently creating value for your organisation, start by answering the following questions honestly:
- Do the employees of your organization have the right set of competencies and are they committed to the organization and its goals?
- Do line managers in your organisation have increased confidence in HR’s ability to ensure business strategies are executed?
- Do customers buy more products or services from your organisation, thereby resulting in greater loyalty and customer share?
- Are investors confident in your organisation’s present and future ability to succeed? Has this confidence led to increases in market value through recognition of the company’s growth prospects as measured by intangible shareholder value?
- Do the communities in which your organisation participates have more confidence in the organisation’s ability to deliver on its social responsibilities?
This is what it means to create value for an organisation. So, let me ask again. How well are you creating value for your organisation?
Dear HR Professional, the extent to which you align your activities and goals with the above-listed outcomes is the extent to which you drive the agenda of the business. And the extent to which you drive the agenda of the business is the extent to which you will enable your business win in the market place.