What makes HR special?
Personnel Today magazine have recently published their list top 40 HR performers in the UK today.
So what differentiates average HR people from the really great ones? When their resources are skilled people with meaning and purpose and they (the people) can passionately generate a growing return on investment.
In our opinion and that echoed by many of our training partners it seems it is the ability to use inspiration and implement and execute change in a way that creates a true advantage. The are not afraid to make tough decisions, they never think they’ve reached the top of their game, and they are still determined to get there!
The true heroes of HR today are those who can understand the people and the business and set things up so that good people plus good business smarts equals bottom line competitive advantage.
Having a look at the top 40 reminds us of what Jack Welch – former head of global giant GE – once said “the best HR types are pastors and parents in the same package” these are people who have the courage and smarts to setup and implement the two critical personnel value mechanisms – money and training, these two mechanisms serve to empower, to provide meaning and motivate and retain the right people in any organisation. These HR superstars are fully aware that to be competitive people have to find “meaning” at work. Without meaning people simply “turn up” every day with no desire other than to wait until the next salary cycle and replay. Meaning is the primary motivator which drives people to work toward actively growing the company and driving for competitive advantage.
There is plenty of opportunity for those in the HR to pioneer new ways of inspiring, providing and most importantly delivering and executing with meaning. To stand out from even the mediocre, they need to be socially up to date and understand young and mature people without ageist bias, they need to be highly skilled communicators, they need to be knowledgeable, and they need to be part of current business strategy, they need to truly understand the reasoning behind innovation and the constant need for transformation, they need to be up to date on turnaround and restructuring.
For many there is the economic consideration of “opportunity cost”; in this case specifically the benefits that could be received from the opportunity. For what it’s worth, opportunity cost is not the sum of the available alternatives, but rather of benefit of the best alternative of them. In short productivity can be increased by abolishing inefficiency at the skill and communication tier. If we consider that bad communication skills alone cost companies billions in lost opportunity and squandered productivity. . . . . and the sad thing is that many HR departments don’t even know about this, let alone how much is being lost.
Highly specialised training programmes, like our own “Unplugged” programmes drive people to ever higher levels of functioning, and deliver the awareness and “revenue growth” skills that inspire these higher levels of functioning. Many large companies grudgingly provide training only because they are duty bound to do so. However when done as it should be done, skills training provides the “nutrients and knowledge” and rewards everyone with greater advantage and bottom line profitability.
HR should be a force to be reckoned with in any business, and the good HR people have a enormous impact on the bottom line. They have a powerful role to play in the success of an organisation.