Over the past years, human resource managers in many organizations were viewed as individuals who could only play the staffing role. HR was often overlooked when making crucial decisions concerning innovation, financial performance, or customer service.
Currently, organizations have realized that all strategic changes that occur within an organization have implications for the workforce of an institution. Based on this awakening, the role of HR as a lead business strategist and a strategist architect has been given attention. This paper looks at how the HR boss fits this role within an organization.
HR As a Lead Business Strategist
An organization’s human resource practices and cultures form a unique trait that defines HR managers as business strategists (Lawler & Boudreau 2009). These exceptional traits create a character that makes it superior to its competitors. Issues such as employee skills and a company’s motivation strategies define an organization’s capability to handle tasks. Thus, HR practices are essential in meeting these strategic goals (Buller & McEvoy, 2012).
An organization is defined not only by the resources it possesses but also how successful it can utilize them to attain its key agenda. Competitors differ in terms of the resources they control. This resource-based difference brings out the varieties that people witness in different companies. An organization that has rare, non-substitutable, non-imitable, and non-transferrable resources exhibits a competitive advantage.
The human capital of an organization addresses issues such as employee knowledge, skills, and abilities, all of which are steered by the organization’s HR arm. The performance of the human resource department under the HR boss determines the extent to which the organization’s goal and objectives can be attained.
According to Buller and McEvoy (2012), the HR boss puts in place the social capital that exists in the form of structures of interaction between internal employees and external stakeholders who form an environment that promotes innovation and strategies of achieving them.
HR as a Strategy Architect
Human resource managers are strategic architects in the sense that they share and shape the picture of how their companies exist in the marketplace. They give insights on how their organizations can gain superiority and win other businesses. HR people understand the existing trends in terms of the current industry structures, business ideas, and anticipated results. This appreciation enables them to foresee possible obstacles in their ideas and advice on how to encounter any threat.
As strategy architects, HR specialists create the bridge between the internal and organization and the exterior environment. They define how their organizations can influence the clients’ demands and expectations (Ulrich & Brockbank 2009). Thus, HR specialists possess the blueprint of a company’s values and resources since they are well informed to guide on new strategies.
Based on their understanding of the strategy and possible challenges, effective HR professionals in IBM have maintained the company’s excellent performance. The corporation has more than 350,000 human resources. The company’s HR managers usually look for possible future needs and skills that the business will need.
With such information, they can equip the current workforce with the company’s plans (Ulrich & Brockbank 2009). The IBM HR team acts as the main leaders of the company’s overall global transformation. The team has built more confidence in its employees. Besides, it has made them believe that their future within the company is secure. Such strategies make the company’s employees more flexible to change.
The role of HR in an institution clearly goes beyond staffing. For the effectiveness of employees in achieving any company’s vision and goals, HR specialists have to be involved in the business strategies that usually entail the use of workers.
Buller, P. & McEvoy, G. 2012, ‘Strategy, Human Resource Management, and Performance: Sharpening Line of Sight’, Human Resource Review, vol. 22 no. 1, pp. 43-56.
Lawler, E. & Boudreau, J. 2009, ‘What Makes HR a Strategic Partner?’, People and Strategy, vol. 32 no. 1, pp. 15-22.
Ulrich, D. & Brockbank, W. 2009, ‘The role of HR Architect in the Strategy HR Organisation’, People and Strategy, vol. 32 no. 1, pp. 25-31.