He’s such an obedient boy! Why Human Resources needs to sit at the Table of Organisational Greatness

December 5, 2018 adminmj

When a HR Manager is called ‘an obedient boy’ by the CEO, you really have to wonder.

Recently, we began working with a new client; a large Organisation, with their people spread nation-wide. Our brief was to develop the leaders and help change the culture of the Organisation – no mean feat.

I realised the challenge that we were up for when I spent a few hours recently with the CEO, who claims his significantly experienced HR Manager is ‘such an obedient boy.’ Curious, I asked him what he meant by that?  His response was that he enjoys working with his HR Manager because he ‘always does what I tell him to do.’  Really?

Two things stuck out for me.  Firstly, the attitude of this CEO about his HR Manager and secondly that the HR Manager may have compromised his position by allowing it to be ‘moulded’ by the CEO.

When the role of HR is under-valued

Without human resources, there is no business.  Without learning and development (which normally falls under HR), there is no ongoing upskilling of the troops – and this applies to all levels.

HR is a critical component of employee wellbeing in any Organisation, no matter the size. From workforce management, recruiting and onboarding to disciplinary action and talent management, any Organisation that sees HR as an ‘unnecessary expense’ is short-sighted.

HR plays a valuable role in any company and needs to be an active member at the table of Organisational Greatness.   Human resource planning and HR strategies are critical to any company.

In a 2013 study:

  • 58% of CFO’s interviewed believe HR is not on same level as other Executives (Global Intelligence Survey)
  • 67% CEO’s stated CHRO’s don’t know business well enough
  • 27% of Executives questioned the necessity for HR

Consistently CEO’s world-wide see human capital as a top challenge and they rank HR as only the 8th or 9th most important function in the Company.

Research by McKinsey and the Conference Board

Human Resources – the multi-taskers

It’s a tough job, but managing human resources is also satisfying and rewarding.  HR not only recruit and induct people, but they are also visionaries, accidental counsellors, advisors to the CEO, confidantes, allies and guides. They grow rising stars, they are Organisational development advocates, the safety police, links between departments, disciplinarians, custodians of employee morale and culture, the developers of people at all levels, making sure they are fairly paid and rewarded, and they are key change agents. The list goes on.

Modern day Organisations can have state-of-the-art machinery, the most sophisticated systems available, the latest procedures and policies, the best location and the world’s most updated technology, but if they don’t have the right talent or they experience ongoing people problems, they are in danger of losing it all.  Human capital is the greatest challenge facing businesses today and yet for many Organisations it is often the area of least priority.

Steven Covey, international author and business leader

HR – Sitting at the Table of Organisational Greatness

Businesses don’t make money.  People do!  Organisations are not successful in their own right.  People make them that way.  Companies don’t become leaders in their field through luck.  It’s their people who get them there.

As custodians of the key to success – people – HR practitioners around the globe need to take their seat at the table of Greatness, proud of the role they play and the contribution they make to the high performance of the Organisation within which they operate.

The G3 Partnership:  A Leadership Triangle

Ram Charan, international business consultant, acknowledges the 3 key players in Organisations as the CEO, CHRO and CFO. In other words, the most influential players in a company are these 3 roles, thus human resources is not simply a ‘supporting’ act to carry out decisions made by others.

HR is a key player at this table, seen as creating impact and a major contributor to critical outcomes and strategies discussed at the table. Human Resources should not be regarded as an after-thought but rather as a vital force with which to be reckoned to help the business meet its objectives and thrive moving forward.

HRs role is not to be obedient or considered lesser than other parts of the business.  To do so is a key strategic mistake.

5 key Strategies for HR to increase their Organisational value

  • Get deadly serious about your role and impact in helping the Organisation meet key business outcomes
  • Develop a new collaborative contract with the CEO
  • Help design strategy. Predict outcomes
  • Anticipate and diagnose problems
  • Prescribe value-adding actions by propelling human capital to achieve key business outcomes

Source:  Ram Charan

There is an enormous need for HR leaders to speak the language that is understood by the business. HR leaders can, and do, innovate and they (can) play a significant role in shaping new ventures and providing input on critical business issues

David Owens, MD of HR Partners

Stepping up and challenging perceptions

The research clearly shows that the majority of CEO’s undervalue the role HR plays in their Organisation. It is a key strategic mistake and needs to be rectified by HR.

To be taken seriously and seen as a prominent player, heads of HR need to challenge perceptions of others who question their importance, be acknowledged as a curious and worthy resource for others around them and as valuable and critical to successful business outcomes.  It is the role of the HR head to establish the importance of their function in any Company.

For further insights into what we do, head to www.puremagicbusiness.com.au

Pure Magic International Business Solutions is an award-winning company, passionate about helping clients achieve strategic business outcomes by providing innovative leadership, management and people development strategies and techniques at all levels and by using a range of easy to implement OD and HR strategies. 

To find out more, head to www.puremagicbusiness.com.au

Or you can chat with us about any concerns or ideas you have about your Organisation’s HR. Book a free discussion at https://my.timetrade.com/book/QGY21

Photo by Perry Grone on Unsplash

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