People are the biggest competitive advantage any firm has today. They are the drivers of all decisions that organizations take in present times. Any good human resources course will tell you not to undermine the importance of this crucial element. So as HR practitioners need to explore all kinds of strategies that can help manage this resource in the best possible way.
What are these strategies that can make managing the people, as a process, more effective? These can be unique in the context of the organization, but overall there are many general ones that can be kept in mind.
Alignment to business – All HR processes need to be clearly aligned to business needs. While this seems like an easy strategy, it is the most challenging one. Every so often, HR tends to work in silos when designing and implementing people processes. This is what they need to bear in mind, as they evaluate the links. So the most important strategy for effective human resource management is to understand the business requirements and mapping the people processes, as well as practices to it. This involves current and future goals as well.
Knowledge of your people profile – How you manage your resources, depends on the kind of resources you have. For HR, this means knowing the profile of your people, the demographics and diversity, the spread and the skill-sets, the motives and disengagement factors. So this knowledge is the most powerful driver since the HR roadmap will be developed based on this. So gathering this knowledge is a good strategy.
Workforce of the Future – We are not preparing for the present. We are preparing for the workforce of the future. All your people management initiatives should have a future-focused approach. That is an important strategy to have for effectively managing the human resources because it takes care of the present and also helps you plan as per the kind of employees that will entire your workforce. So factoring in the fact that it will be more diverse, will have different work expectations, will have different work ethos and motivators, is a good strategy.
No matter how many strategies we design, when it comes to HRM, the proof lies in making them realistic. Because it involves people and so we must create strategies that are realistic, flexible and market-linked, for them to remain effective.
When the organization structure is being developed, the Human Resources team is present alongside the leadership team. HR knows how important it is to get the right structure in place since it has a direct impact on business results. That is the same knowledge that is applied when the structure for the HR function is being developed as well. Great human resources certification courses will share how different kinds of structures work and make an impact on the culture, as well as the performance of the business.
Here are some ways in which it will be defined.
Size of organization – In smaller organizations HR has hybrid roles. The team will have members who perform multiple sub-functional roles and manage multiple divisions. In larger organizations HR will be structured more from a sub-functional approach and will have clearly defined specialists within it. For example, in a small organization the structure might also be flatter with fewer levels of promotion. It might also mean that the structure allows for seamless lateral movement from one sub-function to another. In a larger organization this might be tougher and a vertical movement is more likely to take place. Those kinds of career paths or ladders will form the core of the HR structures there.
Geography – Some countries might need different kinds of specialists for different countries that it has a presence in, from an HR perspective. That will depend on how the labour laws, employee trends and people practices of those markets are. This will have an impact on the structure it finally has. The local team HR structure will also be reflective of what the market trend is since the jobs will also be linked to the local compensation pay trends.
Scale of Operations – What is the scale of operations? This is different from the size of the organization, in that if it is a fast-growing organization or a stable one. Some smaller organizations might be more stable, while big ones might be growing very fast. This will also impact the HR structure because the team members will have complex or simple roles and the span of control will also be evident from the level of operations.
Workforce demographics – Depending on the kind of workforce demographics, there might be several new-age HR roles such as Diversity Specialist, HR Technologist and so on. These roles will be more relevant in the structure when the employees belong to diverse segments from age, gender, culture and other such dimensions.
These are some elements that will make sure that the HR structures in the workplace are a reflection of all of these. That is what makes the structure workable and relevant.