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STRATEGIC HR

Q.1. Elaborate on how HRM policies and activities can be linked withbusiness strategies?

Ans. Integrating Business and HR Strategy

Strategic Integration:-

Strategic Integration is the process of linking human resource managementpolicies and activities to
explicit business strategies. It will establish the competences required at all levels in the
organization to ensure thatbusiness strategies are implemented and will then take the human
resourcedevelopment initiatives required to provide those competences. It willprovide the levers
required to manage strategic change.

i) A Coherent Approach - A coherent approach means liking and coordinatingthe various


techniques available to ensure that added value is obtained fromtheir combined impact. A coherent
approach to human resource management ispossible where the whole top team works together in
developing and managingthe process. In this situation, the human resource professional acts as an
enabler and facilitator, providing ideas, drawing the threads together, andhelping his or her
colleagues to put the ideas into practice.

ii) Change Management - Human resource strategies should help the organisation to move
forward in the direction set by business strategies.They do thsi first, by providing various levers for
change through theintroduction of integrated rsourcing, human resource development,performance
and reward management systems and secondly by seeing that change is managed properly.

A six step approach to effective change is as follows:


a) Develop commitment to change through joint analysis of business problems.
b) Develop a shared vision of how to organise and manage for competitiveness.
c) Foster consensus for the new vision, competence to enact it, and conhesion to move it along.
d) Spread revitalisation to all departments without pushing it from the top,i.e. don't force the issue,
allow departments to find their own way to the new organisation.
e) Institutionalise revitalisation through formal policies, systems and structures.
f) Monitor and adjust strategies in response to problems in the revitalization process.
iii) Flexibility - In each area of human resource management it is necessaryto develop flexible
structures, climates, systems and organisations which enable the organisation to respond readily to
change. Organisations needs to embrace the motto 'constancy towards ends but flexibility about
means.
Functional flexibility can be achieved by one or more of the following approaches:
Work based - job related flexibilities concerned with multi-skilling and the removal of demarcation
boundaries.
Contract-based-employee' contracts which specify flexibility as a key aspect of terms and
conditions and job descriptions which specify outputs but do not attempt to hamper employees by
over-rigid descriptions of how they are expected to achieve results.
Team-based-the use of project teams, task forces and autonomous work groups.
Organisation-based-the use of contract workers and part-timers.
Time-based-the use of flexible hours:daily, weekly and annual.
iv) Values - Peters and Waterman wrote that if they were asked for one all-purpose bit of advice for
management, one truth they could distil from all their research on what makes company excellent,
it would be: 'Figure out your value system. Decide what the company stands for. Successful
companies are value driven, whether those values direct the beliefs and actions of the chief
executive officer or whether, preferably, they permeate the whole organisation. Some set of values
which may refer to areas for care and consideration for people, care for customers, competitiveness,
enterprise, excellence, financial, flexibility, growth, innovation, market/customer orientation,
performance orientation, productivity, quality, social responsibility and teamwork.
v) Commitment - A strategy for commitment is necessary to support each aspect of the overall
human resource strategy. The aims of a commitment strategy will be: Identification - Increasing the
identification of every member of the organization with the mission, goals and core values of that
organisation. Mutuality - Mutuality involves integrating the needs of those who work in the
organisation with the needs of the organisation. Individual Creativity and energy - While good
teamwork is vital, and a commitment strategy will aim to enhance it, what must not be inferred
from the development and application of such a strategy is that the organization wants to create a
colony of clones who will slavishly conform to norms and standards imposed on them by the
company. As John Harvey-Jones 4 says, it is 'the individual's unique and personal contribution that
matters.' Ownership of change - Managing change by getting people to 'own' it. This means trying
to ensure that those affected by change feel the project is theirs and not one imposed upon them by
outsiders which will conflict with their values or be detrimental in any way. To survive and thrive,
businesses cannot afford simply to be buffeted by uncontrollable forces, in the hope that luck will
be on their side. Success will not happen by chance but through continous strategic processes that
will ride these choppy waters. Some characteristics of these processes include:

A recognition that short term decisions have long term consequences. The processes are value
driven. Strategic decisions have a sense of direction, related to a vision of what could be This ' what
could be ' has to be based on the distinctive capabilities of the firm - it is not just a 'wish list'
Strategic decisions have implications for resources - not least the human resource.

Q.2. How can strategic thinking, planning and implementation contribute to personnel's
functional role?

Ans. Strategy - A Thinking Process

It is in effect more useful to think of strategic thinking as a continuing process rather than the
establishment of a fully fleshed-out plan for the next x years. Indeed, it could even be argued that
the real importance lies in the quality of the thinking process itself rather than its specific outcomes
at anyone moment. Such a process will be constantly subject to revision and experiment in the light
of changing circumstances, although holding fast to some core ideas as to what the particular
business is all about.

Strategic Planning
In the context of business, strategy is primarily concerned with such matters as what products or
services the organization will offer and to which clients and in which markets they will be offered.
In making decisions on these matters, the business strategist is concerned with: The whole
organisation rather than its parts- i.e. the whole firm rather than particular divisions or departments
The long term rather than the medium or short term - e.g.development of markets rather than initial
sales rate The broad scope of that organizations activities - e.g. to manufacture cars or to
manufacture furniture Decision which lead to the identification of the organisation's vision are
concerned with: The scope of what the organization does The organization's long-term objectives
The organization's responses to the external forces and influences Resource issues Stakeholder
issues
Strategic As Implementation Many writers have debated whether you can separate strategy from
its implementation. Kay gives the example of Napoleon's ill-fated Russian campaign. Was his
defeat a failure of strategy or of implementation? Once strategy is seen essentially. as process, the
two elements become totally interwoven. This is perhaps especially the case where organisations
are taking out layers of management and pushing decisions down the line. It is likely that in such
organisations decisions with strategic implications are being taken at an increasingly junior level.
One phrase to describe this process is 'strategy as an emerging process of action.'
In the light of such developments it becomes critical that a sense of direction and of value is
effectively communicated within the business, so that decisions with strategic implications are
congruent with the direction of the whole.

Q.3. How do strategic decision contribute to improving organizational performance?

Ans. To be effective the vision contained in the organisation's strategy must be concerned with the
overall task of the organisation. Igor Ansoff states that the overall task of the organisation is that of
arranging, managing and controlling the "resource conversion process in such a way as to optimize
the attainment of the objectives". For profit making organisations, these objectives will be
concerned with a complex mixture of often conflicting issues such as profit maximisation, growth,
revenue increase and power. Non profit making organisations will be concerned with an equally
complex mixture which might include service provision, resource maximisation, influence etc.
Whatever the nature or detail of these objectives might be, they are all concerned with gain. The
common presence of this gain in the strategy of all organisations means that we begin to view
strategy as an rganisation improvement process. This is so because the strategy or vision of an
organisation and the decision taken to arrive at it, represent a deliberate and conscious attempt to
improve outcomes of the actions and performances of the organisation. These strategic decisions
can be described as generating the framework within which performance improvement can take
place. What certainly is true is that the absence of organisation strategy will mean that any effect at
performance improvement might be short lived, in conflict with each other or even irrelevant.
Q.8. Explain how HR can help implement high performance work activities.

Ans. HR can help implement high performance work activities:


By creating a culture which is supportive of high performance: High performance does not
occur in a vaccum. The organisation's culture must be conducive to productivity and quality
improvement.
By influencing attitudes: HR professionals can be effective in bringing about change through their
cross-organisational influence, ability to design structures and processes which support the business
strategy and helping to create the culture changes through values and communication which
support new ways of working. HR can help set up benchmarking visits to organisations which are
achieving outstanding results through people. Skilful use of data can stimulate the need for change
among executives. Changing the structure to match the proposed work processes should be
complemented by corrosponding changes in the physical workplace and in the way work is
organised.
By designing and implementing HR processes which support the business strategy:
At a practical level, to create the conditions for high performance, HR processes such as reward
systems need to be alligned to the new ways of working. The following HR processes are typical of
'vanguard' companies described by O'Toole:
Highly selective recruitment, Extensve training and skill development,Contingent or performance
related pay, at high rates, Employee share ownership,Benefits tailored to individual needs,
Providing some degree of employment security, Sharing information about a firm's goals and
results so that people know what to accomplish and how they are doing. Reducing status
differentials, if teamworking is to be a reality.

Que.9. What do you think are the challenges of that HR must take into consideration for
developing effective cross boundary working?

Ans.9. The challenges of working across boundaries

For many people, working across boundaries requires them to develop a specific mindset, one in
which flexibility and responsiveness to others form the basis for collaboration. One of the key
features of cross-boundary workign is that some employees experience mixed loyalties. This is
particularly the case when project teams are seen as a 'bolt-on' to the team members' ordinary work.
In a matrix structure, this often means that team members continue to have a clear reporting line
back to their functional manager, with only a dotted line to the person responsible for the team.
i) Lack of trust - When a major change , such as a merger between two organizations, brings about
the need for cross-boundary working, the differences in culture soon become apparent. When there
are obvious 'winners' and 'losers' in the process, a lack of trust between the employees of teh
acquiring and the acquired companies may be inevitable. Depending on the business rationale for
the merger, there are sometimes benefits in keeping operations largely separate, with collaboration
at senior management level only.What is particularly striking about our merger research is that
many executives of organizations on the acquisition trail appear to be unaware of, or prepared to
ignore, the importance of understanding the differences in culture before the damage is done.
ii) Turf issues - Working across boundaries can also appear to threaten employees' sense of their
own territory. This can then lead to political behaviour in which power games can be unproductive.
At one level, this can appear quite trivial, but unless 'turf issues' are sorted out, cross-boundary
workign can be jeopardized. In cross-functional teams there can be a tendency for technical experts
to pull rank, with the financial expert always having the last word. Organizational systems may
well be at odds with cross-boundary working even though this may be unintentional. Working
across boundaries requires people to bring their particular skills and knowledge to the achievement
of a joint task for which no individual is likely to take the credit.
iii) Knowledge Management - A more fundamental barrier to cross-functional working may have
its roots in the ongoing uncertainty of the employment market. In the information age, there is the
potential clash of employee and employer needs with respect to how infromation is developed and
distributed. This is embodied in two apprantly contradictory edicts. One is 'knowledge is power'
and the other is 'knowledge is to be shared.' From the organizational perspective there are clear
benefits in the pooling of information, about clients for example, and the generation of shared
knowledge, thus preventing the organization from becoming dependent on any single employee's
knowledge. For some people, career uncertainity is not the issue. They may simply not want to
share their expertise beyond their own boundaries if it means reducing their power base as 'the
expert'. Clearly there ahs to be a shared platform of trust and the oppurtunity for employees to
develop valuable new skills through the team process if people are to see benefits in collaboration.
HR has a role to play in ensuring that team processes and use of information can address both
organizational and individual needs. Training and appropriate rewards may be pan of the answer.
iv) Cultural Differences - Perhaps the biggest obstacles to cross-boundary working lie in cultural
differences which become apparent as people work together, whether the cultures in question are
for instance national, departmental, functional, age or gender related. There can be fundamental
differences in what two groups believe to be important, and significant variations in how they
expect staff and customers to be treated. Any of these cultural differences can cause division
without team members being able to identify the reason. Language problems can also lead to
communication difficulties. It is essential for effective cross-boundary working to be successful, for
the key differences in culture to be identified and taken into account when people are expected to
collaborate.
v) Us and Them - Cultural differences of any sort can lead to an 'us and them' approach which is
unhelpful in cross-boundary working. The perception of who is 'us' can change almost 'overnight'.
A few years ago a merger between two major manufacturing companies, one French, the other
British, resulted in managers from each of the two national groups reverting to national stereotypes
and perceiving the other as 'them'. British managers found themselves acting as a bridge between
the more hierarchical, long-term focus French and the more democratic,'do it now' Americans.
From research, it seems that 'us and them', 'winner and loser' behaviour is more likely when people
feel threatened or are acting in unfamiliar settings. This suggests that some forum, whether training,
teambuilding or other means of getting people talking with each other and better understanding
each others' needs and strengths, is important.
Conclusion
HR can assist groups and individuals to develop effective crossboundary working. This may mean
providing team building support when new teams are established. HR has a key role to play in
enabling line managers to overcome some of the barriers to cross-boundary working and to make
the most of the positive power of conflict.
Q.11. Describe how HR can help in a merger situation.

Ans. HR function has a key role to play in a merger. Early identification of sensitive issues can
reduce their impact over time. The research suggests that some of the critical contributions which
HR can make are as follows:
1. Being involved in Planning, Transition and Integration teams: HR professionals need to
contribute specific expertise to these teams, enabling the merger to be managed as a project, while
keeping the core business going.
· Develop effective ways of collaborating with the planning team from the other company in
the pre-merger phase, if possible.
· If the acquisition is perceived as hostile, identify as early as possible the key information
you need to know if a thorough human resource due diligence is not possible.
· Find ways in which people from both companies can get to know each other as quickly as
possible.
· Identify how the emerging organisational vision can best be communicated
2. Identifying the HR issues and carrying out an effective Human Resource Due Diligence by:
· Comparing terms and conditions of employment and salary scales including the structure of
share options and to whom they are available, severence terms in contract, incentive and bonus
schemes in terms of immediate and future commitments
· Gathering information about the management team.
· Gathering perspectives of the management team- Their view of the company, employee's
view of the senior team.
· Understanding the existing skills of the present HR team
· Understanding the organisation structure
· Identifying what is required in terms of manpower plan to achieve the business strategy.
· Identifying the likely level of redundancies involved and prospects for early retirements.
· Identifying which job descriptions and/or profiles will need to be changed
· Comparing ways of working and identifying major differences which will need to be
addressed
3. Carrying out effective HR integration on the following:
· Remuneration
· Benefits
· Terms and conditions
· Culture and management style
· Career and other development issues
· Communication and Climate
· Employee Relations
4. Ensuring that management teams have the skills they need to manage the merger well:
· Management team should have strategic management skill, especially understanding how to
add value to the new business
· Management teams need Integration skills - being able to make decisions about structure,
roles and dealing with sensitive issues
· Management teams need change management skills - being able to bring people with them
through change
· Management teams need cultural skills - being able to understand the dynamics of
organisational culture, deal with culture clashes and the emergence of a new culture
· Management teams need people skills - being able to understand the reactions and concerns
of employees and support them through change

5. Helping line managers to communicate effectively during the transition phase:


Given the symbolic importance of senior management behaviour, managers may need practical
help in understanding how to communicate to employees from both companies. Since managers are
in the front line for communication, it is essential that they have the ability to develop two-way
communication. HR can provide practical help with team briefings and feedback processes.
Managers need to communicate why the merger has taken place, what the organisation is trying to
acheive and how each person's role contributes to acheiving this. They need to have a wide range of
management styles appropriate to different circumstances amd may need help in developing their
coaching ability and flexibility.
6. Managing individuals with dignity: The handling of key changes for individuals - such as job
changes, appointments and relocations as well as exits - sets the tone for how staff view the
organisation. Handling redundancies inappropriately usually results in a morale backlash among
survivors.
7. Developing and implementing actions to retain key employees: Good people have to stay if the
organisation are to learn from each other's strengths. Some organisation develop retention
strategies to encourage people to stay.
8. Keeping in touch with the bottom: HR is uniquely placed to build in upward feedback to keep
the boardroom in touch with what is really going on in an organisation. The culture of the new
organisation begins from day one, not when vision and value statement start to appear. Trainers
have good communication skills and are in touch with the 'mood' of employees who are attending
courses. Trainers who are able to understand the business dynamics and the senstivities involved in
creating a new culture can provide a useful steer to line managers who are charged with
communications in the early days post merger.

Q.12. Explain how HR can create conditions for Knowledge Management.

Ans. HR can create conditions for Knowledge Management in the following ways:
1. Develop a knowledge management framework:
· Decide what kinds of data, information and experience is valuable enough to retain and
make available
· Identify what are the strategic management assets and design someone to manage these
· Produce guidelines about the kind of information which should be stored so as to avoid the
danger of overload
· Provide appropriate infrastructure in the form of communication technology, systems
design and application tools
· Decide on a knowledge 'architecture' which give guidance on what kind of data is valuable
enough to retain and make available
2. Develop a sharing approach:
· Experiment with building networks
· Share 'best practice' via the intranet, lotus Notes etc
· Ensure that usable information is catalogued and stored with relevant technology
· Allow the majority of employees direct customer contacts
· Disseminate information in atimely and extensive way
3. Spot when knowledge assets are being under utilized and find ways of getting knowledge
onto people's agenda:
· Raise awareness through the use of diagnostics and high - level measurements
· Prioritize important knowledge assets
· Map knowledge and its integration with other key processes
4. Enable people to develop information skills:
· Provide staff with appropriate technology - many IT firms supply their employees with PCs
and advanced communications equipment at home
· Universities and business schools are developing various forms of partnerships with
business - make appropriate learning skills
· Provide training in IT systems to enable people to acquire and share the information they
need
· Employees need to be skilled at time management in order to use their time effectively for
the creation and sharing of knowledge
5. Develop a knowledge-friendly culture:
· CEOs need to set the style, ensuring that training and educational activities are both short
and long term oriented
· Create a clear shared vision and values about the effective creation and dissemination of
knowledge
· Trust is vital component in the human aspects of knowledge management· Encourage
research and development at all levels
· Actively develop and market new ideas to create new products and services
· Create a physical work environment which facilitates shared learning and knowledge
6. Address the 'What's in it for me' ? question:
· Find synergies between the individuals need for growth and personal development and the
company's need
· Effective career development practices are conducive to the sharing of knowledge since
people can see that they do not need to hold on to a knowledge in order to progress their career
· Marks and Spencer declared an IT amnesty for staff so that all employees could get up to a
speed with computers
· Employees need to be able to willing to develop key skills for the work place of tomorrow,
which will enhance their emploability
7. Develop criteria for successful knowledge management projects:
· Ensure senior management support link the knowledge project to economic performance
· Use appropriate technical and organisational infrastructure. Develop a standard, flexible
knowedge structure
· Use clear purpose and language
· Use multiple channels for knowledge transfer
8. Communicate knowledge effectively:
· Communicate at the right level - senior managers often talk at too senior a level to amke
sense lower down the organisation
· use the experts to impart information
· Managers should develop the skills of non judgemental listening and brainstorming
Q.13. Describe the effect of unionisation on the organisation.

Ans. Organisations whose employees are represented by unions frequently have different human
resource management systems and employee and employer outcomes than do unorganised
employers. The extent of unionisation within organisation and industries is another important
influence on the potential impact of labor unions.

1. External Staffing: The pressence of a union has several effects on external staffing. First, the
wages, benefits, work rules, and promotion and job security structure of the unionized organisation
may be more dearly known to the applicants. Second, the wage level is generally higher than in
comparison firms. Third, the promotion and job security system is usually (at least partially) based
on seniority.
2. Internal labor markets: Turnover rates from unionized organisations are significantly lower
than in non-union establishments. They find furthur that the rate of internal job changes (transfers
and promotions) is far higher in firms with unions. It is unlikely that employers have favoured the
negotiation of job security and promotion clauses which use seniority as the primary criterion for
decision making.
3. Plant Demographics: Older and more senior employees are less likely to leave. Most plants
have a designed physical capacity that limits the number of employees in a given location. After the
initial turnover has occured and a stable plant cadre has evolved, new additions to the work force
simply cover replacements for terminations, retirements, and the like. With a fixed plant size this
means taht early hires are more likely to have good promotional opportunities and that the age
composition of the workforce is likely to become more elderly overtime. If the useful life of the
plant and the work life of the present workforce is roughly similar, this should not pose great
problems for the majority of the work force or the employer. But if there is a discrepancy, then the
furloughing of a senior workforce, or the severing of their eventual replacement may be difficult.
4. Specific and General Training: Human capital theorists distuingush between specific and
general training. Specific training to those improvements in employees' capabilities that make them
more valuable to their present employer. For eg. Knowledge of rules and procedures within the
plant would be classified as specific training. General training refers to employee capabilities
thatare of value to all employers who hire that occupation. For eg., the knowledge and ability to
operate a turret lathe if of roughly equivalent value to all employers who require this operation. In
unionized situations where seniority is the major criterion for promotion, employers make more
investments in general training than where they are free to staff internally or externally using their
own criteria.
5. Compensation Systems: The belief among employers taht union wages are higher than
nonunion wages is true. It is also clear that wage rates in labor-industries such as apparel, are lower
for unionized workers than they are for nonunion workers in more capital-intensive industries.
6. Wages and Fringe Benefits: There are also differences between union and non union employers
in their mix of wage and fringe benefit payments. Unionized employees have been less reluctant to
give up hourly salary levels than they have been to concede economic fringe benefits.
7. Effects on Non union employees: Within firms, negotiated wage increases influence
compensation policies for non union employees. The extent of internal organisation may not be an
important variable when a union's influence on the overall compensation structure is examined. In
the heavily unionized sectors of the industry, labor's share of total compensation has not increased
recently, whereas the non union sector share (currently lower) continues to rise.
8. Predictability of Compensation Costs: Because of relatively low turnover unionized employers
face, during rapid increases in demand in the labor market the increase in the compensation costs in
unionized firms lags behind those in non-unionized organisations. During a downturn, wage rates
are likely to be resistance to a decline. In both events, labor costs are predictably higher for the
unionized firm.

Que.14. What role can HR play in TQM?

Ans.14. TQ may put people at the heart of the business process. Human Resource should have the
expertise required to develop and implement means of influencing the behaviour and attitudes of
employers and to manage the cultural changes involved. TQ initiatives should be based on the
research and analysis of present behaviours, attitudes, beliefs and competencies which lead to the
design and organisation of education, training, communication, involvement and performance
management programmes. All these are within the remit of the human resource function.
Strategic Total quality represents a significant strategic change in the way an organisation is
managed. A decision to undertake a TQ programme is likely to be based primarily on market and
competitive pressures and the need to protect the organisation's position in the wider environment.
This decision has effect on internal processes and requires understanding of -
· the existing culture and climate within the organisation including attitudes to change
· the hierarchial structures and key elements of organisational design
· the underlying-skill base
· current approaches to employee communications and their effectiveness
· detailed knowledge of recruitment, reward systems, appraisal systems and training
development issues
To be at the core of the change process the human resource specialist needs to contribute at the
strategic level on the impact of introducing TQ on those human resource processes and how
existing systems and procedures can be shaped to support the TQ programme.Operations
Once the strategic decision to introduce TQ has been made, there is an operational impact on
human resource and personnel policies and procedures which require an operational response from
the function.
i) The potential direct involvement in the TQ process by the human resource and personnel
specialist, primarily through the education and training process involved in the TQ programme. The
key features of such a programme require extensive education and training in team working,
problem solving techniques, facilitator skills and quality awareness.
ii) The design of policies and processes which support the TQ initiative, for instance;
·reviewing the remuneration system to ensure that it supports the strategic objectives of the total
quality programme.
·evaluating the performance appraisal system to ensure that performance management objectives
reflect the objectives of the total quality program
·reviewing skill needs for all levels within the organisation and ensuring that teh recruitment,
training and development processes reflect the likely new skill needs required of a total quality
programme
·changing the management development process in a situation where an organisation is moving
towards a learning, self development, continous improvement culture. This changes the role of
management from coordinating and supervising to 'enabling' which requires a different set of skills
for management.
Authority is no longer based on role and status but on ability to help others. Additionally, where
trade unions exist within organisations, there is a key role to play in winning the commitment of
trade unions to the TQ programme. Trade union representatives are likely to be extremely
suspicious of a TQ programme, particularly since it may appear potentially to undermine
the role of the local trade union representative.
Conclusion
TQ is not a win or lose situation for the HR function. With people at the heart of TQ, it provides the
HR function with an oppurtunity:
·not to seek power but to make a useful contribution to running the business
·to use the change management skills which ought to be part of skills of hr specialists
·to serve customers both within and outside the organisation

Q.15. What changes and challenges are facing the traditional personnel
function today? Explain.
Ans. In the recent years, HR has been at the forefront of thinking about many of the big
organizational issues of which line managers are only now becoming aware. The importance of
building a learning culture, knowledge management, leadership, skills development and
recruitment and retentionis now widely recognized in many organisations. HR can probably should
be the key interpreter, problem solver and resource gatherer with regard to people issues, but
responsibilty for the design and implementation of people strategies should be shared between the
line and HR. Alignment between business and HR strategies begins with a partnership approach.
For this to happen there needs to be give and take on sides as well as mutual undertsanding and
respect. For HR the main challenge is to ensure that the HR strategy genuinely supports the
business strategy. This involves understanding the top two or three current executive priorities and
developing actions to implement and track solutions to them. This means understanding what leads
to highly productive work groups in our organisation. Typically, the high-performance culture
which HR can help ot create is one charaterized by role clarity, clear and challenging objectives,
opportunities, future development, effective coaching, recognition of acheivement and appropriate
rewards.

CORE ROLE / CHALLENGES FACED BY STRATEGIC HR:

- Supporting the business objectives of the firm by timely, intelligent and commonsensical HR
activities and planning.
- Looking at what the organisation needs to deliver (medium and long term)
- Ensuring that the organisation has the right staff (skills, knowledge and motivation) to deliver
- Creating flexible, broad business people
- Thinking big picture
- Developing integrated policies and processes
- Communicating clearly to people about the things which affect them
- Identifying the support of business decisions across countries and business units
- Creating a cohesive framework/common company language
- Acting as an internal change agent - with an eye on strategic business plans and organisational
effectiveness
- Making uncertainity manageable
HR has a critical role to play in building the leadership of the organisation to create shareholder and
other stakeholder value. This also means not only developing succession for the medium term but
also critically evaluating the quality of current leadership. To win the mandate for developing the
organisation, HR has to be good at both the operational personnel processes and practices, however
these are delivered, as well as developing a culture change agenda which is strategic and future-
focussed, rather than reactive and "picking up the piece".
HR needs to focus on:
- 'Anything from not doing "day-to-day" work to loking ahead three years'
- 'Influencing the board and the direction of the company'
- 'Making a difference to the bottom line'
- 'Developing the frameworks, policies and initiatives to move the business
forward'
- 'Integrating future business goals/needs with people issues/needs in a
plan'
- 'Clear thinking/policies/right direction/motivation of staff'

What is important is to gauge the actual needs and readiness of your organisation for what it
intends to do strategically. Does it have the core competencies, culture, sytems and processes,
working practices and human skills to accomplish what it wants to do? If not, what does this imply
if the strategic aims are to be accomplished? HR should be able to contribute to the strategic
planning processes inventories of not only technical capabilites but also the organisation's cultural
strengths and weaknesses.How will HR support the development of a high-performance culture,
how will work processes need to be managed to achieve high quality deliverables, how will the
core competencies be activated and what aspects of the organisation's culture will need to be
strengthened, balanced out or changed? HR teams need to develop their own answers which will fit
their current organisational context. 'This means defining the implications of business strategy for
organisational capability, such as the firm's ability to learn, and developing measurable actions to
built that capability.