Human resources (HR): A function of an organisation which is perceived, sarcastically, as important. Whose only responsibility is to cut cakes and organise Rangoli competitions for employees.
Luckily, times are changing and slowly the transformation of the HR department as a function is penetrating the minds of leadership teams of most organisations.
Let me try to make you understand what the HR business partner is capable of and why HR is a strategic function.
For a function to be strategic, it is necessary that employees of that function understand the operations in business terms because upon failing to do so, HR may not be able to map the market well. Not being able to tap the right candidate means that HR will fail to close the position in time, which eventually causes the organisation to hit the bottom line.
Let’s further understand the role human resource department plays in terms of organisational development:
The first and foremost important thing is to ensure that there is a robust Performance Management System for the entire organisation.
There are lots of methods and procedures to make this happen but let me try to keep it brief and generic for a better understanding:
- KRAs (Key Result Areas) to be drafted.
- KRAs to be discussed with each employee.
- Employees to rate themselves during the review.
- Managers to rate their associates and super managers to review these ratings; thereby closing the review.
What if I say an organisation can collapse if KRAs are not defined in line with business objectives of the organisation?
Yes, it can really happen. There have been cases in some organisations in the past where departmental heads have drafted KRAs on the basis of their understanding. While majority of the employees got a 4 out of 5 rating, the organisation was not doing well in terms of revenue! Surprised? This happens when KRAs are not defined in line with business objectives.
Here, I don’t intend to blame these particular department heads. But organisations should note the importance of following a specific methodology to define the right KRAs, in order to succeed.
To define the right KRAs, the first thing you need is to define the process map of all departments in the organisation and tag it with the concerned process owners. Once you do that, the flow of work will be visible and it will be easier for you to identify whether the processes are correct or if there exists some flaw in it.
In parallel, you are required to make a strategy map of your organisation which has a hierarchy of the success factors and its key drivers. Then, this strategy map has to be connected with a process map to understand if there is a flaw in the process.
By doing the above, you can define roles and responsibilities and ensure that they are truly SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound).
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