In the human capital, human resources and talent management worlds, we hear more and more about the importance of these fields, how significant they are and why they matter. At the same time, there is also much written and discussed about elevating HR to a more strategic role and how to make that happen.
There is hope in sight, but clearly there is a long journey ahead. There are steps that can be taken to help elevate the HR function and talent management role within an agency, and those that are succeeding are generally following some or all of these steps.
Get Real — Analytics
I would argue that data and analytics is the most important element in making HR more relevant in agencies. As with just about all disciplines today, the burden of proof for any messaging within an organization is with hard data. HR professionals, not historically known for their technical or analytical knowledge, need to become more comfortable with numbers. Once they do, they will see that analytical information opens a whole new world for them. And that world needs to include aligning data with business goals, objectives and outcomes.
Reach Out — Internal Communication
Once more comfortable with data and how it can help an organization track and meet its objectives, HR needs to establish improved lines of communication with others in the organizations. Yes, it’s obviously important to interact with all departments within an organization to help meet hiring needs, but a new type of communication can emerge with the strength of analytical information.
With data that can provide insight to the agency’s ability to meet its mission, goals and objectives, it naturally follows that a new level of communication and occur throughout the agency. This broader communication will help the entire agency move to a more strategic focus.
By understanding and “speaking the language” of the CFO, for example, HR professionals can follow a path that assists a broader audience. When the finance department can better understand the message the HR is trying to deliver, every aspect of the business benefits.
All Together Now — Link the Data to the Business
With a better understanding of the data and how it is affecting the agency and a closer, more-respected relationship with others in the organization, HR needs to use these two elements together to convey a compelling story. HR can show, through use of compelling and quantifiable information, how the different facets of an organization can benefit from the value that HR can offer. Helping individual silos can be the starting block for a more congruous, interwoven organization, moving forward, being driven to better outcomes by HR.
And that can help HR get more strategic.
The paradox is that HR “owns” huge amounts of data that others (in HR and out) use to get work done. If they aren’t comfortable with numbers, they should be. 🙂
Very true, Peter, thanks. And the reality is that many are not comfortable with numbers and technology at some level — but without that, a huge piece and opportunity is missed.