In order to manage HR and people strategy, HR leaders need to enjoy working with people first and foremost. However, to really thrive we must be aware of the business as a whole; understanding its goals so that we can adapt people strategy to have a positive impact on the organisation.
Know Your Business
Often considered the weakest area of HR Capability is the “Business Savvy” of the HR Team. The MBA was invented as a means of bridging the divide between technical competence (e.g. Engineering) and business competence (e.g. Finance). HR is a business capability, as much as finance is an HR capability. If you want to get ahead in HR, you NEED + MUST + HAVE TO understand the business that you’re in.
Understand Line Management
Once you know your business, how about knowing what your line managers are doing, grappling with, struggling with, want, and desire for their team. Do you sit as an advisory to the team’s strategy, or do you sit watching until they call. Immerse yourself. Get up close and personal. Be present. Be trusted. Be an advisory.
Make Data Work for you
Knowing without doing isn’t knowing. Data that is not translated into useful information is just that – data. Do you know what information is important to your business and your leaders to assist them in making a decision? Make that data accessible, available, visual, compelling – people must WANT what you have to say. Your information as an HR professional needs to be a MUST, not a ‘nice to have’. Make yourself an indispensable source of trusted information. Data is for the birds. Information, knowledge is what works.
Up To Date
How close to the edge are you living, really? Are you on the cutting edge or the bleeding edge? With everyone around you having as much access to the internet as you do, are you doing what it takes to be relevant and stay ahead? Have you got access to the relevant insights and information that will change your business, improve your leader performance, and give you an opportunity to leave your own dent in the universe.
Make Friends with Finance
The wonderful thing about finance is finance is a wonderful thing! Businesses exist to drive economic value. NGO’s exist to make a difference to people’s lives. Public entities exist to make our lives better. All of them involve and revolve around funding – in business it’s profit, in the NGO world it’s benefaction, and in the public sector it’s taxes. There’s no burying your head in the sand and thinking that this topic will go away. If it scares you, jump off the pier – explore, understand, get trained and know what it takes to make your industry, tick.