Five years ago, HR and labor experts have noted the growth of strategic functions for human resources professionals. Today, this trend is going strong. For organizations that’ve had to outsource certain functions, it is common that they outsource administrative tasks while focusing their internal HR in the long-term business planning for the organization.
In the 2006 SHRM survey, HR professionals nationwide reported that their HR departments were, in large part, contributing to the majority of long-term planning that would enhance the company’s competitive advantage. At the time, more than 80% of surveyed HR managers felt that their department’s focus was on administrative support, thus limiting their ability to contribute at the strategic level.
Although limited by budget cuts following the recession, HR professionals are continuing to become key players in strategy. This is particularly true as companies are starting to become more competitive and investing in the opportunities to grab new talent and expand.
So it is, in fact, a growing truth for organizations everywhere that HR is expanding into a strategic function, gaining a seat at the decisionmakers’ table. When HR perceives itself to be strategic, it is often true that it is not perceived that way by the CEO or departmental leaders. It is either the various leaders of the organization underutilize HR services or the direct link between HR and company success is not being communicated.
What can be done to move in that direction? Think about the ways in which you consider HR to be strategic and what can be done to improve those services to the organization. Line up the contributions to the organization’s bottom line – their goals and measurable financial results. Also, a reexamination of how you communicate HR value every day in the workforce is important to your program’s growth plan.
Check back for next week’s Myth Buster as well as future tips on how to grow HR into a strategic function in your organization.
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The year of 2011 brings a lot of promise and possibility to the American workforce. According to the survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), researching and developing a new wellness program at their organization is a priority for HR this year.
In the last year, the toll of group health insurance spikes really impacted human resources professionals all over the U.S. Organizations have already started offloading a portion of the insurance costs to employees who participate. However, the value of effective disease management and prevention has become more important than ever. For example:
- Most Employees Say Their Health Choices Impact Their Productivity at Work. In another study by ComPsych, a reported 74% of surveyed employees reported that their well-being led to a significant lack of energy at work. Medically obese individuals could cost up to $13 billion, and smokers adding more than $1,600 a year for an employer.
- Success Story: We Energies (Milwaukee, WI) recently discovered the ROI of wellness programs, which not only helped reduce sick days used, but lead to an overall savings of $12.1 million for the company (an estimated $180 per person).
As you research your organization’s wellness program options, the most efficient approach would be to inquire with your current insurance provider regarding their wellness offerings. Whether you decide to use your provider or find a wellness vendor, another important element is creating a culture of wellness that extends beyond what the plan offers and encourages a higher commitment of the organizational environment to a work-life balance.
With more than 1,240 HR participants, the SHRM study showed wide agreement in a number of other areas as well:
- 85% expecting a stronger link between employee performance and company goals
- 80% will be researching and implementing employee wellness programs
- 75% will invest more in employee education and training benefits
- 67% say there will be more flextime in 2011
- 63% will be expanding the company by recruiting new talent
- 63% say that wages are going up
You can expect to read more in the next week about how to strategize these other high priority HR initiatives, including tips and ideas to get you started.
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