People’s talents and intellect are the most fundamental assets in any organization. Particularly in our fast-paced world, Human resource management has to hire and maintain persons who are flexible, highly skilled, innovative, and committed. This implies that employees have to contribute both collectively and individually in order to enhance the successful outcomes of organizations. According to Pynes (2008), Human Resource Management (HRM) personnel are the ones who are solely responsible for hiring people, developing and retaining talented workers. Unfortunately, most of today’s HRM’s are focusing on professional human resource management practices such as HR scorecards, HR programs, HR financial reports and are therefore unable to integrate ‘decision science’ that will enable them to enhance their decisions pertaining to talent resources.
This coupled with other shortcomings such as using traditional HR methods like benchmarking that defines excellence as the delivery of high-quality services that respond to client needs barely provide insight on how companies can create their competitive advantages through their employees have therefore prevented the HRM personnel from maximizing their organizations’ success. Human capital encompasses every issue that cuts across all employees including workforce planning, recruitment, training, retention, employee retirement, HC strategy development, succession planning, and leadership development and is the backbone of any organization’s success. With the emerging challenges, the Human Resource Management need to embrace a strategic human development that will encompass thoughtful planning in order to counter the current and emerging (employee) human capital needs (Armstrong, 2000).
Human capital planning is known to be an integral part in business planning and therefore, human capital planning should be integrated with business planning fore it be effective. The strategic business plan process defines the projected changes in activities that are to be performed by the organization. Business planning identifies core competences needed by the organization in order to achieve the goals put forth and hence, it’s behavioral and skills requirements are crucial. Human resource planning interprets the business plans in terms of what people requires. The HR planning does this by influencing the business strategy through drawing attentions to ways people can be deployed or developed more efficiently and effectively in order to further the business goals achievements and focus on problems that will have to be resolved to ensure the availability of people required in making the needed contribution (Kiger, 2007).
Nevertheless, business planning is an integral part of the day-to-day activities and decisions made. The decisions made directly affect the human capital (workforce) which is expected to execute the decisions made. For this to be effective, Human capital planning which encompasses all activities that are needed in maintaining a productive workforce such as payroll and benefits, time and attendance, talent management, forecasting and scheduling, and emergency assistance and workforce tracking has to me incorporated into the business planning as a core consideration in order to make sure that the HR department is able to perform effectively and efficiently (Kiger, 2007).
Due to the uncertainties that have threatened organizations survival and threatened their effectiveness, strategic organization development commonly known as O.D is credited for assisting organizations to develop effective strategies that reduce uncertainty in terns of changing the structure of the organization when the environment becomes complex and forecasting and planning efforts in order to create contingency plans that help organizations adopt to the changing environments. As Dunn (2006) puts across, O.D give organizations a systematic approach to change while emphasizing on clear systems, total system and organizational change phases while providing underlying sets of humanistic values that guide the process.
On the other hand Dunn (2006) believes that the Human Resource Development is searching identity while living under the shadows of O.D. HRD is the organization’s strategy that aligns organization’s objectives of the knowledge-centered companies and the capabilities and competences of their employees. This implies that in order to accomplish this alignment, the HR requires methods that are pioneered in O.D such as survey feedback, structural design and teambuilding. Hence, this acts as the cross point of O.D and HR and HR should therefore partner with the O.D to ensure that the HR objectives are strategically met.
Nevertheless, in the changed business environment, the HR professional role has changes and they are now required to take an active role in organizational design, strategic development and team up with the business managers. The HR senior leaders are also required to have the business perspective and have a concern for people. On the other hand, the O.D field incorporates people’s concerns in achieving its goals as O.D. practitioners cannot excel in all aspects. For instance, personnel with engineering and IT background can partner in socio-technical design and the process efforts with O.D practitioners. This in return will help the HRM to become the strong business partners in organizational leadership. The O.D will also place the HR at a competitive advantage as it will be able to provide superior human resources and high commitment work systems that motivate, attract and retain the superior employees. AS Brockway, (2007) puts across, the human resource term is nowadays representing the integration of labor relations, personnel administration and organization development.
Hence, the HR partnership with the O.D will help the HR professional in implementation of the strategic goals that will guide the organizations. The partnership will also help the HR to understand and use the business strategy, recognize the future problems and come up with solutions, understand corporate policies, culture and plans. This will in return help the HR to deal with all kind of employees and other stakeholders, communicate well in both writing and verbally and, recognize and train the future executives. As Dunn (2006) puts across, HRM with O.D orientation gain power when organizations attempt to change the labor relations from the adversarial form to collaborative form.
For the HRM to be quantified, the HRM should adopt a comprehensive structured approach also known as (SHCP) strategic human capital planning while assessing the employees long term needs and aligning them with the company needs.
As put across by Trahant, Steckler, & Sonnesyn, (2007) companies that adopt tight-target scope goals of 3 to 6 primary goals are likely to implement them successfully than those adopting more primary goals. Hence, for the HRM to achieve the SHCP goals, it should focus on a tight-target scope. To do this, the HRM should ensure that all the goals set under SHCP are driven by the company’s mission and therefore should eliminate any goal that cannot be linked to the company’s mission. The HRM should also realize that it is impossible for them to embody all organization’s priorities. The HRM should therefore focus on strategic changes issues and avoid issues that maintain status quo.
For the HR to be successful, it should also have future plans that address questions like how to manage resources successfully in order to ensure that resources are managed successfully in future, how the workforce will be like in a span of six years and how the tenure, diversity, competencies and age will be for them to accomplish the company’s mission. This way, the HRM will be able to plan efforts that will appropriately and accurately define and identify commitment to the actions.
As Trahant, Steckler, & Sonnesyn, (2007) points out, not only do leaders have formal authority and decision making power that effects real change in companies but are also accountable for their actions. The HRM senior leaders play a fundamental role in supporting the HRM activities by designing defensible studies and advising OPM and should therefore be held accountable for their actions. Nevertheless, they have position power that capture’s other people’s attention, assign and align resources and also follow through the HR issues. Hence, if held accountable, they will make decisions that are goal focused in terms of being time bound, measurable, specific and will therefore strengthen the HRM team. As laid forth in most empirical studies, the biggest factors that leads to most strategic plans failure is the absence of a clear planning process that defines decision making steps. A well planned process starts with an end in the mind and the HRM should therefore have a statement that outlines the desired outcome and precise descriptions of the steps needed to achieve the outcomes. This will form the roadmap that will focus people’s attention on the milestones and key activities.
As put across by Fox (2007) being a socially and ethically responsible company attracts customers, investors and top talent. Good CSR is a demonstration that the company’s profit were not at the expense of the society, employees and the environment. CSR not only incorporates what the HR is doing and but also integrates it with the company’s key functions. Surveys indicate that most people (over 70%) will barely seek employed from a company that is socially irresponsible. In this case, when the HR incorporates CSR in his strategic planning, he will be heightening employment branding that will retain employees and attract top talent.
Studies also show that employee engagement at workplaces is increased if employees are involved directly in CSR. If the HR’s involve the employees in CSR activities, the employees have a sense of worth and are therefore motivated by the activities undertaken. It is also noted that engaging the employees in CSR could turn them into solutions for the environment and bring about innovation. For instance, a HR could as employees to devise ways through which the company can save money with an environment perspective and they might come up with suggestions of turning of computers and lights offs at the end of each day. The employees could also develop products or means through which the company can reduce its health hazards to the environment or increase profits.
As we have seen, for the HRM to incorporate strategic human resource management, it should partner with the O.D, quantify HRM, integrate human capital planning with business planning, and also incorporate the corporate social Responsibility (CSR). However, the HRM team should not forget to incorporate decision science elements. For instance, the DuPont model used in finance allows organizations to allocate the financial capital to all business units in order to cater to all employees and activities needs within the departments. In the ‘talentship’ model, science decision helps HR increase the organization’s success by improving the decisions impacting the talent resources. The HR is able to make a quality decision in regard to the talent resources such as changing employee advocates and improvising ways of motivating employees.
Armstrong, M. (2000). Strategic human resource management: a guide to action. London: Kogan Page Publishers.
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Brockway, S. (2007). ‘The art of business partnering’. Strategic HR Review. Vol. 6(6), 32-35.
Dunn, J. (2006). ‘Strategic Human Resources and Strategic Organization Development: An Alliance for the Future?’ Organization Development Journal. Vol. 24(4), 69-76.
Fox, A. (2007). ‘Corporate Social Responsibility Pays Off’. HR Magazine. Vol. 52(8), 43-47.
Kiger, P. J. (2007, June). ‘KNOWING IT ALL’. Workforce Management. Vol. 86(12), 1, 30-32, 34-39.
Pynes, G.E. (2008).Human Resources Management for Public and Nonprofit Organizations: A Strategic Approach. New York: John Wiley and Sons.
Trahant, B., Steckler, F. & Sonnesyn, C. (2007). ‘Elements of Successful Strategic Human Capital Planning’. Public Manager. Vol. 36(2), 45-50.