With this year’s NHL season well underway, we get to see the strongest teams try every strategy in the playbook in order to win and, hopefully, take home the Stanley Cup. As fans watch on, the age-old discussion over the relative importance of offensive play versus defensive play continues.
Meanwhile, top organizations are always looking for better ways to win over more customers and meet corporate objectives to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and grow the business. Just as NHL teams continuously look to attract and retain star talent, competitive businesses understand that employee successes often translate into increased production, quality, and expansion for the company. Therefore, a top goal of any profitable company is to build a productive and talented workforce – and that’s why human resources (HR) has been called to the blue line, so to speak.
Where HR professionals traditionally played a “defensive” role in most organizations, mainly involved in executing administrative functions, today they find themselves in a more “offensive” position playing an active role in any or all of the roles listed below.
Six Offensive Roles Human Resources Plays in Employee Management:
- Leadership Development: In the past, HR would leave leadership development to the managers’ discretion, only getting involved when requested or as the need arose. Today’s HR professional has the power to influence top leadership and will often initiate and oversee proactive employee programs. When it comes to leadership development, the human resources department is in a unique position – they’ve screened applicants at hiring and have often been involved in personnel reviews, so they’re in a good position to offer advice when it comes to determining who will move up the leadership ladder.
- Education & Training: Similar to professional sports clubs, competitive organizations must offer ongoing training and development to help employees stay equipped with the latest technology, methods and best practices. Today’s human resources personnel are often responsible for creating the education and training programs that enhance existing skills or bring new skills to current employees so that they can take on new challenges outlined by management.
- Performance Management: As executives tend to focus more and more on the big picture within an organization, performance management now tends to fall under the purview of HR professionals as well. But HR doesn’t begrudge the opportunity to coach and cheer on employees, especially when there is great software like emPerform that makes it all so simple! HR is now leading the pack when it comes to making sure that employees are crystal clear as to what is expected of them and how their performance is linked to company success. See goal management.
- Change Management: Some HR professionals today help employees navigate changes instituted by the organizations’ management. In this role, an HR manager could be involved in many aspects, from helping with communication and performance issues to creating opportunities for employees to improve their skills.
- Health and Safety: To win at any game players must keep fit and avoid injury. For the same reason, health and safety has become a top priority in most organizations and today’s HR personnel are often involved in creating safety plans, instituting necessary changes and overseeing occupational health and safety committees.
- Ethics: At the end of the day, it’s how you play the game that really counts. In businesses, HR personnel are often charged with the important task of ensuring that all employees understand the ethical expectations being placed on them by the management team. This includes keeping track of employees’ acknowledgement of personnel manuals and policies, and alerting executives to any ethical problems that do arise.
Re-writing your HR playbook doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking. Often times small changes make a big impact and shifting HR actions from reactive to proactive leads to better planning – so that HR is ready to take whatever slap shot comes their way. Contact us to learn how emPerform is giving HR Pros the tools they need for a winning performance management season. Click here to schedule a live demonstration with an emPerform expert.