The change champion
In my view, HR should continue to increase its focus on its core role that can be described in the following three dimensions:
1. Strategic business enabler/partner – HR objectives are established to support business strategy. Through this strategic partnership, HR impacts design of jobs and structural efficiencies; sourcing and hiring; talent management; reward and recognition; gain-sharing and profit-sharing strategies; performance development and appraisal systems; productivity and profitability; career and succession planning, and employee development.
2. Employee advocate – HR plays an integral role in organizational success through its knowledge about and advocacy of people. This advocacy includes expertise in how to create a work environment and organizational culture where employees are highly engaged. In this role, HR provides employee assistance programs, organization development interventions, and regularly scheduled communication opportunities.
3. Change champion – HR needs to evaluate the effectiveness of the organization and identify and execute change opportunities. HR helps link change to the strategic needs of the organization and minimize employee dissatisfaction and resistance to change.
In addition, HR champions the identification of the organizational mission, vision, values, goals and action plans.
In a service industry, the quality of HR has a significant impact on the business results. At Max New York Life, HR has been successful in delivering on most of the key elements identified above. For example, MNYL devised a new business strategy to respond to the changing market, regulatory and shareholder demands. HR has led the people transformation effort in helping restructure, define new roles, hire and train the required employee profile and maintain engagement. MNYL’s business results in 2011 have exceeded the market and our internal targets.