3 ways for HR professionals to improve their strategic impact


Our work with clients has taught us that there are three key ways that HR professionals can increase their effectiveness, become more strategic, and enhance the business impact of their work:

1. Systematically seek employee input in hiring decisions

Most HR professionals would agree that “hiring” is squarely in their bailiwick—it’s a primary responsibility of the HR function.  But in our work with clients, we often find that HR fails to fully tap the wisdom of their workforce.  Appropriate employees (including front-line employees) should be directly involved in the hiring process.  It turns out that when you find effective, efficient ways to involve the right employees in making selection decisions, you end up making better choices that then drive a wide array of key performance indicators – from employee retention to safety to financial results.

2. Leverage social networking to drive learning and business results

Yes, yes, I know.  There’s a lot of hype about social networking.  But increasingly “social networking” in all of its many forms and permutations is how people (and organizations) learn and get work done.  So ignoring this important – although admittedly “messy” – evolution and blending of work and learning is risky.  Sitting on the sidelines on this one puts the HR function at risk of isolation and irrelevance.

3. Help employees fix broken work processes

Some HR professionals would say this is “not my responsibility.”  But the most strategic (and effective) HR professionals who I know are in there with their sleeves rolled up – helping employees to identify and fix broken work processes.  It’s one of the most critical domains overlooked by HR – often because of the profession’s obsession with measuring and maximizing employee engagement.

Employee engagement – and organizational processes


Great post on the Fistful of Talent blog yesterday, exploring the link between employee engagement and workplace processes.  The post discusses a quote from Steve Church, Chief Operational Excellence Officer at Avnet:

“If you help employees fix broken process, you’ll gain employee engagement.”

We couldn’t agree more.  And we’re always delighted to encounter perspectives in which employee engagement is tied to work elements that directly affect an organization’s bottom line.