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Today's business world is a competitive marketplace. It is one that cannot hope to function or survive without collaboration within the company. Integration of all departments within the company is essential for the company's well being and prosperity. This fact is based on the single principle that HR helps integrate the workforce in the corporate decision making process from a subjective point of view. At the foundation of any company's success or failure, its people stand as the primary factor in shaping whatever result comes out to be. Therefore, decisions regarding the organization's workforce need to be considered very carefully before they are actually taken (Beatty et. al 2003). The Human Resource department is responsible not only for aligning decisions about the people associated with the company with the decisions about the company itself, but also for the integration of those decisions into the overall corporate strategies and policies. This report highlights the importance of involving Human Resource personnel at the Humphrey Group in the corporate strategy making processes, and the impact that it has on our organization's performance.
The changing role of Human Resource Management
The practice of Human Resource Management no longer fits into the traditional framework which it was initially forced into (Beatty et. al 2003). Initially, Human Resource Management was deemed as nothing more than an extra limb to the organization which was used primarily for activities such as cost reduction, payroll processing, leave processing, etc. It mainly focused on compliance with rules and regulations, such as ensuring that everyone came on time, the level of absenteeism stayed within the limits allowed by the company, and to find out the cause of any deviations which were present and fixing them so that everything worked out in the way that it was supposed to (Turban & Greening 1996).
Now, however, Human Resource Management has evolved far beyond these responsibilities. The Human Resource department here at the Humphrey Group believes that the new concept of the function is that of a business partner. Human Resource Management no longer focuses only on whether people are doing what they are supposed to (Storry 2005). It is now understood that the main purpose of the Human Resource Management function is to serve the needs of the organization rather than engage in documentation and adherence of rules (Beatty et. al 2003). The Human Resource department at our organization understands that its main responsibility is to collaborate with the managers and other employees and facilitate them in getting the work done through the various means it has available, such as training, skills development sessions, etc. Therefore, it is necessary for the department to have a representative in such a meeting which has compensation ethics on its agenda, as the Human Resource department is the only one which works in close proximity with both the employees as well as the procedures which align employee goals with organizational goals. Therefore, this department is the one which can best present the employee's point of view on the agenda in question.
People: most important assets
The Human Resource Management function nurtures that asset of this company which is being recognized the world over as the most valuable to any organization: its people. Today, organizations all over the world are realizing that even though in the end, it is the people who make or break an organization (Turban & Greening 1996). Some critics may argue that in today's world, technological and financial capital is what keeps a company ahead of others, but we here at the Humphrey Group acknowledge that the true competitive edge of any organization is gained through its people (Storry 2005). If an organization has the right people in the right places for the right jobs, it can go further than all its competitors. It is the Human Resource Management function which is responsible for assessing the training and assessment needs of the workforce, and adequately fulfilling them. We are also responsible for the retention of successful and proven talent. Without the right people in the right places, appropriate provision of training and retention of talent, as well as adequate compensation aligned with employee goals, an organization cannot hope to succeed (Turban & Greening 1996). Therefore it is imperative that a representative from the Human Resource department be invited to the meeting so that the perspective can be heard of that department which is, in essence, responsible for aligning employee goals with the organizational goals. This perspective will shed light on whether the misalignment between management goals and financial goals rests on the employee's individual goals or the goals of the organization as a whole.
Correlation of HR development with business development
It is a proven fact that efforts put in the development of HR result in marked improvements in overall business results (Frey & Osterloh 2005). If the quality of HR practices is increased, business outcomes consequently show better business success. Here at the Humphrey Group, the HR department understands that alignment with the company mission leads to betterment in employee interaction with customers, employee ability to implement organizational goals, and employee decision-making ability to optimize resource allocation.
Human Resource Management and Corporate Social Responsibility
Even though initiatives regarding Corporate Social Responsibility are not usually considered the responsibility of the Human Resource function, Human Resource in fact has a very important role in any Corporate Social Responsibility initiative that the company decides to take. Same is the case with the organization we work for. Our department at this company plays a vital role in ensuring that the spirit of CSR is embedded in the company culture. The basic role that HR plays in CSR is by educating and leading the company with regard to the importance of CSR (Storry 2005). This is done simultaneously with implementing HR practices which soundly support our company's CSR goals. Once HR has created a culture of CSR within the company, the employees of the company will no longer have to be coerced into performing CSR activities merely to keep up the reputation of the company but they will do it with genuine interest, which will be evident to the stakeholders through their efforts and will consequently build company credibility. Therefore, the important role that HR plays in this company's CSR is the internalization of the spirit of CSR within its employees, so that the company is not viewed by the stakeholders as one that makes shallow promises but as one which keeps true to its promises (Turban & Greening 1996).
To sum it up, the HR function represents the benefits that this company can gain if it supports its employees and aligns their goals successfully with the company's objectives. Ours is the one department that comes into most contact with the company's internal customers, that is, employees, as well as the processes which seek to align individual goals with company goals. This gives HR an inside perspective on what needs to be done in order to keep a gap from growing between the two different kinds of interests. This is why an HR representative needs to be present in the meeting so that the Board of Directors can hear what the employees' perspective might be on the disparity between individual and company financial goals, which will enable them to come to a decision which keeps both the management as well as the employees happy.