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Growing Your Strategic Consulting Skills

Aug 17, 2007
In the 21st century, when Personnel Management has changed into a broader spectrum of Human Resource Management, what does an organization seek from a Human Resource professional? Such a professional needs to:

. Clearly demonstrate his/her value-added contribution to the success of the overall strategic goals of the organization;
. Provide measurements that show the success of the initiatives and processes he/she provide as an HR service;
. Give customer like treatment to all the members of the organization; and
. Try to change the perception of these customers of the role of the HR department.

So it is clear that organizations are not looking at the Human Resource team for just playing a managerial role, but more as consultants and strategists. But many people in organizations still relegate the HR professional to a traditional policing, systematizing, and authoritative role. The role of the HR manager must be in-sync with the needs of his/her organization, which is constantly undergoing change. Successful organizations are becoming more flexible, ready to change direction along with being customer-centric. Hence, a corresponding change is required on part of the HR professional from a more traditional role to a new consultative and strategic role. This change would require additional knowledge, support and practice.

Within the changing environment of organizations, the HR professional needs to be a strategic partner, an employee advocate and a change mentor. This is required to highlight their importance and their contribution to the organization. In this role, the members of the HR team contribute to the development of the organization in its business plan; its objectives, as well as its accomplishments.

The HR business objectives need to be such, that they support the overall strategic business plan and objectives of the organization. The tactical HR representative needs to have deep knowledge about the way the system works and also the way in which in which employees succeed and contribute. Here, HR services will have an edge of strategic partnership, which will in turn impact the same HR services and the way it works.

The HR manager can play a crucial role in the success of an organization, by acting as an employee advocate. This can be done by his/her knowledge about people and their advocacy. This advocacy should incorporate expertise in creating a favorable and a motivating work environment in which people will be able to contribute, as well as be satisfied and happy. It would also include developing effective methods of goal setting, increased communication across hierarchies and employee empowerment through responsibility. This would also help in establishing a favorable organizational culture in which people choose and commit to serve customers well.

HR professional need to frequently champion change by constantly evaluating the efficiency of the organization. Thus, HR professionals are required to have both knowledge and the competency to execute successful change strategies, as well as the ability to link change to the strategic needs of the organization. This is required to minimize employee dissatisfaction, which results out of the human nature, of resistance to change.

In this way, an HR professional will be viewed more as a strategic consultant. For those who are still used to older ways of working in this position, it will take time and practice. Coaching might also be required to fit into this new role and handle new responsibilities.
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