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9 Ways HR Professionals Add Value to Business

9 Ways in which HR Professionals can add more value to business

March 9, 2023

By Team tawgl

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9 Ways in which HR Professionals can add more value to business

Employees of a company are its most critical resource. Good employees have the ability to be a consistent competitive advantage and deliver stellar results. They can take a company from 0 to 100 in months and not years.  So, with that logic, enabling them should be the top priority for a company, right? 

In reality, sometimes, this is grossly overlooked. And with that Human resources as a function is termed as a support function, whereas in reality,  each part of the HR value chain has the potential to add significant business value. According to a study by McKinsey, companies with strong HR leadership have a 3.5 times higher Total Return to Shareholders than their peers.

In case your company does not have HR as it’s core function, there are ways in which you can add value to make HR a part of the coveted C-Suite.  

Here are some ways to do it!

Knowing the business inside-out: Influence within a system begins with knowledge and HR professionals need to be at the forefront of business. Ensuring that you know how the business makes money and uses it, is one of the most important things that HR professionals should know. Every other action is a subset of this. Knowledge about business is the bedrock of great HR professionals. 

For example,  Adobe Systems, has an HR team that collaborates with business leaders to design employee development programs that align with business objectives. As a result, the company has an employee turnover rate of just 9%.

Build a reputation as a strategic thinker: Master a strong understanding of HR and how that pertains to business. Stay up-to-date on industry trends and best practices. Know what the competition is doing that can be used to add value to your business. Expand your skills and knowledge periodically by seeking out professional development opportunities. A combination of all these actions will start getting you to see trends that are not yet spotted by your competitors. Use that to your advantage. 

For example, Google, has an HR team that is known for its strategic thinking. The company's HR professionals have developed an employer branding strategy that aligns with the company's overall strategy. This has resulted in a strong reputation as an employer of choice and a workplace culture that is highly sought after.

Bias for Action has to be high:  While strategic thinking is very important, a more important parameter is to act. Find out the top 10 pain points across departments and act to remove them. This would give more credibility to HR that a 10-point PPT on culture. Action talks the loudest. 

For example, Amazon has an HR team that is known for its high bias for action. The company's HR professionals are proactive in identifying top talent and quickly making hiring decisions. This has enabled Amazon to maintain a competitive edge in the tech industry.

➡ Leverage Data and Analytics: Collect and analyze data on employee performance, identifying areas for improvement, and developing targeted programs to address them. Incorporate data into performance management and goal-setting processes. Additionally, concepts such as predictive analytics can be used to forecast future HR needs and proactively address them. Measure at all checkpoints when you can.  According to a study by LinkedIn, companies that use data and analytics in their hiring process are 3 times more likely to improve their hiring decisions.  

For example, Walmart has an HR team that leverages data and analytics to improve employee retention. The company's HR professionals use data to identify the factors that contribute to employee turnover and develop strategies to address those factors. This has resulted in a more engaged and committed workforce and a reduction in turnover.

➡ Strong Stakeholder Relationships: When your bias for action is high, you know the business inside-out and have the required data points at your fingertips - then start to build strong relationships with key stakeholders. Additionally, keep them informed about HR initiatives, policies, and procedures. This can go a long way in improving organizational performance and productivity. 

For example, Southwest Airlines has an HR team that builds strong stakeholder relationships. The company's HR professionals work closely with employees and stakeholders to create a culture of engagement and collaboration. This has resulted in high levels of employee satisfaction and engagement, which has contributed to the company's success.

➡ Identify Workforce Needs: Use technology such as HR analytics and workforce planning to your advantage by identifying workforce needs such as skill gaps and shortages in talent through them. Additionally, regular collaboration with managers to create succession plans for employees will help in having a smooth transition of leadership when key employees leave the organization.  According to a study by Gallup, companies that invest in employee development have 11% higher profitability. 

For example, General Electric has an HR team that identifies workforce needs. The company's HR professionals work closely with business leaders to identify high-potential employees and develop leadership development programs to prepare those employees for future leadership roles. This has resulted in a strong pipeline of future leaders and improved succession planning.

➡ Crossfunctional Participation: Participate in cross-functional teams and projects, and take on leadership roles within the organization. Collaborate with other departments to create teams that work together to achieve a common goal. This can help to break down silos and promote a more integrated approach to problem-solving. Attending cross-functional meetings and joining cross-functional projects can increase visibility and understanding of different departments' goals and challenges. 

For example, 3M has an HR team that participates in cross-functional teams. The company's HR professionals work closely with R&D teams to identify and develop new products. This has resulted in a culture of innovation that has led to numerous patents and a strong reputation as a market leader.

➡ Retaining top talent: Developing and implement programs that support employee engagement and retention. This can include fostering a sense of purpose and meaning in work and encouraging work-life balance and flexible work arrangements. A study by the Center for American Progress found that replacing an employee can cost businesses anywhere from 16% to 213% of the employee's salary, depending on their level of expertise and experience. 

For example, Salesforce has a program called "Ohana Groups" that are employee-led groups focused on specific interests and diversity and inclusion initiatives. These groups help employees feel connected to the company and to their colleagues, which can improve retention of top talent.

➡ Build a positive culture:  Cultivating a positive, inclusive work culture that aligns with the organization's can go a long way in increasing employee engagement and employer brand equity. A survey by Glassdoor found that companies with strong cultures had a 13.9% turnover rate, while companies with weaker cultures had a 48.4% turnover rate.

For example, Netflix has a unique and innovative culture that prioritizes creativity and risk-taking. The company encourages employees to take calculated risks and supports a "fail-fast" approach to innovation.

In the end, HR professionals can play a massive role in shaping the future of an organization. However, to do so they must be seen as strategic partners. A seat at the management table for HR professionals leads to an effective and forward-thinking approach to talent management, which benefits everyone in the company.

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