Vistage Research Center

Get actionable, data-driven insights and expert perspectives from our global community of CEOs and thought leaders. Led by Joe Galvin, Chief Research Officer

Why your business should give HR a seat at the table [webinar]


 Watch the webinar ‘Strategic HR: Your Secret Weapon in the Talent War.’

Until now, high-level strategy meetings ended with an afterthought something like “… and oh yeah, we better tell HR …” HR strategy was traditionally seen as a cost center, relegated to administrative and transactional back-room responsibilities like finding and training employees when needed, and managing employee benefits and compliance. HR expert Dr. Christopher Lee uses his proudly crafted former departmental slogan: “We take care of those who take care of business,” as an example of our wrongheadedness about the role of HR. This kind of thinking created a dual perspective where employees saw HR as a provider of perks and protection. And leadership saw HR strategy as superfluous to “business.”

With both sides buying into this picture, HR’s potential has been undervalued, unappreciated, and underutilized through. Today, however, it’s nearly impossible to achieve your goals without strategic human resource management. Holding on to outdated views of what HR should be and do can make your company less effective, less competitive, and less profitable. This, at a time when every organization’s biggest challenge is top talent—including finding the people you need and keeping the people you have.

If you don’t already have an outstanding chief human resources officer (CHRO), I hope you’ll immediately seek one. Having a strategic human resource management leader on your team will ensure that you have a competitive edge in both winning and retaining the best people. You can’t grow your business without them.

What does strategic human resource management look like in practice?

The focus of strategic HR is less about serving the best interests of employees and more about harnessing and channeling human potential to benefit the business as a whole. Strategic HR still performs all of the more transactional responsibilities related to hiring, developing, and retaining employees. These tasks are inseparable from the human resources function. What is different is that strategic HR no longer works in a silo. When it sets performance expectations, establishes rewards programs, or determines benefits, a strategic HR department works closely with other functional departments and outside advisors. Together, they make sure HR policies and programs are integrated with other business strategies.

For example, a strategic HR department may work with operations to initiate partnerships with consortia and networks. In this way, HR helps leverage the efforts of several companies in the same region or industry to train specialized workers. Or, it could be that production is losing workers to competitors. Rather than posting jobs in more places, a strategic HR organization would work with them to determine what new workplace trends or technologies might be put into place to increase retention.

Strategic HR embraces new workplace ideas

The nature of work continues to evolve. Younger generations demand more flexibility and work-life balance. HR needs to go way beyond the traditional to create a strategic framework that ensures that the new procedures, programs, and services it provides align strongly with the company’s purpose, vision, values, objectives—and financials.

CHROs can earn a respected seat at the table by developing workforce programs and plans that solve business issues. As part of the executive team, they will directly contribute to a company’s goals and profitability. A truly strategic HR serves as a supportive link between individual employees, teams, and departments—and is willingly and fully accountable for the quality of its decisions.

You’ll know you have the collaborative, valuable partner you need when you can say with confidence that your CHRO:

  • Takes a strategic and future-oriented point of view
  • Focuses on business results and your competitive advantage
  • Uses marketing expertise and perspective in creating and maintaining your employee brand
  • Emphasizes the candidate experience in the recruiting process
  • Concentrates on jobs and talent with the biggest business impact
  • Uses data rather than intuition for recruiting, learning, and predicting performance
  • Invests both internally and externally in strategies to win and keep people
  • Shows business acumen in the role of talent advisor

Increasingly, companies recognize that effective HR strategies are what attract and retain the best people, and they are pivotal in achieving sustainable strategic success. The present and future of work are pushing HR into a strategic role.


Read more on human resource strategy

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Predefined Skins

Primary Color

Background Color

Example Patterns

demo demo demo demo demo demo demo demo demo demo

Privacy Policy Settings

  • Required Cookies
  • Performance Cookies
  • Functional Cookies
  • Advertising Cookies
These cookies are essential in order to enable you to move around the Sites and use its features, such as accessing secure areas of the Sites and using Vistage’s Services. Since these cookies are essential to operate Vistage’s Sites and Services, there is no option to opt out of these cookies.
These cookies collect information about how visitors our Sites, for instance which pages visitors go to most often. These cookies don’t collect information that identifies a visitor. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.

Cookies used

Visual Web Optimizer
These cookies remember information you have entered or choices you make (e.g. as your username, language, or your region), and provide enhanced, more personal features. They may also be used to provide services you have asked for such as watching a video or commenting on a blog. They may be set by us or by third party providers whose services we have added to our pages. If you do not allow these cookies then some or all of these services may not function properly.

Cookies used

Google Analytics
GTM
Gravity Forms
These cookies are used to make advertising more relevant to you and your interests. The cookies are usually placed by third party advertising networks. They remember the websites you visit and that information is shared with other parties such as advertisers. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.