The Future of HR

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hrHuman resources personnel within organizations are often much loved but sometimes can exude an equal amount of displeasure. This has much to do with the traditional responsibilities of this key function and the ever changing, complex role that it performs today. When you consider the range of possible duties, everything on the continuum from hiring to firing falls under the remit of this function. In fact so much is the diversity of tasks that very often those chosen to lead do not possess the blend of skills necessary to be successful.

A recent Harvard Business Review article suggested that HR should be divided into two categories, one that is Admin focused (benefits, payroll, etc) reporting to the CFO and the other with an emphasis on People (hiring, development, etc.) reporting directly to the CEO. On a very practical level this makes sense as one could argue that “people” leaders are often not good with money while finance leaders are sometimes not good with people. However to accept this argument might also be considered a “cop out” as these two critical business variables are inextricably linked together.

The bigger issue here is the risk associated with the separation of finance and people. It has been shown that organizations, in their vain attempt to please the financial markets, typically take their first swipe at reducing costs via people, whether training (the first thing), changes in pay and benefits, and ultimately elimination of positions. This comes from viewing a business (most often led by finance people) as simply a series of financial transactions. This can be very dangerous and by separating the HR function, as suggested above, only serves to perpetuate this thought process.

People and their costs are an integral part of any organization. Therefore when hiring the most senior HR position one should look at somebody who understands these variables and can make decisions, not as trade-offs, but what is right for the business. People, in the form of employees and customers can wield considerable influence when united, as the recent Market Basket case demonstrated. Let’s not go back in time and give people reason to organize.

Executive Coaching Assignment – Preparation is Key

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For many involved in Executive Coaching, every new engagement presents different challenges and personalities. However the proper preparation in advance of starting will always provide the fundamental foundation for success.

Here are a few tips to consider ensuring this happens.

  • Start with the end in mind. In other words get absolute clarity from the executive in terms of what success would look like for them. Write it down and reference it often throughout the process.
  • Speak with his / her boss. Typically the boss has either suggested or acknowledged the need to hire a coach in the first place; understanding their role in the process (i.e supportive) and their perspective of what success looks like to them, is very important for you as the coach to know.
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What HR Type Make The Best Coaches?

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In very general terms Human Resource personnel typically fit into one of the following broad categories:

  • Process Oriented: They normally specialize in areas such as payroll, benefits, recruiting, etc. They apply a very systematic and sometimes rigid approach and for the most part they see things as either black or white. They are typically most concerned about the outcome from the company’s perspective.
  • People Oriented: This group more typically aligns with areas such as performance, discipline, training, etc. They are generally seen as flexible and more people friendly. They have this knack of been able to assess the situation and work out a diplomatic solution. However their outcome concern has more to do with the person than the organization.

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How Coaching Supports An Organization

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Coaching has emerged as a very dependable and effective methodology in the development of staff within organizations. Companies have long wondered how to make learning more sustainable and integrated. All too often a lot of money has been spent on sending people on various training programs, which very often contained great content; however the impact was never felt back in the company. Coaching, whether in tandem with or in support of training, provides the support and accountability to ensure that results emerge from learning.
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