How HR can Evolve into the Role of Business Leadership

Over the past few years the varying roles of the Human Resources function in any industry has evolved to accentuate the need for HR to be a strategic business partner in business leadership. In this article I would share a few key parameters on how a company’s HR department can take a more defined role in business leadership and strategy.

However, first things first. In order to effectively assume this role, it should have full support from the top brass of the company. Also, HR should have the authority to develop flexible plans for strategy execution.

Now, coming to the core of what’s required for HR to play out the role of a strategic business leader:

  1. A change in mindset of top management: Many companies’ CEOs have started to realize the significance of enabling HR to take on business leadership role; however, there are still many who yet do not realize that the role of HR should be much more than simply a tool of recruitment, employee engagement and other line activities such as payroll/PF etc. One of the most daunting tasks HR has is to make the top leadership brass understand that its role must evolve into where it starts providing business intelligence to the company.

Towards this, HR should develop business cases, complete with the benefits in quantifiable numbers so that it can put forth its new business model to the leadership team.


  1. Roping-in managerial support: Line managers can make or break any strategy. Gaining full acceptance from them is important for this new HR business model. One aspect which would raise resistance from line managers is the automation of several processes. They should be made to realize that their role would remain ever-important to the company and they should be enabled to make typical employee relations decisions themselves, without involving HR.


  1. Streamline routine HR activities: HR should ensure that its credibility never gets questioned. This can be ensured by creating multiple checkpoints in its various routine processes such as recruitment, employee relations and line HR work such as payroll. The more efficient HR makes its routine tasks the better footing it would be at to start playing the role of a strategic business leadership.


  1. SWOT analyses for change acceptance: It’s up to HR to first fully gauge the company culture and the levels of willingness its employees possess to appreciate the need for change management and evolving role of HR. Planning all things at once might have negative repercussions; therefore, changes must be ushered in gradually.


  1. Being ready for hurdles: Every change is likely to throw up challenges. HR must be forewarned & forearmed to handle such challenges. Few usual hurdles HR would face in its quest for business leadership role are failure of topline management to appreciate the need for change; budget constraints; and a need to upgrade HR skillsets.

Therefore, a stepping ledge to HR business leadership would be to identify the potential bottlenecks to change and setting the stage for a smooth transition to strategic leadership on the back of training/educating, role change/enhancement of its executives.

Source: Cathy Missildine ” Talent” ” Why Hr needs to play a key role in business leadership and strategy” n.p  May 19th, 2015 . Web.



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