Imagine your business as a chess board and all the departments in your company represent a single chess piece. As CEO, you’d be the queen – the most powerful player on the board and the guiding piece behind any game. So which department is the second most important piece? That would be your HR team acting as the bishop, particularly when they act as pairs. Your HR team has a two fold purpose. First, they act as gate keepers to your company, controlling who gets in and. Second, they take on the role on a subtle management role that guides other players to position themselves in the most strategic location. The great HR team will not only get you the best talent, but they’ll work to create a synergy within your existing pool of employees – one that (like a bishop) thinks of long-range capabilities.
In order to be a trusted resource for your employees, a winning HR team should have several areas of interest, including (1) leadership & executive coaching, (2) leadership development programs, (3) training and development, (4) facilitation, (5) performance management, (6) recruitment & executive search, (7) outplacement & career consulting, and (8) critical incident management. The first five traits are not only all cyclical in nature, but also often the most overlooked in HR teams.
Leadership and executive coaching is about working with employees looking for long-term career growth. Here the goal is to have a conversation to identify an employee’s interests, assess potential gaps, and identify specific action steps. Coaching results in individuals making better use of their personal and professional strengths, modifying limiting behavior, and making more appropriate and fulfilling decisions. Once an employee has been coached, HR can best identify well-suited training and development programs for the individuals, which are also of an incentive to the employee communicating an employer’s long-term interest in them. In this area that HR can also come back and help guide performance management, a process that is now less invasive since an employee has been worked with. Performance management is far more preferable than the yearly review which is really nothing short of a yearly audit.
Once those fundamental employee-specific needs are met, HR can move forward with facilitation – which is gauged at increasing total group productivity, enhancing communication, stimulating creativity, and boosting morale. Smaller more budget constrained HR departments might do well with relying on HR consultants for greater needs that include analysis, recommendations, assistance with organizational changes, implementing major initiatives, or targeting an existing niche issue.
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