The Website and Blog of HR Author and Speaker Lori Kleiman

The Journey of HR

HR has evolved, but we are still responsible for much of the administrative function historically assigned to human resources. Our goal for HR team members is to focus on the higher level issues that drive the organization forward and add value to the bottom line. Our primary goal in human resources today is to increase alignment with company strategic goals, employee engagement, and productivity, and to assist managers with people focused programs. Meaningful careers can involve leadership in the areas of functional HR needs such as compensation and development. These are generally high-level director and vice-president positions in large organizations.

HR departments have evolved on many levels and are often considered the shepherds of the culture of their organizations. Today, executives in high performing organizations rely on HR to communicate critical new business initiatives throughout the organization. Human Resources is often responsible to create the communication, process, and procedures necessary to ensure that corporate programs are sustainable throughout time.HR Pyramid

HR must set out initiatives that will drive the business forward and add meaningful value to the executive team. As shown on the pyramid, HR must own and execute all of the functional and administrative areas of human resources while focusing on strategic programs. HR must insist on an expectation of other managers, executives, and the CEO to trust and respect their input.

A challenge of the HR team is to guide employees and other managers through the evolution of the human resources function and where we are today as a profession. Employees know they want help with payroll and benefits. They aren’t always concerned about the goals of the HR department. Managers often want you to get their position filled, they don’t want to have a conversation concerning the career path available to candidates identified as future top contributors to the organization. Publicize the hierarchy of HR responsibility and insist that others understand your priorities. HR professionals must empower themselves to be the shepherd of their own career.

It is a win-win for the organization to have an HR professional who is focused on strategy and empowered to move the organization forward.

The preceding blog post is excerpted from Lori Kleiman’s upcoming book, Taking Your SEAT at the Table, soon to be released. For more information, or to pre-order your copy click here!
  1. Lori,
    Well said! Too often business owners only see HR in their administrative and functional roles. They are missing the strategic piece.

    Rusty Magner
    Employee Benefits and HR Process Outsourcing Specialist
    Meeker-Magner Company

    • Thanks, Rusty! Glad you agree… Thanks for reading, and taking the time to comment!

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