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Developing a modern Human Resource strategy

6th February 2013

There is no question that we at Webhelp UK are on a mission to take HR out of its traditional comfort zone.

Kirsty Garrick Head of Human Resources Sky

 

Developing our people

My impression of Human Resources is that over the last ten years, we’ve undergone a massive step change for the better.  When I started out in my career, people were always key to each business I worked in, but the changes in our economic climate have made it even more important to get the right people in our business and to give them a compelling reason to stay with us.

HR is constantly evolving.  It used to be, and still can be, very transactional; if there was a problem – we fixed it – it was reactionary.  Today, even though job security is not what it once was; we know that our desired candidates are not necessarily out there waiting in line.  Therefore we have to take our people, develop them and bring them along to help them be brilliant!

I have always understood the businesses I’ve worked in, by that I mean what we do, how to do it and the financial consequences.  HR must no longer be viewed as simply a hygiene factor, what we do must add value.

We’re now dealing with a diverse variety of people.  In terms of a people agenda, in the past, as I pointed out, hygiene factors were at the forefront – so for instance are we paying correctly, are they on the right hours, are we competitive in terms of attracting the right people?  Now, while I think those factors are still relevant, HR’s role is more about retaining our people.  Having invested in the individuals we have brought in, the job then becomes all about how we keep them engaged with our business, feel valued and stay with us.

“What can the business do for me?”

Back in the day, people wanted security and they planned their future around their employment.  They had more of a “what can I bring to the business attitude.”  Fast forward to today’s world, and our people want to know “what can the business do for me?”

Now we try to tailor our employee value proposition to meet the needs of our people in order to keep them and at the same time, nurture and encourage them to fit the business model that we are in and the culture that surrounds that model.  When we are planning and developing business plans for the future, we have to take into consideration the skills of our people and what they require in return from us.

I will do everything in my power to make sure that our people continue to get the development and support they need to continue to do an amazing and worthwhile job

In today’s turbulent economic global downturn, knowledge above all, is power; it’s become our SMART standard.  Sadly, we can no longer look to manufacturing or basic service sectors in this country.  Instead we have to seek out industries that require our highly specialized knowledge, creativity and innovation to fuel growth.  This means that our best asset – our people, and the knowledge, skills and abilities they possess, become essential for our continued success.

Strategic Human Resource Management

Strategic Human Resource Management involves helping our people understand how to achieve our business goals.  It’s an area of HR that links human resource practices and strategies to supporting and sometimes driving broad-based business objectives.  Because of HR’s historically administrative role, there can often be barriers to becoming strategic and we are indeed fortunate within Webhelp UK that our executives understand and appreciate the value in this connection.  In short, strategic HR is not just about HR, but all about business.

HR professionals must learn the details of the business they are supporting.  This gives them a framework for employing specific HR practices and interventions to ensure that the desired business outcomes are achieved.  HR skills are now more than ever closely aligned to business knowledge.

The importance of strategic Human Resource Management will continue to grow and as I see it, only HR professionals with strong business knowledge will be able lead the way.


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