Redefining HR’s Role: Responsible for the Business Heart

By Jeff Ryan, MD for AWCape

Much like the human body, when the heart is healthy, the body is happy. However, when the heart starts acting up…every part of the body starts complaining. The same applies to Human Capital Management (HCM).

HR leaders are responsible for the health of the business heart (or in other words… the employee sentiment and drive).

This means that HR managers play a vital role in any business, yet many feel apprehensive about the future and the changing expectations placed upon them. It’s time to dispel the fear and embrace the potential of HR as strategic partners.

In this article, I explore WHY HR managers may be afraid of the future, how they can adopt the right mindset, and the importance of upskilling to drive organisational success.

  1. Changing Perspectives

One reason HR managers may fear the future is the misconception that their role is solely administrative. It is critical to change this perspective and make leaders understand that HR’s value extends far beyond administrative tasks. HR managers should be at the centre of all discussions, providing critical insights and feedback on the workforce’s temperature.

In my conversations with HR managers, we find those who are most successful are those who have demonstrated how their involvement in important initiatives has led to being included automatically in the next important project. This might have involved volunteering services over and above normal responsibilities.

One really beneficial area is change management for any project. This is a critical success factor for any project and one where HR can demonstrate its value.

  1. Upskilling for Strategic Impact

To fulfil their potential as strategic partners, HR managers need to upskill themselves and the leadership team. By developing a deep understanding of business operations, HR should align its strategies with the business goals. This includes honing skills in areas such as data analysis, strategic planning, and change management. In particular, though, investing in technology skills and being aware of how technology can improve HCM functions, will give the highest ROI in today’s fast-moving environments.

  1. Automation and Reduced Admin

One key way to empower HR managers to focus on strategic initiatives is by automating and reducing administrative tasks. By leveraging technology and HR systems like Sage, HR professionals can streamline workflows, minimise manual work, and free up time for value-added activities such as strategic direction. Automation enables HR to be at the forefront of driving business success.

When I speak to HR managers, one of the first things they tell me is that they are drowning in paperwork and even though they know they need to be at the forefront of digital transformation, they just struggle to keep up with the processes, paperwork and everything in between. However, simple changes like online forms can significantly reduce admin and paperwork.

  1. Providing Feedback and Insight

When HR managers are no longer burdened with the huge piles of admin tasks, they can truly become incredible assets to the company. They can provide valuable feedback to the leadership team, enabling them to make informed decisions based on the workforce’s pulse. HR’s role in shaping company culture and employee engagement becomes even more critical.

HR managers are responsible for the hearts of the business, and their contributions are invaluable. By removing administrative burdens and focusing on strategic initiatives, HR managers can drive business success and deliver on the promise that “our people are our biggest assets”.