The infiltrated HR director

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The keys that would make HR a strategic partner in the company

There is a television program called “The infiltrated boss”, where the owner or a high executive of the company “infiltrates” incognito in different positions of his company to know how it works. Regardless of the quality or otherwise of the program, nothing would be more valuable to the company than for an HR Director to perform for at least one full day each of the positions that make up the company, including the customer and supplier experience.  The ultimate purpose would not be so much empathy with the worker (who also), but a first-hand experience of what is promoting or hindering the success of the company from the human team, as well as an understanding of the entire process and elements of the business.

This experience would lead us to the keys that would make HR a strategic partner in the company.

The HR leader has to know in depth what the company needs, not necessarily what the company demands.

He or she must see beyond his or her own department, must be able to have a deep insight into the business that makes him or her perfectly understand the connection between the company’s ultimate goal and human capital. In other words, it is not “the company” that establishes the parameters of the human team that will lead it to success in its mission and HR is in charge of selecting it, but it is HR that will design the necessary human team (in obvious synergy with “the company”) to achieve its objectives.

He or she has to move from being an organizer to a strategist.

An organizer puts in order elements that are given to him to fulfill a function; a strategist organizes, but also generates, with a vision focused on results, the necessary conditions to reach the victory. Organizing has hardly any risks and its results are predictable and limited. The strategy carries the risk of a process of continuous decision, adaptation and change, but at the same time its impact on results can be much greater. The organiser often fails to understand why he or she is asked to do what he or she is asked to do, simply as part of the gear. The strategist decides what gears are needed, where, when and how, and orders the organiser. In order to comply with this strategic key, it is necessary to have complied with the knowledge of the company.

He or She needs to design a human structure with organic, not mechanical, principles.

On many occasions we refer to the company as a “machine”, I myself have spoken of “gears”. However, every company, including the most technological or mechanical that we can imagine, ultimately depends on its human team, which is an organic and social system. A mechanical system is closed, limited, difficult to modify, transform or adapt. An organic system is symbiotic, adaptive, evolutionary, regenerative. To design the structure and each post with an organic base of operation is fundamental, but it will not be achieved if the two previous keys are not fulfilled.

To be a strategic partner, a large part of the company’s success must fall on that partner, if it is not so, or is not perceived that way, it is not strategic. There will be HR managers who prefer to remain “chiefs of staff” and there will be a generation of HR leaders who assume the risk, responsibility and consequences of taking their companies to new heights of success in their strategic vision of their professional work.