Archive for October, 2011

It’s All About People And HR Professionals Are On The Front Lines

October 18, 2011

A critical factor in a business’ success is its people.
Yes, the economic, political, climatic, industry and other forces have effect, but it’s a business’ people that are often the deciding factor in how well a company does.
Leaders recognize this. When a new leader takes over, four out of five times the first hire made is a new head of HR. Why? To be a business partner in getting the right people in the right positions, then focusing them through training, compensation, etc. to achieve the business objectives.
For the HR Professional, these are particularly hard times. Many businesses are downsizing still. Others are dealing with low morale brought about by little or no changes in staff salaries for as long as three years. Still others are using these times to upgrade staff but the process has become more difficult as the number of resumes for each position is often staggering. Then too, the new technologies and media are adding new factors to every task.
At the behest of some readers of our HR newsletters we have put together a new ebook digesting what 60 experts are saying about the HR world today.
The book, Solutions for Today’s HR Challenges, offers advice, guidance and suggestions for handling problems and capturing opportunities. The book also includes the results of the studies performed by ISI’s editors on a variety of subjects conducted as late as July 2011.
The strategies we share are divided into specific areas.
Business Leadership – Business leadership is the most essential ingredient in a company’s success. While the business leader plays many roles and has a multitude of responsibilities, our company, Information Strategies, Inc., surveyed and our ebook highlights those that are the most critical to success particularly in these difficult times.
Organizational & Employee Development – Staff training and development requires a combination of carrot-and-stick efforts aimed at growing the employee’s skills in a direction that best helps the company expand.
Despite the challenges of today’s economic environment, HR Professionals need to demonstrate the importance of continuing to invest in employees through training and talent measurement and development.
Staffing – In this current environment, staffing can be more selective but nonetheless has pitfalls for small business HR Professionals.
According to owners, employees best-suited for a small-business environment are those that have experience working in other small businesses and have a flexible mind-set and a broad skill set.
Employee Relations – At no time in the past 50 years have Americans faced tougher times. With 9% unemployment and a slowing economy, many employees feel threatened and afraid. Even in successful companies, employee morale is a critical factor in maintaining and growing an enterprise. For HR Professionals managing employee relations has become a larger part of their time allocation and is expected to grow even more important over the next two years.

Benefits – There are two vexing problems facing companies in regards to benefits — a continuing recession and the specter of healthcare reform.
In the past, many small business leaders said they had difficulty competing for talent because of restricted or non-existing benefit packages. While eased somewhat due to the economic slowdown, this trend has not totally gone away.
The healthcare reform act phasing in over the next three years will add costs to company sponsored plans and many are considering dropping them.
Technology – From automated application programs, to online training programs, to healthcare portals activities, technology has changed the how PR professionals perform their duties and interact with staff. There is no single area of today’s environment without being touched by technology.
Managing HR In A Slow Economy – Obviously, it is easier to manage the HR function in a positive environment. Unfortunately, the nation is in a negative environment.
This situation permeates almost everything within an organization. The HR Professional needs to manage this function with this overriding condition in mind. First and foremost the company must avoid chronic anxiety on the part of employees. Presenting a positive attitude from the top leader through to the office assistant is a paramount objective.
Multi-generational Workforce – For the first time ever, HR Professionals are managing five generations of employees within the same workforce. This is presenting new, unexpected and difficult management issues. Coupled with a majority of workers whose first language is not American English and the task becomes even more daunting.
Taken together, these trends present additional burdens for the HR Professional.
Today, a high performing human resource function will best serve their organization’s needs by understanding the business and playing a key role in the development and execution of the organization’s strategy.
HR Professionals are charged with helping to make a business more successful. In today’s world it is very difficult and we all need as much help as possible.
Our new book is just published and available at all ebook vendors.