I just had the opportunity to write a recommendation for a Human Resources colleague I have worked with here in Asia when we were assessing, acquiring, building, and even shutting down businesses and while I was having a think about what I looked for in my HR team.
Human Resources is, like all corporate functions, often referred to as unavoidable; employees believe HR is only looking out for the company and the managers believe HR is only looking out for the employees. Both are right in the minimalist's view, however, there are many government-mandated activities they perform also so we have to include that they are also only looking out for the Government. I of course say this with "tongue and cheek" as I have found that a solid HR team is the cornerstone to a successful organization. All corporate functions are established to support the various business functions in the effort to grow revenue. To see HR as a trusted advisor and valued partner look to the following areas:
- Staff development
- Understanding the people impact of decisions
- Interacting with staff and feeding this information to management
Each team leader and manager cannot act as an expert in these areas they need to focus on the aspects of running their business. The HR team is the partner to assist in understanding, how as leaders, our actions will affect our most important resources...our employees. It was straight forward writing a recommendation for my colleague because he excelled in these areas and I do view him as a business partner.