Human Resources is THE topic in today’s world. There are downsizings, union negotiations, pay issues, telecommuting, health insurance, retirement issues and how to save the historic memory in talent. The networking today is social media and that involves people. So, why is the HR department still talking about “getting a seat at the table?” This is the boardroom or executive table where the decision makers are doing what they do best. Why is the HR department is not THE RESOURCE?

It is easy to understand when HR keeps asking the question. They are can be like 5- years-olds who think that asking the question over and over will have their mom change their mind. Instead they should be asking what should be doing to prepare people for the upcoming changes to our workforce and to our world. How do we retain the retirees; how do we communicate best with learners from all aspects and how do we keep (restore?) respect in the workforce. How do help the business make a profit? True professionals understand that is done through productivity (a future article). The communication of the business is the responsibility of all of management but is key for HR Leaders. Business communication means the why, the how and the ability to answer the questions. How can we focus on organizational development when we don’t know what the future of the organization holds?

All of these questions cross all lines of the issues facing our firms and organizations today. The strategy of the business is the reason for the organization to exist whether it is the not for profit or the most profitable firm in the land. The mission statements became the reason for some HR consultants rather than those in HR asking the question—what is it we are trying to be? The biggest? The best? The fastest? The experts? Instead we in HR react to hirings and firings trying to elicit control by asking for paperwork citing that we need to measure to get results and be counted. We threaten the potential in lawsuits. Really? That is the HR strategy? If the system is part of the business and the why is understood as meaningful to the strategy for the business then it will be done. Instead, “HR is to be avoided” according to transition coaches. “HR will hold things up or lose your paperwork-get to the hiring manager,” the unemployed are told.

Leadership coaching is all about the accountability and independent thinking provided by a third person. What better role for an HR Leader? Human Resources consultants can be inside and outside the organization.

Focus on the big picture. What is the organization trying to be? Then detail the HR strategy around that picture. Do you want to be the quickest to market? Then hire with that in mind; reward with that in mind. Too many times HR comes with the merit raise program, the performance program, the hiring process, and the learning process. HR is the lifecycle. HR holds the lifeblood of the firm. The only resource (though I hate that word) that can appreciate with the business is the people. What is the investment in the future?

The humans of the business are the business. Everything else is capital. The contribution of every person every day is the reason if the delivery is on time, if the day is accident free, if the innovation is stellar, if the hours fly by or drag, and if the customer comes back. Creating the culture for the business to prosper is not touchy feely. It is becoming that employer of choice—the employer the best people want to get into as soon as they can. It is the place the talented compete to enter.
Do you want to be THE community driven organization? Then hire with a heart for those with a heart who are looking for an opportunity to make their place on earth better.

The right person for you might not be the right person for another firm. I believe the competition for talent is a bit vague. It is just like a person saying: “There aren’t any jobs out there?” Really? I see signs everywhere. What is the job you want in what environment? Do you like big firms, small firms? It is about the right person in the right job at the right place at the right time.

What kind of HR leader could you be if you understood the business and the future? Ask what might be the obvious: What is our focus-- short term and long term?

You will be prepared. You will be in a position of thinking and planning and helping the business succeed. You will provide feedback to and from employees and the chief executive. Keeping such communication and building a strong business will serve the community. Do we really take the time to explain the benefit programs or do we rely on the 800 number since that is only transactional. Now that doesn’t mean that we ignore technology-but we check the trends. How is it being used? To answer what questions? What questions are not being answered?
HR can no longer be the victim waiting to be told when the CFO needs the numbers to be cut and we know that will mean people. We can be ready to avoid that as the only answer.

If we don’t, then we get what we deserve. Unfortunately the community and employees of the business will get what they don’t deserve.

Author's Bio: 

Kelley Rexroad is a national recognized speaker and author and serves as an HR consultant and coach for those people and organizations who are ready to succeed to even greater levels. She is the Official HR Guide for self Learn more at or

Kelley Rexroad- The Official Guide of Human Resources

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Kelley Rexroad, The Official Guide of Human Resources