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HR Tool: Grow Your Strategic Consulting Skills:: :: Articles News Information

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HR Tool: Grow Your Strategic Consulting Skills

What does your organization need from you as a Human Resources professional in the twenty-first century? You need to:

  • clearly demonstrate your value-added contribution to the success of the overall strategic goals of the organization;

  • provide measurements that show the success of the initiatives and processes you provide as an HR service;

  • recognize and treat all the members of your organization as customers; and

  • change the perception of these customers about the role of the HR professional.

Many people in organizations still relegate the HR professional to a traditional policing, systematizing, administrative role. You want your organization to perceive your value-added as consultative and strategic. Making this change requires additional knowledge, support and practice. I will show you how to get started with this last.

The Transition

I recently worked with the HR staff members at a major university to assist them to further develop their consultative skills. The group read recommended books, did case studies which I developed, and met periodically for discussions over eighteen months. The group called the sessions, “Hamlet.” This title was loosely developed from “the do or die” attitude of the group about making the transition.

Recent questions in the Human Resources Community Connection Forum sparked my interest in sharing this resource with other HR professionals. The post which prompted my thinking follows.

"Hi All: As a placement student working in the HR department of a large multi-national, I am interested in the use of self-service HR and the changes it will bring to the HR department. In my organization, which uses some elements of self-service HR, and is rapidly developing and launching more, I can see a gap forming between those who see themselves as "HR consultants" and those that are "process owners.” It is the process owners who were previously the admin team, and I can see disparate opinions forming as to the future of this team.

"Some think that the process ownership will become boring, looking after processes and transactions that employees and managers perform for themselves, whilst the HR consultants go on to bigger and better things. I have even heard pity for the members of the process/transaction team.

"However, others see it as a pivotal role, which the HR department cannot survive without.

"My question is, what is the true role of this team - can the roles be filled by people with no HR knowledge, and if not, what HR skills will they need? How can the development and motivation of these people be managed when others within the function see the role as so uninteresting they feel sorry for them?

"Whether you are an HR consultant or process/transaction owner, I look forward to your response!”

If you are making the transition from a more traditional administrative role to a more consultative role, this resource is for you. Can an HR professional make this type of a transition without a class and some external assistance? I think the outside help makes it easier. These recommended resources, however, will help those of you with little convenient access to other professionals and educational settings. You might also consider working with a small group, your local Society for Human Resource Management chapter, or a university class. We approached the learning as a series of sessions or concepts. I have highlighted the concepts covered as well as the resources.