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HR Professionals need to translate Strategic Business plans to action

The celebrated professor and management guru Dr. Dave Ulrich has been a keen supporter of HR managers playing their rightful role in terms of translating strategy into action. Every company needs to have a strategy or a game plan for success in today’s competitive market place. But what is also equally important is the need to convert and transform arcane strategies into actionable items or deliverables that can be acted upon in order to achieve the objectives of corporate strategy. There somehow seems to be a view in many quarters that most HR folks are very adept at the transactional side of HR, with very little linkage and sight of the overall business strategy. The HR-business linkage has been quite weak traditionally and some part of the blame has to be shared by HR managers too.

The core strategy of a company determines the direction that it takes and the manner in which this is translated into reality. This is done by means of the various functional and sub functional objectives that are set in order to achieve the strategic goals. For instance, if the strategy of the company is to go for an increased market share, the sales function would have to ramp up its efforts along with marketing to reach out to more customers. Similarly, the HR function would need to buck up its initiatives in the realm of training and development to increase the efficacy of the sales function and come up with effective compensation and variable incentive plans to take up the challenge of augmenting the strategic business plans of the organization in a very meaningful and direct way.

One of the ways in which HR can be a part of the strategy enabling process is to get closely linked with the business planning and development functions. This has a lot to do with the priority that is accorded to the HR functions by the CEO and the top management. Top management support is key to establishing HR as a strategic partner, which is part of the decision making as well as the delivery function. One could have the best of technology, sales processes and superlative products and services, but if the HR function is isolated and just a support function, the power of people strength will be compromised. It is the HR that should take the lead in ensuring that strategic plans of the organization are implemented effectively.

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