We have recently started our farmers association somewhere in an area called Tshele. I am motivated to share my experience about the wonderful team and elders I met, partnered and associated with them.
Henry Ford once said “Coming together is the beginning, keeping together is a process and working together is success”. Nothing beats the thought of the great management guru. I am a great admirer of partnership and teams. Flashing back to the team of elders and farmers that make my community, I couldn’t ask for more blessing that I already have. Farming is a process and if you want to go far go together. That’s why I have decided to associate, partner and volunteer to be just an ordinary member to the team of elders (master farmers). I believe that it’s better to have a great team than a team of great because alone we can do so little and together we can do so much. My conviction is you may have your own opinion, that doesn’t mean that if I am wrong or you are right. This is my two – Thebe mind. An HR department is not a stand-alone entity and unfortunately is the middle man in every Organisation. One of the functions of HR is partnering with Divisions to create value for the organisation and more importantly to create a difference between being a good Company and a great Company.
HR Partnering is gaining popularity amongst organisations and this is the way the HR department organise their business value add activities. Dave Ulrich is credited for sharing his views on the core functions of HR as strategic partnering, change agent, employee champion and administrative expert. His view is modern HR should be accommodated as centres of expertise. Over the last 25 years the HR partnering model has improved and more organisations have adopted and embraced HR partnering in their business structures. According to Dave Ulrich, Human Resource partnering will differ from one organisation to another and factors of structure will determine the partnering model. Dave Ulrich’s belief is that HR as a function needs to be very closely aligned with the top and the centre of the organisation’s structure. In short, HR needs to work closely with business leaders and this makes HR a part of organisational strategy rather than a strict personnel function which is reactive. The process of aligning HR with executive management is defined as HR Business Partnering and involves HR sitting in the board of directors and closely working hand in hand with the C-suite.
At times finding and defining the identity of HR is a challenge to me as an HR practitioner. Just image of my parents sitting somewhere in Serowe – how do they define the HR? Exactly who is HR and what do they do for the business? As a CEO what value are you getting from this bunch of people sitting in your office? The guys who are commonly known for hiring and firing? Besides that common activity what more can you say is their function in your business? I think the history of HR commenced long back, having its roots in administration, filing, personnel and compliance for a company. To date, if your HR is still the filing and personnel department, then your problems are bigger and you need to fire them straight away. What value are you getting from filing and compliance? Just my two Thebe thought? Exactly what value are you getting from filing the ITW8 forms? That can be done by anybody. Why incur huge cost of administration through filing clerks in mode of HR managers, HR Officers and Assistants? Just my thought! I know some of my professional associates are going to kill me for this article but the truth should be told one way or another.
I am of the opinion that organisations should implement an effective business partnering with HR as one way of accelerating the evolution of HR function. For organisations to achieve this, it is imperative that organisations recognise the HR Business Partners as serious contributors to achieve business objectives. This is a two-way street. HR has a mission as well to create value-add to the business. High Impact HR is what is needed today by competitive organisations to provide answers for High Performing Organisations. If HR is to meet business expectations, a new mind set must be embedded in the HR profession across and make HR the real Business Partners in the organisation that can initiate a strategic conversation with business leaders, armed with potential solutions and be a strategic player. In closing, let me quote Orison Marden saying “No employer today is independent of those around him. He cannot succeed alone, no matter how great his ability or capital. Business today is more than ever a question of cooperation“.