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Why, you might ask, is a post about HR Strategy being listed under A Step A Day? The answer is : I believe in all seriousness that to be effective, every manager- irrespective of his/her own function- has to be heart a HR manager!

Recently I received a call from a leading organization. The HR Head for one of their divisions asked “We need help in formulating our HR strategy. Can you help us?”

I first asked the following questions:
•    How did they see HR strategy being linked to their overall business strategy?
•    What did they wish to achieve by implementing a HR strategy?
•    Did this assignment have the full backing and support of the organization’s top management?

The HR strategy itself may be crafted by HR specialists and approved by upper management. At the end of the day, it has to be implemented by line management- managers like you and me.

You as individual managers “own” your people resources, not the central HR team. For your team, you are, the organization.

I am not suggesting that you as a Finance Manager, a Head of a R & D lab; a Software Development Centre Head or a Regional Sales Manager should be an expert in designing HR strategy.

But aren’t you responsible for these activities within your team?

•    Recruitment
•    Performance Management
•    Career Development
•    Team Building
•    Mentoring
•    Culture Building

Ask yourself if you are giving the required time and energy for these activities. Have you suggested changes in your existing processes in these areas based on your experience and knowledge? Have you shown that they figure prominently in your long list of responsibilities? Are you adequately competent in the skills required to be effective in each of these areas?

It is essential to get your inputs in developing HR strategy. You know your people, your technology, your product, your market best. Find ways and means to use this knowledge in developing innovative practices to make your workplace the best in your industry.

Managers across functions should, in my view, be involved in crafting HR strategy. Ultimately they would be the biggest beneficiaries of its successful implementation.
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