How HR Must Rise to Today’s Opportunity

How HR Must Rise to Today’s Opportunity
  1. The place of HR in organizations

HR - department, role, function. It is good if the head of the HR department takes a place in the management board in the organizational structure, but it still does not guarantee that HR and the topics most closely related to it will be treated seriously in the company. The role of the HR leader is ungrateful. Often pushed to the background, because it has little to do with strategy or financial results - after all, it's just staff.

As HR departments, we want to be taken seriously, we want to take an active part in key business processes, and we are still too rarely invited to them. In my opinion, it is our fault.

The place of HR in organizations

Let's start with the basics. What is the place of HR in companies? The role of the HR department is to build bridges between the needs of employees and the company's business needs. Unfortunately, many people working in HR departments forget either about one or the other part of this assumption. Wherever employment in the HR department requires several years of business experience, it is forgotten that the core value of the company is people and that they must be taken care of with special care. On the other hand, in companies where the employee is primarily concerned, HR ceases to be of strategic business importance and becomes only a personnel service provider and a necessary evil. A mature and experienced HR, well prepared to reliably support business and building added value for the organization, is HR made up of people who are both business-conscious and psychologically committed to understanding the ways people function (especially in terms of their commitment and motivation to work). Where HR is not prepared for both of these areas, it is either relegated to the background, or the organizational culture is lame.

In the rush related to building the position of the department in the company, HR specialists forget that in order to be able to support companies, they should be credible. This means that if they talk about business - they should know how to run a company, if they talk about people management - they should have knowledge in this area, and if they encourage development - they should set an example with their development. Unfortunately, most often HR trains others, forgetting to develop themself.

Knowledge is the key to power

When an employee comes to you and asks what kind of development support is offered by the company, what do you answer? Participation in conferences, specialized training, cooperation with experienced mentors, participation in development projects, access to industry literature and magazines, articles on industry portals, working with an individual coach, etc. There are many ways to develop and every HR specialist knows them inside out.


To be a leader is to be an example of a boss. A person who gives an example to others how to manage people and a company. It is not enough to have knowledge about management and be fluent in its practical application. To be a leader is to be credible enough for other employees to trust us, admire us and want to learn from us, follow us. Thanks to this competence, each HR department will be a model for other departments in the field of running a people-based business.

Teamwork, Collaboration

It has long been said that the education system is focused on developing individual work skills. Ba! Our educational system is very competitive. Therefore, graduates who come from schools under the wing of employers are not able to effectively cooperate with other people from the team. Focused on their own goals, they do not see the added value of teamwork. They do not get involved in helping others and rarely ask for it themselves. They present the results of their work not consulted with others, based solely on their own thoughts. And yet effective building of anything involves working in a group, gathering opinions from a wide group of people, because only then will the end result come as close to the ideal as possible. Fortunately, from time to time you can meet people in companies who can be role models in terms of teamwork.

Building a network of contacts

The modern world of success is based on contacts. The wider their network is, the more effectively we reach with the message. The greater the ease with making new friends and nurturing relationships with people we know, the more willingly people come to us and treat us as trustworthy. In the corporate field, this translates into the ease of achieving goals. To give the simplest example - HR work often requires taking care of internal communication - the better the network of contacts the HR department employees have, the easier and more durable they convey messages.

Diversity management

The globalization of the world has brought us to a place where meeting people from other countries or ethnic cultures is on the agenda in office buildings. International mobility and building international career paths have never been easier. In addition to geographic aspects, we should also remember intergenerational differences, thanks to the presence of three generations of employees on the labor market. Due to the diversity of cultures, habits, customs and lifestyles, it is impossible to manage without taking them into account. An effective HR specialist can do his job in such a way that its effects reach everyone, regardless of language, gender, age, culture or country of origin.

Transparent communication

We perfectly know the concept of effective communication, which assumes effective communication with a given group of recipients. Transparent communication is related to courage. Because you need courage not to sweep uncomfortable corporate topics under the rug, to take the bull by the horns and openly resolve conflicts. You need courage and knowledge about the ways of functioning of the human psyche to provide employees with uncomfortable information, e.g. about the need to reduce jobs. Transparent communication is another competence that supports building credibility by modern HR.

Strategic thinking

Without it, there is no business management. If HR wants to be a partner for management boards in building the company's strategy, mission or vision, it simply has to think strategically. This means taking into account long-term trends, planning activities from a broader perspective, anticipating threats, and above all, current orientation in the constantly changing environmental conditions.

Market and customer orientation

Whether we like it or not, HR will always be a service provider, and its internal client is the company's employees. Understanding the needs, building well-suited solutions, thorough preparation for talks and respecting our HR clients are the basis for achieving success and building the position of the HR department in the company. Everything salespeople learn also apply in the area of ​​HR.


Strategic thinking is not enough to effectively partner in building a competitive advantage. You also need entrepreneurship, that is, understanding how the company works, and even treating the employer as your own company. Knowing not only the goals and obligations of each department, but also the scope of employees 'activities, general knowledge about their work is not only valid for partners' HR business. P&L (profit & loss - profit and loss account), KPI (key performance indicators - key performance indicators), MBO (management by objectives - management by objectives), ROI (return on investment - return on investment), EBITDA (earnings before interest , taxes, depreciation and amortization - the company's profit before deducting interest on loans, taxes and depreciation), ROP (operating profitability index), FCF (free cash flow) - these are only the basic terms that every HR should know - a scientist to have a good understanding of the problems faced by management boards on a daily basis. Without this, it is difficult to talk about establishing an understanding and competent support for an internal client, employees.

Optimizing activities, increasing efficiency

The pursuit of savings and profits takes a very conscious move when it comes to optimizing tasks. Increasing the efficiency of the entire company often involves reducing budgets for various areas, and even reducing jobs. A competent HR specialist is able to analyze processes and activities, and then propose areas that can be improved without costs, generating the desired resource savings (time, money or materials).

Project management

Responsibility for organizational culture, employee development, training management, payroll and other budgets requires project management skills. By definition, the project is related to a change in the organization. Regardless of the area, the competences of project managers are the same and very complex. HR more and more often conducts projects that have a huge impact on the financial results of the entire company. We cannot afford to jeopardize the reputation of human resources.

Focus on development

These are just 10 competencies that come to the fore in modern HR. There are many more of them. The HR area is of key importance in the functioning of the company. But in order for other employees to see and understand it, we must fulfill our role, which is to show how enormous added value can be brought by HR specialists for the entire organization. And we will only achieve this if we set an example, if we are a reliable business partner.

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