HR as a True Strategic
MOVING FROM TALK TO ACTION
Given the dynamic nature of today’s national and global
economies and the importance of organizational agility
to drive competitive performance, the HR function must
be business-oriented and led by CHROs who understand
this strategic context and champion related value-add. In
this regard, it is interesting to note that at progressively managed
Canadian organizations, CHROs are indeed executing businessoriented
HR strategies and practical front-line value.
This progressive approach is being driven by a number of factors.
First of all, boards of directors and CEOs recognize that
human capital is a key enabler of organizational success and performance,
and therefore HR must be a top strategic priority. In a
recent Conference Board of Canada global survey of CEOs, human
capital was identified as the number-one challenge facing
organizations. Issues such as succession planning, workforce productivity,
employee development and engagement are top of mind
to executives as well as HR.
Given the demographic profiles of western countries, tight labour
markets for knowledge-intensive and skilled workers and
recognition that workforce productivity is a true strategic differentiator,
we are truly entering the emerging talent decade. As this
decade progresses, the HR agenda and functions are being recognized
for their strategic importance.
Arguably, the 1990s were the “Dot-Com/Technology Decade,”
culminating in Y2K. The 2000s were the “Finance Decade,” coming
to an end in the fall of 2008 with the global financial services
meltdown. The current decade is the emerging Talent Decade, and
business and HR leadership can control how it evolves.
By Katie O’Brien and Donna Burnett-Vachon
HRPATODAY.CA ❚ MARCH/APRIL 2015 ❚ 37