Monday, August 31, 2009

5 Ways HR Can Poise a Firm for Growth?

I have the great pleasure of working with many small to medium size clients over the past few years. As my partner and I were discussing their similarities, we concluded that the firms we had been working with had very aggressive growth goals, yes even in this recession.

So that really made me stop and think...

Sometimes companies are doing just fine, making similar profits and revenues year to year. Then, something happens, someone desires to "get to that next level." In our experience the next level requires a different mindset and tools from operating under the status quo.

How can HR assist their company when growth is the goal?

I think HR is key when growth is the mantra. To grow means to perform higher and better. In order to perform better you need infrastructure and tools to be able to do that assuming motivation and engagement are high.

So HR's job becomes:

1) Growth plan communicator-After the CEO has set his/her vision for the future HR needs to make sure everyone knows what that means for their role. How does their role fit into the plans for growth?

2) Pay for performance czar-All performance management tools and salary structure has to reflect new growth goals and objectives. Commissions may need to be adjusted, performance appraisals rewritten and policies adjusted.

3) Talent scout-Make sure the best talent is acquired and retained. Understanding who the high performers are an making sure their experience is positive.

4) Manager's Coach-Provide managers tools, feedback and training to become GREAT managers. Times of growth are chaotic, a manager's job becomes one of coach and communicator. Make sure they have the skills and abilities to be successful.

5) Engagement Monitor-Track and take action on engagement data understanding who is committed to the organization and why. Also, find out why employees are disengaged and fix those issues quickly. In growth mode, there is no time for poor performance or morale busters.

What other roles for HR have you observed or served in when in growth mode?


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