We already know that world-class HR operations both outsource and think about HR strategically, according to The Hackett Group’s “The World-Class Performance Advantage” report. Still, collaborating with HR in this way is often a major shift for many businesses. What does it mean in practice to engage HR as a strategic partner?

It means HR conducts itself strategically.

Not all employees are alike. Some excel in their roles, while under-performing workers can drag down the bottom-line. Most fall somewhere in the middle. In Part 1 of this series, we introduced several ways to figure out which employee is which. In Part 2, we discussed management strategies specific to those workers in the middle of the range. Today we’ll focus on how to help top performers thrive.
From the perspective of a business owner or high-level executive, there may be only one thing worse than a bad employee: a bad manager. According to a Gallup Poll, managers account for an astounding 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores. Nothing – not wages, not benefits, not work environment – impacts employee engagement as strongly as the boss. Many employees would sacrifice a raise if it meant gaining a better boss; but what actually happens: 50% of employees have left a job to get away from their manager.
Few people enjoy meetings, often dreading them as unavoidable time-wasters. They’re probably right. Business analyst firm McKinsey and Co. argues that meetings “take up an inordinate amount of time but yield little benefit.” It says that most organizations host too many meetings that last too long, involve too many people, and don’t end with clear action steps – all of which contribute to ineffective meetings that cost too much to host and waste so much time they actually put attendees to sleep – as much as 39% of the time, apparently!
In any workplace, many different people come together to work as a team. A crucial aspect of smart recruiting is making sure you find job candidates who will work well within your company’s culture and with your company’s existing team. Even so, you’re still going to end up with many different personality types working together. How do you manage different personalities most effectively?
Small business owners must wear many hats, and sometimes they’re expected to be masters of skills that have nothing to do with their core business offering
Using the right technology for the right purpose can dramatically improve financial returns, and updating or upgrading your technology can yield great benefits. But it’s not just IT that needs to be involved in major tech upgrades; it's HR as well.

If there is one constant in the universe, it is change. And, we might add, it is never easy. Part of the difficulty is that most of your workforce lives in the past or present; in other words, they’re anchored by a long tradition, held back from making major changes easily or quickly.

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