Human Resources practitioners under the aegis of the Association of Elite Human Resources Professionals (AEHRP) have listed ways through which a practitioner can strike a balance between its dual role of being a strategic business partner and an employee champion.
They mentioned professionalism, due management respect to what they do, understanding business strategies and, navigation competencies to guide an organization beyond murky waters and adherence to the craft of the business.
They said this at the second anniversary of the association held over the weekend in Lagos, with the theme, ‘HR as a Strategic Business Partner and Employee Champion; Striking a balance”.
Emmanuel Micheal, head of Human Capital at Letshego Microfinance bank and guest speaker said it is a given that as a human relations person, there are two strategic roles one needs to play; first as a business partner to the management and secondly as an employee champion, so it behooves on the professional to understand the expectations.
He said for the HR to champion employee cause, the business must make money as, without the money, the needs of the employees won’t be provided for and without the employees, there will be no way to make the money. So there is the need for the HR professional to make the employees understand their role and the business owner to also do the same.
Micheal, one of the 101 Global HR Hero (2019) said, “ The focus from the HR manager is on how to bake a bigger cake as they should not focus on one aspect and represent one party alone by saying I represent the management alone and whatever they say is final on employee needs. On the other hand, HR should not say I am representing the employees’ alone and we need to provide things for them without thinking that to provide for the employees, the cake must be big enough to be shared”.
Micheal Ogu President, AEHRP said to strike a balance, HR practitioners must have an understanding of business strategies, leadership and navigation competencies that can guide the organization through murky waters till it is safe.
He said such is necessary because some HR managers do not have the support and buy-ins from C-level executives, which is a major challenge for the professionals.
“A lot of executives still, don’t understand the value of the HR profession, a lot of CEOs still see HR as a call center rather than a valued trusted advisor, that’s a major gap and we are also trying to engage CEOs to understand the roles and values of the HR profession”, he asserted.
Adeoye Abodunrin, a talent manager and HR professional said HR practitioners need to understand the financial numbers, the implication of the numbers and whatever is happening on the side of it.
He said they must be strategic and know how to drive strategy as understanding these will help the HR manager to see any conflict before it arises and knows how to make sure there is no conflict at the end of the day because if the business dies, everybody will lose their jobs. He wants HR officials to get the respect of the CEO like the CFO does because it is people that run businesses, not operations and money.
He cited insufficient industry regulations as one of the challenges facing the sector as there is a difference between what’s on the CV of applicants and what is practicable, while he added that they don’t have enough competent hands, as the competent level is not strong enough.
Adekunle Olunloyo, Chairman, planning committee of the event and a seasoned HR manager said to strike a balance, an HR person must be professional, irrespective of where he/she is coming from or who the parties to any issue are, the yes must be yes, so as not to lay bad precedence and should get approvals before taking actions.
Olunloyo said the HR practitioner must know how to document events and actions plans as the office will always be there no matter who is presently on the ground and documenting records, standards of operations will help the company grow when the present officeholder is not on seat.