HR Capabilities

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Based on the capabilities identified by the Model of Excellence by AHRI (The Australian Human Resources Institute) (2020), three capabilities are being evaluated below:

  • Business Driven
  • Ethical and Credible Activist 
  • Culture and Change Leader

The rationale behind selecting the above capabilities is that these capabilities highlight the macro-role played by an HR manager in an organisation.

Business Driven

Being business driven entails that the objectives of the organisation are met.  In an organisational context, there are several requirements of the business that need to be understood by the HR practitioners: First, the HR practitioner must understand the product and service delivery, and operational capabilities of the organisation. Second, the HR practitioner must understand the operating environment that includes objectives related to financial, stakeholder, and performance. Third, the HR practitioner must understand the potential impact of any change in government policy and legislative and political framework. Fourth, the HR practitioner must have the ability to respond to the impact of various factors on the workforce. Fifth, the HR practitioner must have the ability to deliver quality outcomes and develop a competitive advantage for the organisation.

For an HR manager, it is necessary to be business-driven as no function in an organisation works in isolation, and there is a need for effective coordination between different functions for the business to achieve its organisational goals. Thus, an HR manager must look at the comprehensive picture and consider the overall impact of any action on the business and therefore must be business-driven.

As an HR graduate, I can provide evidence of being business-driven based on the following example: I recall that I participated in a business simulation game. The team had six members: one was looking after finance, two were looking after marketing, two were looking after operations and I was looking at HR. The simulation game involved five teams representing five companies that manufactured printers. Everyone was doing their work and we were leading for two quarters. However, from the third quarter onwards, things started to go bad as we were clueless about how much money to spend on advertising, how much workforce to hire, and several other aspects. Eventually, this created conflict in the team as everyone was blaming others for poor performance. As a result, the performance of the company (in simulation) deteriorated further. 

I was desperate to win the simulation game so I decided to take up a leadership role. As part of the game, I was managing a virtual workforce. However, the necessity of the hour was for me to manage an actual team. So, I asked every team member that in order to achieve the organisational objective, what needs to be done by them, and what support they need from other team members. I noted down the requirements and expectations of each individual and then developed a canvas to show the team, the degree of interdependence and coordination that was needed from one another to achieve the organisational objective. My efforts were successful and the entire team started coordinating. As a result, we were able to turnaround the performance of the company. Since everyone was now business-driven, so everyone was now open to giving and receiving suggestions from others.

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