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Key rules for HR managers
Neel Ratan | May 23, 2007
I am a 37-year-old senior manager of a newly set up bank. I have been brought in with the mandate of developing a forward looking and robust HR function for the organisation, including building the HR team. While I have more than 10 years of solid experience in HR operations and team management, I can't seem to get a grip on how to go about defining the HR function for my organisation. How do I go about setting a direction and defining the specific focus areas for a new HR function?
This is a commonly faced situation for managers who are transitioning from an operational role to a leadership role in organisations. A good starting point is to realise that developing a people function strategy and running specific HR sub-functions are two different activities which require different approaches.
While senior business managers are expected to develop a vision for organisations to build the business strategy, the HR vision stays a mere document. It is important to begin with a blue-sky vision of how the HR function will address the 'employee lifecycle'. The key focus is on defining a vision which is achievable, and supports in making the business idea successful.
HR managers also need to take precautions to ensure that their vision is aligned to specific business objectives; that it is not defined on the basis of an HR leader's overzealous attempt to have best practices learnt in previous experiences applied to the 'new organisation'.
To be able to build an HR infrastructure which is completely focused on business success, HR managers need to ensure focus on some key rules from the initial stages:
The author is executive director, PricewaterhouseCoopers. This column appears once in four weeks, and readers may address their queries to: firstname.lastname@example.org.