Traditional HR versus Strategic HR

SHRM realizes that people can make or break an organization because all decisions made regarding finance, marketing, operations or technology are made by an organization’s people. So it accords highest priority to managing people and tries to integrate all HR programs and policies with the overall corporate strategy. It compels people at all levels to focus more on strategies issues rather than operational issues. More importantly it believes that there is no best way to manage people in any given organization. Even within a given industry HR practices vary extensively from one organization to another Armed with such a flexible approach. SHRM to develop a consistent, aligned, collection of practices programs and policies to facilitate the achievement of the organization’s strategic objectives.

Strategic HR shifts attention as against the traditional HR’s focus on employee relations to partnership with internal and external groups. The focus on managing people is more systemic with an understanding of the myriad factors that impact employees and the organizations and how to manage multiple relationships to ensure satisfaction at all levels of the organization, strategic HR is transformational in nature, in that it helps the people and the organization to adopt learn and act quickly. It will make sure that change initiatives that are focused on creating high performance teams, reducing cycle time for innovation or implementing new technology are defined, developed and delivered in a timely way.

Strategic HR is proactive and considers various time frames in a flexible manner. Likewise it permits employees to process work and carry out job responsibilities in a free flowing way. Rather than being enveloped by tight controls and excessive regulations, operations are controlled by whatever is necessary to succeed and control systems are modified as needed to meet changing conditions. Job design is organic specialization is replaced by cross training and independent tasks are replaced by teams, encouraging autonomy at various level. Above all strategic HR believes that the organization’s key assets are its people. It realizes that an organization can have competitive edge over its rivals if it is able to attract and retain knowledge workers who can optimally utilize and manage the organization’s critical resources. In the final analysis people are the organization’s only sustainable competitive advantage. While running the show strategic HR, of course argues that any individual in an organization who has responsibility for people is an HR manager regardless of the technical areas in which he or she works.

Strategic HR offers three critical outcomes: increased performance, enhanced customer and employee satisfaction and increased shareholder value. These outcomes are accomplished through effective management of staffing, retention and turnover processes, selection of employees that fit with both the organizational strategy and culture, cost effective utilization of employee through investment in identified human capital with the potential for higher return ; integrated HR programs and policies that clearly follow from corporate strategy facilitation of change and adaptation through a flexible more dynamic organization ;and tighter focus on customer needs, emerging markets and quality.


Traditional HR versus Strategic HR

Point of distinction

1) Focus
2) Role of HR
3) Initiatives
4) Time horizon
5) Control
6) Job design
7) Key investments
8) Accountability
9) Responsibility for HR

Traditional HR

1) Employee relations
2) Transactional change, follower and respondent
3) Slow, reactive fragmented
4) Short term
5) Bureaucratic roles, policies procedures
6) Tight division of labor, independence specialization
7) Capital products,
8) Cost center
9) Staff specialists.

Strategic HR

1) Partnerships with internal and external customers
2) Transformational change leader and initiator.
3) Fast proactive and integrated
4) Short , medium and long (as required)
5) Organic flexible whatever is necessary to succeed
6) Broad flexible cross training teams.
7) People knowledge
8) Investment center
9) Line managers.

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