Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Messy House = SHRM Mission Impossible

The 1st in a series about Strategic Human Resources Management:


Today, I began a new venture as a course developer and instructor of a brand spanking new Strategic Human Resources Management (SHRM) course. Actually the course development part of the project started well over a year ago during my Master of Online Teaching certificate practicum. Today was the official unveiling of week one of the 17 week course. A course which partnered with three others offered by the institution that employs me offers graduates a certificate in Human Resources Management (HRM).

Personally, I have always been concerned about using the word "certificate" because it can be misunderstood and construed as competition with the Human Resources Certification Institutes's (HRCI) "certification". However, I can tell you that competition is certainly not the motive here. Honestly, this is something that can help prepare one to take the HRCI certification exams. Although, I still recommend local study groups and study materials to our students who plan to take the exam after they complete the certificate.

Enough about what I am working on related to this topic for and onto the topic itself. Yes I have noticed that SHRM also stands for the organization who represents the profession. Even I have to take a second look on occasion. The point is after over a year of research, I have come to one conclusion. That is if you don't have top management support and one reason why is because the top management does not have any confidence in you or your abilities as a good HR generalist then they certainly are not going to support an initiative to be strategic.

In other words lets face it...if you can't get payroll out in time, employees are complaining that the insurance is not paying the bills on time, managers are misinterpreting the company policies and inconsistently applying them affecting moral, and overtime costs are out of the roof then one might say you have a "messy house". The first thing to do would be to clean house and then consider some strategic human resources initiatives. Otherwise you could be laughed right out of the boardroom.

Regardless of what your credentials are or your fortune 500 experience , you must get the HR basics right before you move on to SHRM (the work not the association). Otherwise you will be playing the Mission Impossible theme song all the way to the unemployment line.

Learn more as I continue this series over the next 17 weeks and I hope to see you at this years SHRM (the association) Strategy conference in Palm Springs, California October 3-5.

16 comments:

  1. Amen! You cannot run before you can walk. Mastering HR basics is a smart way to boost your credibility as a strategist.

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  2. I agree that you must have HR basics right before moving onto strategic HRM. I believe so many organizations never get to SHRM because they do not have support from top management. Many HR departments are staffed just enough to "keep a clean house" and that is not enough to think strategically.

    But, beyond staffing there is also a partnership that must exist between top management and HR. It may start with support at the top, but HR professionals must have business knowledge to be considered a partner and to be given a seat in the boardroom. HR professionals need to make an effort to understand the business of the organization they work for. This may include earning professional certifications in that line of business, beyond just HR knowledge. HR professionals need to position themselves strategically within the organization even if they do not have top management support at first. The day has come where many middle managers ask top management why HR is not included in their strategic planning meetings. Many organizations are there and more and more are getting on board.It works both ways. HR can't sit back and wait for the invitation.

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    1. I couldn't have said it better myself Wendy! In summary it can be summed up in three words:

      Proactive vs. Reactive

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  3. I wasn't aware of the HRCI certification, I will look further into that.

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    1. Yes Nathan! That's how I am able to be qualified to teach besides the experience. Check out HRCI.org to see all the HR related certifications that are available similar to other certifications in accounting, purchasing, financial services, etc.

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  4. Before any change in HR can be made, a foundation has to occur. Once the foundation is solid, then strategy can progress. This is similar to other aspects in the business world, in order to understand or improve, you have to first know the basics.

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  5. A foundation has to first be in place before one can think of making improvements or building different strategies/techniques. This is not only important in HR, but also other areas of business as well.

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  6. I also agree with your thoughts, I think we can take it one step further and apply the concept to any initiative. There can be no success born haphazardly, it must be deliberate. Those who cannot meet the basic requirements of their field will not be successful at implementing anything close to a strategic initiative. Take care of today before you look at tomorrow, because if today is a failure, there will be no tomorrow.

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  7. I didn't know about they different types of certification either. I will certainly be looking into them.

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  8. I didn't know about the different types of certification either. I will be looking into them.

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  9. I agree. Top management support is a must for implementing any strategies, including HR strategies, because, for one, resources are limited and they control the purse. And yes, HR generalist must know what he is doing and must be able show that he knows what he is doing in order to earn their respect so that they would listen and consider his proposals.

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  10. I agree with the post as well as the comments above. If you can't get the top to follow along or support the movement, then there is no way to expect that the middle and bottom of the pyramid will follow either. I have witnessed this in areas that I have worked as well as with many clients that I have worked with.

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  11. Thanks Christopher, Eric and Sherry for your comments!

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