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India tops in taking HR as strategic business partner
Lipi Agrawal | New Delhi | Wednesday, 06 December 2017

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While organisations world over are realising the benefits of involving HR in business strategy, India, in particular, has applied it well

The foundation of a successful organisation rests on its employees. Hence, people management is always at the core of any flourishing business, and HR, which is responsible for the same cannot just be discounted in business strategy planning. That said, while organisations world over are realising the benefits of involving HR in business strategy, India especially seems to have applied it well.

A recent report called ‘Workforce Agility Barometer Report: Navigate Asia Pacific’s Future Talent Frontier’ by KellyOCG revealed that in India, the role of HR is more valued than its neighbouring countries. The study was conducted amongst 210 C-suite level executives across India, Singapore, Australia, and Malaysia from industries, such as banking and financial services, life sciences, healthcare and medical services, and manufacturing.

Interestingly, in India, the role of HR is immense with more than half the respondents (59 per cent) admitting to having engaged their HR team right at the beginning of the business strategy development stage itself. An additional 27 per cent of respondents engaged with their HR teams at the operational planning stage.

Experts believe that HR is well equipped to help leaders formulate the best business strategies that are aligned with talent. HR can not only support business in defining the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of the strategy, but HR has the power to use the right tools and capabilities to ensure efficient execution of the strategy. Hence, it makes sense to involve HR in business strategy right from the beginning itself.

In India, the role of HR is immense with more than half the respondents (59 per cent) admitting to having engaged their HR team right at the beginning of the business strategy development stage itself.

That said, even half the respondents from Singapore and Malaysia engage HR during the development of business strategy while 35 per cent and 27 per cent respectively, agree to engage them during operational planning of the same. However, as per the report, HR functions in Singapore are comparatively less competent than the rest when it comes to providing strategic workforce insights.

In India, on the other hand, 88 per cent respondents agree that their HR function is competent enough to provide strategic workforce insights, enabling an efficient business strategy. In addition, 92 per cent respondents in India find their HR function quite competent on the talent development and retention fronts. This is a good indicator of the value that HR teams bring onto the table when it comes to HR planning at the very beginning of any business project.

57 per cent of Indian C-suite respondents acknowledged that the majority of business growth currently is being driven by workforce availability and adaptability followed closely by digitisation, technology and innovation.

Francis Padamadan, country director, KellyOCG India, is of the view that the role of HR is evolving with the emphasis being on the impact on business. “We are seeing forward-looking organisations involve HR in a lot of business-related decisions as it has a bearing on strategy, people/their roles and in general, the culture of the company. HR is expected to contribute not just from a talent but an employer branding perspective too,” he says in this regard.

In fact, the report states that 57 per cent of Indian C-suite respondents acknowledged that the majority of business growth currently is being driven by workforce availability and adaptability followed closely by digitisation, technology and innovation (54 per cent of the respondents agreed). This indicates that not only is technological prowess required to drive growth, but the right kind of workforce to enable this growth is equally important, which emphasises on the importance of the role of HR.

88 per cent respondents agree that their HR function is competent enough to provide strategic workforce insights, enabling an efficient business strategy.

Padamadan further adds, “C-suite leaders understand that more needs to be done to ensure workforce planning is addressed when developing business strategies. In today’s challenging business environment, some leaders are already working towards ensuring that they have a nimble workforce. To adapt during times of uncertainty, they are becoming increasingly dependent on contingent workers.”

With the emergence of new technologies, talent strategies today have evolved, the study found. Workforce analytics tools enable businesses to determine the optimal talent mix required for their immediate and future business goals.

Businesses need to look beyond traditional HR training and development and tap into workforce data and insights to determine a holistic workforce management approach. By doing so, they will be able to identify the right talents at the right time and for the right value. This will ensure that their workforce is future-proof and ready to tackle the challenges ahead, the report concluded.

 

© 2016 HR Katha
Last modified on Wednesday, 06 December 2017

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