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Focus on 5 key qualities to add value to your organization

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in HR Management,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,Management Training,Office Communication,Performance Reviews,Workplace Communication

Issue: New research helps you focus on boosting HR's standing within the organization.

Benefit: Improve your worth within the company and marketability in the field.

Action: Rate yourself in the five key areas listed below.

Do you just put out daily fires or are you a full partner in pushing your organization forward and adding to its value? Most HR specialists fall somewhere in the middle.

To move more toward the value side, focus your efforts on improving in five categories of HR skills and knowledge, as cited in a recent University of Michigan Business School study of 7,000 HR people. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) used the study's findings to create its HR Competency Toolkit.

"In many companies, HR professionals have been more interested in developing other departments than they have been in developing themselves," says study co-author Wayne Brockebank. "This may have been partly because they were not entirely sure where to focus their development efforts."

The five main development areas to focus on:

  1. Strategic contribution. Forward-looking strategic efforts, rather than solving daily crises, account for nearly half of HR's total influence on an organization's performance.
  2. Personal credibility. The research says HR people must be credible with both their colleagues and the employees they serve, plus deliver measurable results and have effective communication skills.
  3. HR delivery. This means mastering "traditional" HR functions, such as staffing, compliance, performance management and organizational structure.
  4. Business knowledge. HR professionals must understand their organizations and industries, then use that knowledge to make strategic contributions.
  5. HR technology. You need to use HR technology and Web-based channels effectively to deliver services to employees in the most cost-efficient ways.

Note: For details on the SHRM toolkit, visit

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