Answered Essay: Many people who work in the HR profession focus their efforts on improving the

Many people who work in the HR profession focus their efforts on improving the typical HR activi- ties that are performed in a firm, including staffing, training and development, compensation, and performance appraisal. However, they sometimes overlook the important strategic objectives of their employers. This is why managers in other areas of a company often fail to see the importance of HR staff. There doesn’t seem to be any real connection between what the HR function does and what the firm is trying to accomplish strategically. There- fore, HR professionals need to get involved with performance consulting in companies, which re- quires them to be more proactive in their approach to managing HR activities.
This is what Craig Mundy focused on when he was given the opportunity to take over the HR area in Ingersoll Rand’s Climate Solutions, a large and valuable business unit within the company that was
created by merging Trane and Thermo King under one operational umbrella. The unit employs 25,000 individuals and has locations in over 60 nations. Performance consulting was particularly important to Climate Solutions because the global economic downturn occurred right after the unit was created, which means that costs had to be managed while the organization tried to make global gains.
The HR group worked with managers to create positive talent plans to help the unit reach its stra- tegic goals. In particular, the following issues were addressed by HR:
• The key gaps that stopped individuals from accomplishing their objectives were highlighted.
• Diverse approaches that effectively reduced gaps were identified.
• Solutions tied to talent management were created and utilized.
Another step involved developing a talent solutions framework that enabled leaders to identify the causes of performance problems in the organization and to develop fixes. The framework is based on workforce planning, which involves finding out the firm’s talent requirements. Once these needs are known, leaders can determine how and when employees will be hired. Developing individuals once they are hired is the next issue that is addressed in the framework, followed by how to improve employee engagement and retention. Finally, performance needs to be monitored so that successes can be documented. Using this talent solu- tions framework at Ingersoll Rand enabled the HR group to play a more strategic role in the company.52
Questions
1. Why do HR personnel need to think more stra- tegically in companies? Why might such an ap- proach enable HR to be taken more seriously by other managers?
2. How would you evaluate the talent solutions framework developed for the Climate Solutions unit at Ingersoll Rand? Is the approach some- thing that you could use as a line manager or as an HR professional, or should it be changed or developed further?

Expert Answer

Answer 1:

HR professionals in many companies get side tracked on focussing only on the people management aspects but the areas of performance management of employees in terms of company’s strategy alignment gets little or no attention from this department. While training and development, recruitment as well as employee retention is very much key to the growth of any company, the importance of whether these employees are working towards the company’s long term strategical goals is often debatable. Usally in many companies,there are not many policies that govern the role of HR in this regard and therefore the need for such strategical thinking of HR professionals arevery much needed.

Managers of different divisions apart from the HR department often lack skills of the HR professionals in terms of employee exchange. Their roles mostly lie more in terms of aligning each department towards the strategical requirement of the organisation and is often driven forward with policies in place that ensure this outcome. If HR professionals try to merge these requirements into their practices, it would go a long way in terms of reaching higher organisational growth and success.

Answer 2:

Workforce planning or talent solutions framework at Ingersoll and Rand in my opinion was a must as the need of the hour by the newly formed department was to overcome global economic crisis as well as keeping operational costs down thereby increasing global gains. The approach could be used both by line managers as well as the HR professional as the need for employees and thier skill set may vary for each job created and therefore to be aware of the talent recruitment /acquisition strategies for each role and to align these roles to the overall company strategy is key.

The strategy at IngersollRand can be further developed to include talent framework solutions for change management as well as transformational management strategies of the company.

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