How Can You Create A Revolution In Your Own HR Career?

I was planning to pen down my thoughts around this subject from quite sometime, but eventually I was not able to get the right title for this post. I was thinking of using "CHANGE" or "DIFFERENCE" instead of using a rather bold word like "REVOLUTION" in the title. 

A mail from our very own Shauna Griffis (aka HR Minion) asking for contributions for the next carnival gave me this ROCK solid word "Revolution". Now my friend Ben Eubanks is hosting the next HR carnival on 8th April and he wanted to ask HR folks as to what they think needs a "REVOLUTION" in HR. 

Taking a cue from the mailer on conversations about advances in the HR space and how to shed light on the topics that nobody else was covering, I thought talking about the HR leadership competency will be the apt subject to create what we say as a "REVOLUTION" in the HR space.

Now friends these six leadership competencies are developed by a great HR thought leader and a guru Dave Ulrich

About Dave Ulrich...

Dave UlrichHR Leader, Thinker and Guru

Dave is credited with the development of the "HR Business Partnership" model and has written many influential books on the HR subject. According to him to tackle the worldwide challenges and economic crisis, HR folks must work and develop these 6 HR leadership competencies to thrive in today's unpredictable economy.

MASTER these Six key HR Leadership Competencies and take your HR career to the next level.

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1. Become a CREDIBLE Activist:

An HR person who can earn and maintain the trust of his employees and managers, while taking strong and proactive business positions. 

“Trust is the lubrication that makes it possible for organizations to work"

​--- Warren Bennis

For HR professionals working in high-performing organizations, it is essential to act as a credible activist. For them their words matter a lot and they will do what they say. For the,m commitment is everything. Such kind of integrity forms the foundation of their personal trust that eventually translates into their professional credibility. 

How to Develop this Competency and Become a Credible Activist in your Organization?

  • Develop STRONG and POSITIVE interpersonal skills to BRAND yourself as a CREDIBLE HR person
  • CREATE and DEVELOP a positive and flexible chemistry with your key stakeholders
  • Act as an INFLUENCER in the decision making process thereby translating it into business RESULTS
  • Take a STRONG position for all business issues which have not surfaced but can prove to be FATAL in future

2. Become a BUSINESS Ally:

An HR person who has a solid understanding of the business financials, strategies and context and uses them to make better decisions. 

I understand that at times it is felt by the top management that HR people does not understand the pulse of the business. They are not number crunchers and do not like to talk about business financials. I wrote a post on this subject and have laid a lot of emphasis on why knowing and understanding this information is the MOST important aspect to create a VALUE of your self and your department in the organization. 

Successful HR leaders invest a lot of time in developing their understanding of the market and business financials so that their opinions are not driven by emotions or from the so called "gut feeling" but they have a clear cut logic and data to support their thoughts and decisions. People at the top expect their HR leaders to think in the context of the business and the global environment. 

How to Develop this Competency and Become a BUSINESS Ally in your Organization?

  • BUILD your knowledge of finance and must FOCUS on execution
  • Get yourself ACQUAINTED with the line function
  • Get MULTI functional experience
  • LEARN how the business operates, margins and costs
  • GET a 360 degree view of the business

3. Become a STRATEGIC Architect:

An HR Person who can take the 'business strategic story' and translate it into HR practices and leadership behaviours

These HR professionals understand the global business context in terms of the social, political, economic, environmental, technological and demographic trends that affects the business either directly or indirectly. They also understand how their industry operates and what are the underlying dynamics in terms of competition, customer and supplier trends. 

With this knowledge they can develop a vision for their business and department for the future which can translate into key business strategies and annual plans and goals. 

How to Develop this Competency and Become a STRATEGIC Architect in your Organization?

  • THINK beyond your role
  • GET out of your comfort zone
  • GET connected to the strategic and transactional requiremnt of the business
  • GET exposure in business development
  • UNDERSTANDING how business makes money
  • KNOW the history of your business and narate it to inspire and motivate your people
4. Become an OPERATIONAL Executor:

An HR person who ensures things happen on time and everytime.

One of the key attributes of an HR Manager is to be an efficient executor. They need to ensure that daliy management taks are taken care of well within timelines. Management and allocation of resources holds key in becoming an operational executor. Stick to your HR yearly calendar and plans and cordinate with different processes or departments so that they all are well aligned to your goals and objectives.

How to Develop this Competency and Become an OPERATIONAL Executor in your Organization?

  • LEAD and ENSURE that all critical plans are completed in time
  • GET the top management buy-in for all your initiatives
  • DELEGATE tasks and make your team members accountable
  • BUILD on high achievement quotient and lead from the front
  • BE a part of active committees in the organization

An HR person who can shape HR practices that deliver talented people and capable organizations

Developing and building organizational capability by creating a strong system and process driven culture. Investing in your core compentencies and doing what you are good and known for. These capabilities include speed, innovation, customer focus, efficiency and creation of meaning and purpose at work. 

Developing and building organizational capability by creating a strong system and process driven culture. Investing in your core compentencies and doing what you are good and known for. These capabilities include speed, innovation, customer focus, efficiency and creation of meaning and purpose at work. 

HR managers can help line managers create meaning so that the capabilites of the organization reflect the deeper values of the organization. 

How to Develop this Competency and Become a TALENT MANAGER in your Organization?

  • IDENTIFY training needs of your employees complete them well in time
  • INVEST time in identifying and developing competencies of yourr people
  • INNOVATE and intregrate HR practices around your business issues
  • DO things differently. Let go the stereotype behavious
6. Become a CHANGE Agent:

An HR person who can make change happen and can help create new cultures, values and expectations

Effective HR professionals develop their organizations capacity for change and then translate it into effective change processes and structures. Ensuring a seamless integration of change processes that builds sustainable competitive advantage. They build the case for change based on market and business reality, and they overcome resistance to change by engaging key stakeholders in key decisions and building their commitment to full implementation. They sustain change by ensuring the availability of necessary resources including time, people, capital, and information, and by capturing the lessons of both success and failure.

How to Develop this Competency and Become a CHANGE AGENT in your Organization?

  • INVEST time in understanding technological advancements and how they can be utilised in your business
  • Building STRONG internal communication channels so as to create awareness on the change
  • DEVELOP on your persuassion and negotiation skills that will help in communicating change effectively
  • CREATE new systems and improve your existing ones

To cut the story short, this is a great time to be in HR as the future looks very promising. As HR professionals, my sincere advice to you is to master these 6 competencies as they will add explicit value to you and the organization. 

Do let me know you which are your weakest competencies and how do you plan to master them. Let me hear your views in the comment section below.

Books by Dave Ulrich

HR Home Truths Busted

I simply love the HR carnivals and always try to contribute whenever possible. So this time when I came to know that the fun loving Dwane from  Dovetail Software blog was going to host it, I knew this would going to be a different one.  He is looking for posts that talk about the truths you have learned in your time in HR. As we all know, it doesn’t take long to learn some really “interesting” things when you work in HR so I fully expect you to send in some pretty awesome posts.

So here is the stuff that I learnt from my and few experiences shared by my friends who are taking various roles in the HR function with renowned brands .

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How to be a Strategic HR player in 2015?

My Contribution for the next HR Carnival on 28th Jan, 2015

My good friend Ben Eubanks at his Upstart HR Blog is hosting the next Carnival of HR on January 28th. He is looking for posts revolving around the theme of "How to be a STRATEGIC HR Player in 2015". For better understanding, here is what Ben has to say....

In recent weeks I have spent a lot of time researching and writing about HR strategy, strategic planning, etc. I took the SPHR exam, which focuses heavily on strategic HR. I think HR as a profession knows that this "strategy thing" is important, but they don't know how to do it, where to start, etc. I'd love to hear some examples, simple ones, of how people actually put this stuff into practice. Or maybe just a tip or two on where to start for the newbies. 

Ben Eubanks
HR Blogger & Analyst

I thought this could be a good start up post for the New Year which can help our HR folks to get prepared for 2015. Also I thought of including some key highlights and lessons learnt in 2014 which will set the ball rolling for all our HR folks in 2015. 

So without wasting your time, let’s dive in...

2014 - The Year That Went By.... 

  • Slow Rate of Growth in the Economy

The world economy didn't grew as expected. This has led to companies making cautious investments in large projects. However, they invested significant amount in developing their people and becoming cash efficient while keeping their continued focus on building stronger and engaged teams. 

  • Social Media had a significant impact on Talent Management

There couldn't have been a better time than 2014 for utilization of social media for searching talent. There are countless experiences big and small which has changed the way we manage talent across organizations. 

Be it LinkedIn or Facebook, organizations has realized the potential of social media and tried to use it for recruitment and selection. Several companies have used it for branding and making key announcements. There was a change witnessed where organizations preferred digital media over print ads for recruitment and selection.

Though this is just the beginning, social media will definitely change the way we work in the HR space.​

  • Creation of a HUGE Entrepreneurship Ecosystem

From the development perspective, 2014 has seen a tremendous surge of interest in start ups both in terms of number of new companies that were formed to graduating students joining start ups in preference to other jobs in big multinationals.

This kind of long term trend will not only help in the growth of a country but would also result in addressing the developmental needs of the future. 

  • Penetration of Smart phones and E commerce platforms

The emergence of smart phones and E commerce platforms has resulted in creation of jobs however the numbers are not that encouraging at the moment.

How Can HR be a STRATEGIC Player in 2015?

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What Strategies HR Needs to Focus Upon in 2015?  

What I am about to share is simple yet effective strategies which can help HR to become a Strategic Player in 2015. 

Ready to rock and I go​

  • Know the pulse of your business and HR will emerge as a "SELF RELIANT" Department
  • Work upon Digital diplomacy and Digital governance as people would prefer connecting via public conversations. This can help in significantly reducing hiring costs.
  • Make use of online learning technologies to diversify and provide opportunities to your employees in acquiring new skills 
  • With the changing needs of employees, HR should look forward in providing environment and services that will not only support their people but will also increase their engagement levels.
  • Make use of digitalization to improve customer and employee experience
  • Enhance deeper collaboration between top academic institutes and industry as it can provide a platform for both to research and learn
  • Focus on corporate responsibility and sustainability 
Do you agree that the strategies above will help in shaping the future of HR in 2015? How can HR take the role of a strategic partner in an organization? Do share your views in the comments below.

Eight Team Collaboration Myths Busted

Team collaboration is highly confused concept in today’s corporate world.

We easily exchange and use it for TEAM-WORK.

I have observed every one of them across organizations I have worked with – big or small.

So what are the Eight Team Collaboration myths that I strongly believe influence the attitudes of team members?

Here goes my list:

1. Collaboration Comes Naturally to Everyone.

Leaders feel that once the right tools are in place, everyone can collaborate. Collaboration is medium for achieving shared goals without any leader to resolve the conflicts. Hence set clear guidelines of shared goals, hone skills to influence and creatively bargain with each other.

2. More the Merrier.

Since the professionals have competing responsibilities and limited capacity to participate. With more number of people involved, it becomes increasingly difficult to bring everyone on common ground for decision making and conflict resolution, deterring the goal.

3. Team Building Requires Time Away from Regular Work Routines.

A team building excursion or gala lunch is not necessary to conjure collaboration. In fact, it is during work, stress and deadlines that team collaboration is most richly experienced.

4. Team Collaboration Depends upon the Leaders.

Leaders provide leadership – mission, vision, values, roadmap and the lot. They uphold and exemplify company standards but they do not drive team collaboration. Their role is to facilitate and equip teams for optimal performance.

5. Team members must like one another to collaborate.

Not really. Some of the best professionals I know don’t like their team members on a personal front. That does not deter them from working with the individuals to deliver on goals. It’s not about “liking” but about having high regard for each contributor.

6. Harmony achieves great results.

Harmony isn’t the best bed for innovative or disruptive ideas. Debate and dissent are more likely to deliver the best from teams. A genuinely collaborative team will fight it out when ideas and strategies differ but will either convince or accept to focus on a common agenda.

7. New employees bring innovation and fresh ideas to the floor.

They do. But it’s also true that the longer a team stays together, the more productive it is. Call it familiarity or comfort; these teams are well set in their expectations from each other and individual roles to deliver without too many glitches.

8. Collaboration means Video-conference, Meetings and Chat.

Tools and technology help in making collaboration easier but the right integration, hand-holding, clear processes and metrics are required to make it a success. Right tools play very small role in end result.

About Author:

Kinjal Vora, (@vora_kinjal) Marketing Evangelist at Teamgum & Drona Mobile. Bringing engagement and collaboration tools to professionals around the world. Teamgum is a platform for team members to present their thoughts, knowledge, and learning to each other; open topics for debate and discussion; exhibit professionalism and accountability; and create a truly synergistic environment for team collaboration. Teamgum is a simplest link discovery, sharing and collaboration tool for professionals via browser extension and mobile app. Sign up for free

Do Organizations Really Need An HR Department?

Sometimes the only thing worse than having an HR department is not having one.

With a sudden boom in the HR software industry it has become a lot easier to automate or outsource people related processes such as attendance, payroll and benefits.

So the big question is Can We Do Away with the HR Department and can the managers take up the HR role in the organization?

This article on the Wall Street Journal caught my attention and I thought of asking you and what is your take on the subject. Another thread on LinkedIn which takes a dig on this subject is a perfect read.

In 2012, U.S. employers had a median of 1.54 HR professionals for every 100 employees, up slightly from a low of 1.24 in the recession year of 2009, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. They earn a median annualized wage of about $51,000, government statistics show.

Think of the financial and strategic risks when you consider eliminating certain portions from the HR Department.

If we study the trends of last 5-12 years, many transactional jobs such as payroll, attendance management, recruitment, on boarding and benefits are already being outsourced by companies. Sometimes it does makes sense when you can have an outsourced expert who can do these jobs faster, better and cheaper, isn’t it?

As of now we see that HR has a core role to play in any organization, but how do we justify the existence of this role in the longer run?

Can non-HR Managers be trained to make HR related decisions pertaining to employees?

Can they keep pace with the ever changing legal and statutory laws? Or can we outsource them as well?

Some companies are planning to decide on doing away with the HR departments. Will this trend grow in the coming times?

Let me hear what you think in the comments section below.

Should I Tell My Colleague About His Body Odor?

Hello Amit,

Thanks for sending regular emails on the HR subject and enlightening me like always.

I am sharing with you a problem, however I do not know how to convey it to the person concerned.

Please help. I have a colleague of mine in our team with a very strong body odor. He has a great sense of style and dressing. By just looking at him you can’t even make out that he will not be conscious of his body odor. He is well qualified but seriously I would not want to be even in the same room when we are told to work together. How should I tell him so that I am not going to hurt his male ego?




I have always believed and experienced one thing in life.

People will accept and appreciate your inputs, if they feel that your feedback is for their own good and that you truly care for them.

You ought to sound “GENUINE” so that things work on the positive side.

I think your colleague is not ignorant on his body odour, it’s just that he himself might not know about it.

What I can make out from your mail is that you really want to help him so I see no way of you hurting his male ego.

Communicating effectively is a vital point here.

According to me there can be 2 approaches here.

personl hygiene

You can go up to him and can tell “My dear friend you stink. Use a deo or people might stop talking to you. 


You you may suggest him that “My dear friend, as I am working with you for sometime now, I am a bit concerned and would like to suggest you to use a deodorant for hygiene and personal health. My intentions are to help you as I think this will help you in your career and would also increase your efficiency at workplace. Hope you don’t mind on my inputs as I see this will help you in the long term

Which approach you think will be more effective?

Second one….RIGHT?

On the first go it may come as a surprise to him, as there are some people for whom personal hygiene doesn’t matter that much. There are people who make it to adulthood without understanding which parts of their bodies need a good soaping regularly. Even though there are quite a number of deodorants in the market these days ranging from strong to mild (depending upon your stink capacity :) ), people however ignore this basic hygiene aspect and consider it a bad investment.

So if your colleague is one of those guys, on the cheaper side ask him to wash his clothes regularly. So, if you guys share a good rapport, you need to explain to him in a polite manner that this may prove bad for his career. A bit of soap, some deodorant and laundry detergent would help him resolve this issue.

Further, if this thing is pointed out by a senior person, it could result in embarrassment for him. Make him understand that your discussion around this topic is for his own benefit and not that you would like to insult him. Your sense of genuineness will play a big role in this communication. I know being a female it would be challenging to convey such a thing but you never know your help may shape his career in the long run.

Further, I would ask you to suggest him to see a doctor as his stinking thing can be based on some medical problem, hence recommend him to bring it up as soon as this problem doesn’t become obvious to all. Secondly, if you feel that you would not be able to deal with it address it to your HR as a hygiene issue and let them take it up with him.

What do you think on my approach on this subject? These things sometimes becomes sensitive if taken wrongly by an individual. Let me have your views on this………please reply in the comments section below.