High Impact HR: Giving Your Department an Influential Role in the Boardroom

Posted by Neal Rudnick on Mar 12, 2015 2:12:00 PM

The world of Human Resources has drastically evolved over the past 20 years. It has grown from a hub of record keeping, payroll and employee benefits administration for a company to a key contributor of adding value to the business’ goals and strategy.

Part of this shift has been made possible through more mobilized workforces and the ability to effectively leverage outsourcing. Lifting the responsibilities of some of the more traditional HR roles, such as recruiting, staffing, benefits and training, allows HR professionals to have a larger impact on the business as a whole—adding valuable strategic input through talent management and leadership development.This is a trend that has been gaining momentum and shaping the structure and responsibilities of HR departments across the board. Already, more than one half of HR professionals polled in a SHRM survey noted strategic planning as a top priority for their organization and identified it as a critical function of their jobs.

Where does your department fall on the path towards progress?

How to Get Your Department to the Greener Side of the HR Fence


Setting your department on a course towards more impactful, influential role in your organization is a crucial factor in attaining both individual and company-wide future success. As noted in the SHRM survey, 56% of HR professionals see strategic planning as a top priority, illustrating the growing majority of leaders in the industry who recognize the opportunities presented in this new form of HR.

But what does strategic planning mean for departments on a micro level? Each organization will capitalize on the resources they have on hand, however different they might be, and it can be easy to discourage your own progress by keeping tabs on how much greener the grass is on the other side of the fence.

No matter the tools at your disposal, positioning your department as a key contributor to the business’s strategy and goals can often be less about quantifiable resources and more about your approach to the vision you have. And regardless of where you are on your path to improvement, keeping these few factors in mind can be all you need to keep the momentum going.


Taking small steps towards the bigger picture: Ways to start empowering your HR Department today

1. Change your state of mind

Half the battle of solving problems is how you approach them. The first step is to move away from just asking “How” and start asking “Why not?” instead.

2. Get out of your own head

Anyone can tell you to “think outside the box,” but what does that involve? When you’re looking to make improvements to your HR Department, start by just thinking differently. Avoid the trap of the unknown that can occur when you get lost in your own fears. Get outside support and consultation from company peers, online resources, and networking groups.

3. Clear the physical clutter

Dealing with the constant paper filing, cumbersome processes and inefficient methods for executing daily tasks can have an impediment to moving forward. Freeing your time and your staff’s time from dealing with the physical clutter will give you all some time to breathe and focus on the direction ahead.

4. Define your position

Giving yourself a definite role and a purpose in the company will help you breathe new life into your future contributions. It will also help you understand how you fit into the scheme of other key players, and allow you to better shape the responsibilities and outcomes of the other roles of your staff.

5. Communicate

You and your department must have the desire to communicate, engage and improve beyond the current framework of your position in the organization.  Each member must be willing to be a contributing part to the working whole. Problems that arise need to be discussed and resolved, and each member of the team needs to have both personal and professional goals that keep them moving towards the future.

6. Streamline processes

Tackling overwhelming, tedious or time intensive processes can be a major undertaking. But it is a key component needed to steer your department in the right direction. Starting with the most time intensive tasks, evaluate how work is done and what impact it has on the department as a whole. If possible, begin to delegate appropriate work to outsourced resources. This will free you and your staff to better focus your expertise on more complex issues, such as compliance and security. Each step you make in improving these components will have an immediate, positive impact on your department and your organization.

7. Walk the Talk

This is the most critical component of successfully empowering and expanding the role your HR Department plays in your organization. Talk can be cheap unless it is backed by results, so it is crucial to ensure that, once you get the ball rolling, you maintain the pace and follow through in regards to each of the above items.  

In order to manage and maintain each piece of your evolving HR Department, a centralized document management system can be implemented to assist in the development of new, more efficient processes.  

Document management systems can effectively cut down on clutter, empower you and your staff to better communicate within the department and with the rest of the organization, and effectively streamline processes. Having such a tool can also greatly improve your outlook on the efforts you are making, and give you the added confidence and conviction you need to keep moving forward. 

Feeling motivated to make some changes? Keep progress moving and learn more about our HR Document Management.

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Tags: HR, document management system, human resources