Jon Ingham posts a reply to a reader who asks how they can ensure alignment of senior HR folks. Jon as usual adds very deep and insightful comments:
the first, most obvious option has to be to use your existing performance management system to ensure that your senior HR people are set performance objectives that align with and cascade from your business objectives. my experience suggests that identifying HR measures is never actually that hard. When it is, it is because the objectives that you’re trying to measure still aren’t clear. You need to ensure that you are – that you fully understand what you mean by alignment, and why this is important to you.
The biggest thing that HR folks need to do is to spend time with business folks, observing them as they go about their work. The HR head should do that with the CEO. The HR Business Partner with the Business Leader. And so on and so forth. Spending time with your client, and understanding what is important to him/her is the best way to contribute to the business.
As a HR person do you know the strategic and competitive advantage of your business? Is it to ensure that products turn on the shelves, or is to ensure that customer service is impeccable or it is to come out with ground breaking products?
If as a HR person you know what that is - and what your clients have to do to meet that objective, I am sure that HR objectives would be amply clear. Sure they have their own expectations of HR, but your raison d'etre should be to add value to the larger organization.