Tough economic conditions usually demand the need for most human resource departments to change their strategies and focus on the immediate needs like layoffs, hiring and wage freezes, reduction in benefits, and more. These are the same quick fix measures that have been used every time we slip into a downsizing mode or economic recession.
Maybe it is time for Human Resources to try alternative measures to contribute to the business objectives of the company rather than just using a band-aid that doesn’t fit. If we really believe that our people are our most valuable resource, then why are we not more concerned with the development of our future leaders and retaining our good to great employees, particularly our middle managers? For any company to weather this storm, it must develop its high potential employees and improve the productivity of its already high-achieving workforce.
Let’s just focus on two premises. The first is that employee development is the ultimate responsibility for any manager working in any organization. Those that focus on stretching people toward their potential will be the most successful managers moving forward and always have been. Second, improving individual performance and development drives business performance and result in improved organizational effectiveness. Now is the time that all Human Resource professionals need focus on their people development, succession planning, and goal-orientation.
Most people realize that being effective is more important then being efficient. HR must demonstrate how people development can produce the desired results in good times and bad. Most employees, including the HR Department, spend the majority of their time working on tasks and events that mean very little to the business strategy of the company. All employees need to spend more time on their roles and responsibilities that make a difference in the company’s achievement.
There has never been a better time to demonstrate the return of investment to your executive management team by developing the potential and leadership abilities of your people. People are your most valuable resource. It is more important than ever that the employee is viewed as a “Total Leader” and their potential growth and development is what will enable us to weather this storm and be more successful in the future.