HR Thinker

How to be the Critical HR Leader You Are Meant To Be

By Daniel Bloom


Human Resources are at a critical crossroads in today’s global marketplace. One route leaves HR where it has predominantly been from the days of National Cash Register. We are primarily charged with being the corporate fireman. We are there as the organizational administrative policeman. The downside is that you then are perceived as being a commodity or a mediocre part of the organization. The result being that the functional manager’s feel they could very easily do without what you do. If you are happy in this human resource role, then all the power to you, but I would suggest, that you ought to go out and get yourself a wall calendar and mark off the days until you most likely are out of a job. There was a time and a place for HR to only play this role. But that time has come and gone.

The other route leaves HR as the critical HR leader that you were meant to be. However to reach this goal requires a change in your cultural perspective along with that of the organization. It requires a changed mindset which recognizes HR as the gatekeeper of the successful recruitment of human capital assets which are necessary to propel the organization both from an innovation and sustainability outcome. So how do we get there?

HR is not the organizational “warm and fuzzy” as someone posted recently on LinkedIn, but requires the HR leaders to have a knowledge of the entire organization. Think back for a moment to the days when the family gathered around a card table and constructed those annoying 1,000 piece jig-saw puzzles. We have one of those puzzles to put together in the present.

Every day we as HR professionals create new policies and/or procedures to handle problems that confront the organization. Our policies and procedures represent those 1,000 puzzles pieces. Combined as a completed puzzle they create a picture we call an organization. In our organizations the finished puzzle is how all the pieces fit together.

HR can’t be the gatekeeper of that effort if they only understand the HR piece. We will never get the puzzle completed if we stick to the mentality of “that is not my job.” Living within functional silos adds to the stress of the organizational operations. It is critical that we, as HR leaders seek advice from warehousing health and safety consultants. We should also keep in mind the safety of our workers. For instance, areas of high foot traffic and heavy-duty use require high quality Factory Flooring for safety and sustainability.

By presenting creditable, verifiable evidence-based metrics we can show the impact of HR on the organization. By presenting data points that show Finance how we are meeting the financial goals of the organization and still meeting the talent needs, the financial management of the organization begins to understand our roles within the organization. By presenting data points that show Purchasing that we able to deliver our result-oriented services and still get the biggest bang for the dollar we can meet the mission of the purchasing department. By presenting data points to sales that show that our actions have established a basis for advancing their efforts in the field in fulfilling the voice of the customer, the business development management sees that we are partners in their sales efforts. Our discussions with their clients can help identify the traits the customer seeks from the staff members they deal with leading to better job descriptions.

There is a methodology that has been around since the 1980’s to discover the viable solutions to the operating obstacles within the organization that crosses all boundaries. This methodology is called by many names ranging from continuous process improvement to six sigma problem solving method. This adult version of what you covered in your high school science classes lays out a clear roadmap to resolve these issues. Each of the steps is based on verifiable creditable metrics. The ultimate outcome is the completion of the organizational jigsaw puzzle providing everyone with an understanding of their roles within the total organization.

If you want to learn more about this methodology, visit

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