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<i>Dear Workforce</i> How Can I Convince Management to Provide Money for Our Initiatives

May 13, 2005
Dear Budgetless:

First you need to take a step back. You're thinking tactically with the list of projects you would like to pursue. If you want to be a strategic partner to the business, you need to start thinking and acting strategically from the beginning.
You're going to need a vision of what a strategic human resources function will look like and how it will positively influence the performance of the business. This is the perfect time to create such a vision, since you mention that the organization is restructuring. Creating a vision can be difficult. But it's a worthwhile exercise to align human resources to the business's priorities. Plus, it will help you determine how each of your initiatives best supports the company's business plans. Once the vision is created, you will need to market this vision to senior management and your internal customers. People--not equipment--offer the best chance for any organization to gain a competitive advantage. Your goal is to ensure that the executive team also believes this.
To back up this vision, you and your colleagues need to become experts on best practices for human resources. Pay attention to trends and apply this knowledge to the business. From this position of authority, you'll be able to advise your executive team on how human resources can bring about change that leads to higher performance levels.
Get the human resources department to behave like a business unit, leaving behind older transactional models. Start measuring performance and the customer value that human resources provides. Share these metrics, along with their associated goals, with executives and customers. This helps them share in the vision you have for human resources, and mark its progress.
Once you make strides in accomplishing your vision, and compile a track record of helping the organization, requesting money and resources becomes easier. Human resources will cease to be viewed as a drain on profit and instead emerge as a tool to enhance the bottom line.
SOURCE: Ted Stephens, principal,Intellilink Solutions, Inc., New York City, July 17, 2004.
LEARN MORE:Strategic Human Resources Actions.
The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.
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