HR managers morphing into business strategists: Seminar

Chennai: With quality, price and even branding fast becoming non-differentiators in a competitive environment, it is only the company's human resource (HR) that is turning out to be the differentiating factor between successful and non-successful companies.

No longer can the HR department be termed as one that is just in charge of canteen, transport facilities and a custodian of employee records. Today the HR manager, like any other executive in a company, adds immense value to business and is vital for the overall business strategy. The underlining fact is that employees can make or break a company.

"A successful company is one that develops internal IPR [intellectual property rights] that competition doesn't do. And this is possible only if the human talent is nurtured in a company," said J N Amrolia, executive director, Ashok Leyland.

Speaking at a seminar on 'HR: Adding Value to Business,' organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), he said knowledge plays a vital part in business. "The power of the consumer and his expectation are growing. The challenge is leveraging the HR available in a company to meet the same."

According to him, the HR manager should develop systems and process so that ideas are continuously generated and go up in the channel to the top management. In addition, a company should capture the internal knowledge available and make it available to others in the organisation and to the newcomers.

"This will avoid past mistakes being committed again. But the problem of getting the managers to document their knowledge/experience has to be solved," he added. "While outside knowledge could be captured through tie-ups what is important is capturing the customer knowledge/voice and building the business around it."