Are you tired of HR being seen as a department siloed away from strategic decision-making?

In Welcome to the Boardroom – More Than an HR Book, I challenge the traditional view of HR and show you how to elevate its role within your organization. This book goes beyond basic HR practices and dives into the concept of HR Business Integration.

HR Business Integration positions HR as a strategic partner, working alongside leadership to drive business success.

In this book, you’ll discover:

  • How to transform HR from a reactive function to a proactive force.
  • Strategies to gain a seat at the table and contribute meaningfully to boardroom discussions.
  • Practical tools and frameworks to integrate HR with other departments.
  • Techniques to create a positive and productive work environment for your employees.

Welcome to the Boardroom is your roadmap to a more impactful and strategic HR function.

Ready to take your HR game to the next level?

Get your copy of Welcome to the Boardroom – More Than an HR Book today!

Chapter summary



The role of Human Resources (HR) in businesses is often scrutinized and undervalued, with HR professionals rarely seen in strategic decision-making roles. However, the methods of assigning HR leadership and their expected contributions vary greatly. The concept of HR business partnering, where HR professionals work within business operations, is a common approach, but it has its drawbacks. A higher level of operation, “HR business integration,” is suggested, where HR interweaves itself into the business and vice versa, leading to a robust union. This approach requires HR professionals to understand and speak the language of business operations, and to identify which HR concepts should be embedded within operational processes and which should be introduced as solely HR processes.


Demystifying the role of HR within a firm


The role of HR within a firm is often misunderstood. HR professionals are experts in people management, but their role isn’t to solve all problems related to personnel. Like other support functions in a firm, such as finance or logistics, HR professionals manage a resource – in this case, human resources. They should work collaboratively with operational managers to establish guidelines, processes, and procedures for utilizing human resources effectively. HR professionals should also ensure that these processes align with the business owners’ philosophies and legal requirements. Once these systems are in place, HR professionals monitor compliance and manage continuous change programs to adapt to evolving business needs.


Resource bundling perspective for HR business integration


Resource bundling, a strategic management approach, combines various resources within an organization to enhance efficiency and performance. It can be applied to human resources, financial resources, technological resources, marketing resources, supply chain management, and knowledge management. In the context of HR Business integration, resource bundling extends beyond human resources to include finance, marketing, technology, and other support functions, creating various integration bundles. The HR Business integration bundle, managed by a cross-departmental committee, aims to support effective work by integrating people, work methods, technologies, and time.


HR at the boardroom


A board of directors is responsible for guiding a company’s strategic objectives, ensuring management implements those objectives, and safeguarding shareholders’ interests. Key responsibilities include strategic planning, governance, financial oversight, risk management, leadership selection and oversight, stakeholder representation, legal and ethical oversight, approving significant business transactions, overseeing audits and compliance, community and social responsibility, board development, and conflict resolution. The structure of a board can vary, but common elements include a mix of executive and non-executive directors, a chairperson, committees, clearly defined roles, independence, terms and succession planning, diversity, regular meetings, training and development, evaluations, and possibly an advisory board. The “voice from the top” refers to the influential communication and guidance provided by the board, which shapes the corporate culture, strategic vision, and ethical standards.

Developing a mature HR function


Developing a mature HR function involves creating an HR maturity model independent of specific HR practices. This model consists of six key elements: Philosophy, Policies, Programs, Processes/ Procedures, People, and Practices. The Philosophy is the business owner’s belief system about how people should be treated within their businesses. Policies are the practical embodiment of these philosophies. Programs introduce the policy and its rationale to stakeholders. Processes and Procedures detail how to operationalize the policy. People are those involved in deploying and carrying out these processes and procedures. Practices are the execution of agreed people management activities. The maturity model also provides a means for assessing the system’s characteristics and conferring a value to identify the current level of maturity.





Policy on Policy Development, Presentation, and Deployment


The policy outlines the development, presentation, and deployment of HR policies and procedures. It emphasizes the importance of treating employees as individuals and the HR department’s role in leading the policy-making process. The policy also explores different philosophies that can guide policy development, such as utilitarianism, deontology, and virtue ethics. It discusses the importance of policy statements, the process of making changes in a policy, and the structure of a change management program. The policy also defines processes and procedures, their role in Key Result Areas (KRAs), and the ETVX framework for designing processes. It highlights the importance of evidence collection for HR analytics and the need to consider employees’ attitudes and feedback in policy development.


Involving the management in HR system


Involving operations managers in the creation of an HR management system can lead to alignment with business objectives, customization to operational needs, user-centric design, process integration, data accuracy, change management support, cost-effectiveness, risk mitigation, efficient resource allocation, and continuous improvement. The responsibilities can be divided between HR and operations, with HR handling policy development, legal compliance, talent acquisition, employee development, employee relations, benefits administration, and data management, while operations take care of workforce planning, work scheduling, performance metrics and analytics, resource allocation, process integration, technology integration, and occupational health and safety.


HR processes and procedures


HR processes and procedures extend beyond the HR department, impacting all people-related activities within a firm. The design of these processes requires collaboration between Operations and HR departments, aligning with top management philosophies and approved policies. HR professionals need to understand management theories and use suitable tools for analyzing the workforce. These tools, once customized and tested, should be presented to management, explaining their benefits. If the analysis reveals a mismatch between management processes and top management preferences or workforce characteristics, necessary adjustments should be made to the operations process.




Creating an experience for people


Creating a positive workplace environment involves strategies like cross-functional collaboration, leadership involvement, celebrating milestones, community engagement, and open communication platforms. Effective communication and transparency are crucial, and can be achieved through clear communication channels, regular updates, two-way communication, and transparency in decision-making. Integrating technology is also key, with strategies such as implementing digital collaboration tools, ensuring mobile accessibility, utilizing cloud-based platforms, automating workflows, and prioritizing user experience design. These strategies can lead to increased satisfaction, engagement, and productivity.




Assuring the benefit from training


The Assured Training Benefit Model (ATBM) aims to demonstrate a clear link between investment in training and the business value it creates. The model expands on the Kirk Patrick model and includes a governance model for transparency in fund allocation. Key features include immediate feedback from both participant and trainer, assessing learning by application and organizational changes, and accounting for behavior change at individual and organizational levels. The Learning Governance Committee oversees the process, including budget allocation, rewarding schemes, and assessing the validity of claims on results generated.




HR crossing boundaries


HR professionals need to cross boundaries and understand business operations to add value to the business. This involves understanding the pain points of operations, learning to empathize with operations managers, and understanding the planning process. HR professionals should also analyze the data related to operational plans and ensure it is complete and capable of answering potential questions about specific events. This approach helps HR professionals to contribute directly to the business and address critical complaints about their role.


Organizational Diagnostic & Intervention Deriving tool.


The Organizational Diagnostic & Intervention Designing tool is a structured and scientific approach to solving organizational problems. It focuses on four major categories: identification of the business problem, stakeholder and stake identification, and intervention designing. The tool encourages looking at problems from multiple perspectives, agreeing on a formula to calculate the problem, identifying the point of detection, and measuring the problem. It also involves identifying all stakeholders and the work that impacts the problem. Finally, the tool helps determine the necessary interventions, which can be classified into strategic, techno-structural, human resources management, and human process interventions.



Supervisory development


Supervisors play a crucial role in executing tasks according to a manager’s plan, ensuring processes and procedures are followed, and workers deliver results. In modern organizations, supervisors often act as team leaders, guiding empowered employees who have the freedom to adjust methods and technology. The TIPSI model, which stands for Trust, Instructions, Psychology, Support, and Improvement, is a new approach to supervision. It emphasizes building trust, following instructions, understanding the psychology of team members, providing support, and promoting continuous improvement.



Framework for Employer branding


The SERVQUAL seven gaps model, a tool for measuring service quality, can be adapted for employer branding to understand the gap between employees’ expectations and perceptions of an organization. This adaptation considers employees as customers and the organization as the service provider. Addressing these gaps can improve employer branding efforts, employee satisfaction, and organizational success. An employer brand encompasses elements like culture, values, benefits, work-life balance, employee engagement, diversity, inclusion, reputation, and employee testimonials.



Leadership modelling


A lack of uniform leadership style within a firm can lead to inconsistency in decision-making, communication challenges, lack of clarity for employees, potential conflicts, difficulty in establishing a unified culture, morale and motivation issues, resistance to change, challenges in talent management, impact on innovation and creativity, and difficulty in performance evaluation. However, a uniform leadership style can promote consistency, clarity of expectations, a consistent organizational culture, team cohesion, efficient decision-making, alignment with organizational goals, employee development, and simplified succession planning. Despite these benefits, flexibility and adaptability are crucial in dynamic environments. Therefore, firms should determine the leadership style that top management expects to nurture within the firm, considering the unique needs of each department.

Integration calculators


The chapter discusses the importance of data and evidence in business decision-making, drawing parallels with the legal profession. It emphasizes the role of calculators in business operations, particularly in HR integration. The document also details a formula used to calculate the capacity of a garment factory, considering factors like the number of machines, working hours, efficiency, productivity, and sales utilization. The text underscores the critical role of HR professionals in understanding and managing these variables for the organization’s success. It also introduces the concept of integration calculators as a tool for scenario planning and goal seeking in business operations.



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