4th quarter update – Shifting HR Functions to Line Managers
Human resources professionals are re-evaluating their role in the business world. Traditionally perceived as bureaucratic, the field of human resource has been criticized for failing to add direct profits and for failing to contribute strategic direction to companies’ objectives.
Human resource is now assuming a greater role as strategic business partners. They have been forced to redefine their responsibilities and develop a compelling response for critics who dispute human resource’s value to the bottom-line.
Companies have developed three directional changes originating from this criticism against human resources. These changes include reengineering human resource as business partners, changing human resource to a consultant status, or, eliminating human resource departments completely through a combination of line managers and outsourcing.
These changes are all based on the assumption that human resources functions need to be closely aligned with business objectives. Human resource needs to assist companies in becoming competitive by developing the workforce, business objectives, and long-range strategies to ensure profitability.
Rapid improvements in technology are allowing human resources to move into these new roles. Through Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS), VRUs, Internet/intranet applications, and kiosks, employees have more responsibility for administrative tasks and human resources have more time for strategic decision-making.
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