One of the issues that I have long faced, and has long faced our profession, is HR “finding
its seat at the business table” or “being a business partner”. In most instances, the ability
of HR to have a seat at the table, or be a business partner, is completely dependent on the skills and capabilities of the HR leader for that business unit. If the leader has strong business skills, and can find a way to develop relationships with the operating teams and add value to the business, they have a place at the table. If not, HR is relegated to processing personnel transactions and hosting the annual company picnic.
Here at Newell Rubbermaid, Inc. we believe we have found a relatively simple way to integrate HR Strategy and operating strategy. While we have a long way to go to fully integrate ourselves into the business planning and management process, we have made some significant in-roads, and hope to build on these early successes. Our objective is to make the partnership between HR and the business a normal part of our operating rhythm and not dependent on the skills of individual professionals and executives.