During the recent AICPA Not-for-Profit Industry Conference, Karl Ahlrichs, Michael J. Monahan, and Peter Petesch talked about the necessity of making HR a strategic partner in your day-to-day activities. While the number of class action suits, overtime issues, and sexual harassment reports have decreased since 2005, the number of lawsuits against employers have increased, as has the number of employees joining unions.
What does this mean? According to Ahlrichs, Monahan, and Petesch, it means:
- The field of employment law and human resources continues to grow, stratify and become more complex;
- The importance of employment law counsel and human resources in any organization continues to increase;
- Keeping informed and up to date is important; and,
- That having a strategic HR partner involves having a strategy, both for the organization and for the individual in HR.
The speakers said that you can tell if your HR department is a strategic a partner if you can answer "yes" to these four questions:
- Is the HR person at the table?
- When the CEO wants to execute on a merger, does the HR chief know before the deal is agreed upon?
- Does the HR leader identify business opportunities?
- Does the HR honcho look for ways to link productivity with morale and cost efficiencies?