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Align the HR Function with the Organization's Global Business Strategy

Apply a global mindset to your HR priorities.

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  • Daryl Daley, owner, Intelligent Minds, a boutique staffing firm specializing in technology staffing
  • Nancy Davis, Director, Human Resources, International Financial Data Services
  • Jennifer Kraemer, Human Resources Executive with extensive experience in global firms
  • Professor Miguel Martinez Lucio, University of Manchester, Director for the Masters in International HRM and Comparative IR and member of the editorial board of the International Journal of HRM
  • Peter Reilly, Director HR Research & Consultancy Institute for Employment Studies and co-author of “Global HR: Challenges Facing the Function”
  • Professor Paul Sparrow: Director, Centre for Performance-led HR and Professor of International HRM at Lancaster University Management School
  • Professor Ibraiz Tarique, Pace University, Director of Global HRM Programs and co-author of “International Human Resource Management: Policies and Practices for Multinational Enterprises”
  • Shelley Zane, Principal, leaderz matter consulting

Your Challenge

  • Only 40% of HR professionals reported that HR-business alignment was a top or medium priority for their organization in 2013. This number is far too low, and creates risk for global HR operation.
  • An increasingly geographically dispersed workforce is impacting how HR approaches its own role. HR co-location with employees is no longer a given, affecting interactions, policies, and processes.
  • When planning for globalizing the HR function, HR may face a lack of global vision, cultural conflict, or low management bench strength.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • A misaligned HR function can derail globalization efforts
  • Global HR functions must be fully aligned with the organization’s HR strategy to be successful. This means adopting new global HR capabilities, as well as determining the right global vs. local balance for all HR activities
  • Organizations globalize to leverage new markets, lower labor and operational costs, and skills in short supply in their traditional locations.

Impact and Result

  • Integrate a global mindset by embracing the idea that there are differences between the global and local levels, and that these differences should be acknowledged and leveraged as a strategic business advantage.
  • Determine what will be controlled globally vs. customized locally, how to shift some HR responsibilities onto line managers or outsourcers, and identify which HR activities can be performed virtually and which require local HR presence.
  • Integrate a global mindset throughout your HR function and broader organization.

Research & Tools

1. Align HR principles to global business strategy

Identify current and potential business locations and conduct an environmental scan to best determine and develop HR principles.

2. Make decisions around key global HR issues

Support critical global HR decision making.

3. Audit global HR capabilities

Understand any global HR capability gaps the HR function has at both the global and the local level.

4. Determine global HR transition priorities

Perform a gap analysis and document transition priorities for the global market.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is a four call advisory process.

Guided Implementation #1 - Align HR principles to global business strategy

Call #1 - Discuss the approach for developing HR principles that align to your global business strategy.

Guided Implementation #2 - Make decisions around three global HR issues

Call #1 - Review the results of your Global HR Decisions Template.

Guided Implementation #3 - Audit global HR capabilities

Call #1 - Discuss the outcomes of the Global HR Capabilities Audit and address any challenges or areas of confusion.

Guided Implementation #4 - Determine global HR transition priorities

Call #1 - Review the gap analysis and walk through development of initiatives.