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HR Magazine, February 2001: Not at the Table?

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HR Magazine, February 2001Vol. 46, No. 2

Strategizing for HR

Not privy to the company’s overall business plan? Deborah Dwyer, PHR, associate professor and chair of the management department at the University of Toledo in Ohio, offers some suggestions for making your own plan more than just an exercise. First, "in order to write a plan, you must do an audit and analysis of your own functions." You need to analyze the information you do have, such as turnover and absenteeism rates, and survey your internal customers about how well you are meeting their needs.

For example, the HR department at UCSD conducts focus groups with internal customers, primarily academic departments, to ask what their service needs are and how HR can support them. Ask yourself, how can we improve our current products and services? How can we use new technology to make our services more convenient and efficient? What else could we do to attract and retain employees? Dwyer also recommends asking your senior manager for specific information regarding the overall business plan as it relates to your HR plan.

Interview your supervisor, suggests Carol Asselta, SPHR, human resources manager for PECO Energy Company, a Philadelphia utility. "Say, ‘I could serve you better if I understood what your major goals are and what you want from me.’ If you’re not at the table, there are other ways to link in. Write a draft and get them to review it. It’s a reverse way of doing it, but a lot of times you need to start with that to show that you understand the business."

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