FROM THE CEO: Three HR Resolutions for 2014

By Henry G. Jackson Jan 1, 2014

It’s the start of a new year—a time when we look forward and assess both the operating environment and the assumptions behind our plans. We set goals for the months ahead and take those important first steps toward achieving them.

Here are three resolutions, based on my conversations with CEOs and hundreds of HR professionals over the last year, that I believe every HR professional should consider in 2014:

Be an even better business leader. When I talk to other CEOs, most—but not all—understand the importance of HR to business success. It’s up to us to ensure that they all make that connection by aligning people strategies with business goals.

What keeps your CEO up at night? What does your organization want to look like in the next five years? What are your strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities? Determine the answers to these and other questions about the business first, and then ensure that people strategies are in line with them.

By highlighting strategic alignment, more business leaders will come to understand what we know: The real driver of business success is people.

Invest in your own career. In a new SHRM survey, HR professionals told us they enjoy what they do and that the top contributor to their satisfaction on the job was the opportunity to use their skills and abilities to contribute to the business.

As you read this month’s cover story on job satisfaction among HR professionals, pay attention to what some of your peers love about their jobs. Joining your local SHRM chapter and taking on a volunteer leadership role is a great step in advancing your career. Our new HR Competency Model is an additional tool you can use to determine areas to enhance your skills, such as communication, relationship management and business acumen. And we help you identify trusted resources to support you in this process.

While HR professionals find meaning and satisfaction in developing others, we must be just as intentional in developing ourselves.

Show HR at its best in your community. Our nation faces many problems—from closing the skills gap, to getting people back to work, to helping returning veterans transition to the civilian workforce—for which our profession must provide leadership and serve as agents of change.

For example, one of SHRM’s Pinnacle Award winners, the Sooner Human Resources Society (SHRS) in Oklahoma, kept hearing the same message from the business community that employees didn’t have the life skills needed to climb the corporate ladder. To meet this need, SHRS partnered with its local Workforce Investment Board to develop a workforce readiness certificate program, giving individuals who complete the program a competitive advantage in their job hunt.

In turn, SHRS earned accolades from the business community and a commendation from the governor of Oklahoma recognizing the chapter for helping the "productivity of the economy" and making the state "a better place to live." (More on this and other 2013 Pinnacle Award-winning initiatives can be found at Our HR expertise is in high demand—we must be willing to share it.

It’s been said that success is steady progress toward a goal. Let’s make it our goal this year to be the business leaders that the HR profession demands, to invest in our own careers and to make a difference in our communities. If we do this, I see even greater success in 2014.

Happy New Year.


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