Taking the first step

Human Resources magazine has come a long way in 100 issues. From its humble beginnings in late 2000, Human Resources has covered a plethora of issues and taken the lead in addressing the hard questions for the HR profession

By Craig Donaldson

Human Resources magazine has come a long way in 100 issues. From its humble beginnings in late 2000, Human Resources has covered a plethora of issues and taken the lead in addressing the hard questions for the HR profession.

In our recent study of the ASX top 100 companies, HR directors listed their top three HR priorities: leadership development and capability; talent management and development; and succession planning.

These cannot be written off as warm and fuzzy HR ‘nice to haves’. They are very real and very critical issues. If HR is out in the business and getting its hands dirty, then it can in fact make a huge contribution if it gets it right with such issues.

Leadership development and capability is one of those issues that would seem like common sense at first. In many respects it is, but that’s one of the problems many HR practitioners have faced over the years.

A good HR manager might have an instinctual understanding of what makes for good leaders, but explaining this to business peers who don’t have the same understanding can be challenging to say the least.

We live in a complex business environment. Between demands for more metrics, regulatory issues, juggling or outsourcing transactional duties, legal complications and the like, things sometimes get more complicated than they need to be.

In all of this, HR practitioners really need to sort their priorities, really focus on the things that matter to the business, and use their unique expertise (or skill themselves up in this) to add potentially great value to their business.

Easier said than done, but it’s not impossible, and many enlightened HR leaders are showing the way (just read through some back issues of Human Resources). HR is in a great position to make a real difference to the business they work in. They just need to get their stuff together and take the first step.

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