The one piece of knowledge that all HR managers need

HR professionals who take this approach are seen as essential executives rather than “police”

The one piece of knowledge that all HR managers need
In many organizations, a stereotype of HR as “police” or merely the “personnel department” bears on – but an industry leader has an answer for how to change those views.

It comes down to understanding your business.

“I’m a businessperson first and an HR person second,” says Anna Petosa, vice president of people and culture at Pelmorex Media.

Petosa urges industry professionals to take a step back and get a wider view of what their business needs, instead of foisting a siloed HR strategy onto an organization.

“My approach is ‘let me understand the business strategy first, and let me understand what you’re trying to achieve as a business and [as] a business unit within our organization’, and then I will come up with an HR strategy that works well with that.

“You can’t really overlay an HR strategy until you really have a great understanding of the business strategy.”

At Pelmorex – best known as the home of The Weather Network – senior leaders now recognize the “essentiality” of HR in the company’s strategy.

That’s thanks in large part to a focus on “personalization” – a company-wide concept that Petosa passionately applies to the field of HR.

“A big part of our business is weather, and we want to create personalization for consumers, so giving them meaningful weather for meaningful events, and personalize their weather experience.

“I have taken that and woven it through HR, and tried personalization around HR, or bespoke HR services, so we’re not policy-driven where it’s one-size-fits-all.”

That includes applying personalization to talent acquisition, retention and compensation, Petosa says.

“We really do take the time to understand the needs of each individual business unit, each individual employee and as best we can, provide a personalized solution.”

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