Based on BCG’s experience, and supported by the survey data, we see that great HR functions are critical differentiators that separate high-performing companies from the rest. Collectively, the three ideas below describe best-in-class HR functions.
- Connect. An HR department needs to connect with internal clients to ensure that its HR and people strategies are clearly linked to the overall business strategy. A fundamental component of this is getting the basics right. That is, if HR is to have credibility as a true strategic partner with the business, it must first establish strong processes and develop core capabilities, particularly in the areas of recruiting and communication.
- Prioritize. HR also needs to identify the most important and most urgent priorities for its organization and then target investments accordingly. As the survey findings show, talent management, leadership, and employee engagement are the topics that virtually all HR departments will need to focus on. Strong HR departments have precise and trackable leadership-development initiatives in place, along with enterprisewide training measures and firm control over internal mobility. These departments shape engagement and leadership behaviors to foster a more vibrant and productive corporate culture.