- Human resource projects represent specific organizational processes, which structure the roles and responsibilities of the human resources responsible, elaborating on how each function should contribute to reaching the projects’ goals and objectives. Although the roles of HR responsible are varied, depending on the projects’ needs, there are common roles that in general human resource projects include, such as: being a strategic business partner, a change agent, an administrative expert and of course, an employee advocate (CIPD, 2006).
The strategic partner role implies managing the strategic resources and the functions of this role refer to aligning HR and the organization’s business strategy (Hunter, 2006);
The HR role of being a change agent indicates the HR responsibility in changing the corporate culture, providing a soft transition within the change process for employees; the functions of this role include creating plans for speeding up the adaptation and managing the people agenda (“Key HR Roles and Responsibilities”, 2012).
As an administrative agent, human resources responsible provides the management of the company’s infrastructure (Hunter, 2006), while its functions refer to monitoring and implementing changes and modern HR processes, measurement systems and other processes meant to support the company in its various activities (“Key HR Roles and Responsibilities”, 2012).
The human resource role of advocating employees focuses on managing the employees’ contribution to the overall strategic objectives and it takes on a maternal side, as the functions that are exercised through this role include actively listening and emptying with the employees, while advising them or responding to their needs (Hunter, 2006).
Therefore, these main four roles (strategic partner, administrative expert, advocating employees or change agent) are large umbrellas that include various HR functions that have been identified above, exhibiting HR’s functions that relate to coordination and support or to stimulating employees’ engagement and facilitating a smoother adaptation process when organizational changes occur.
2. The Performance Improvement Consultant role, as exercised at TriHealth does include attributions such as providing direction and mentoring the Project Leader on leading the team or on coaching the Project Leader for developing a change management plan. However, as it is currently formulated, the Performance Improvement Consultant job description is mostly a support role, as it provides assistance to the Project Leader in all his activities. This position should be reorganized, so that the Performance Improvement Consultant should have more accountability and responsibility for the shared actions, engaging in designing deliverables such as defining projects’ skills requirements, creating change management plans, providing an in – depth reasoning regarding the environment in which TriHealth business activates, in order to rapidly generate solutions for the company to provide its customers or potential customers. In addition, the coaching, mentoring or providing direction should not be oriented in solely one direction (towards the Project Leader), but in various angles, providing these services for all the team members, in order to ensure the efficacy of the whole team.
Another role that would need to be reorganized is the Subject Matter Expert. In the current organization, this role appears as being additional to the team, as it is solely responsible for providing activities only when expertise is needed. Nevertheless, this position should be reviewed and the Subject Matter Expert should be more included in the team’s activities, sharing his knowledge with the team at each step of the project, assuring like this two outcomes: a more cohesive team and a more accurate approach on the project, as the expert is consulted in all its stages and the responsibility is shared.
3. Sharing roles refers to the situation in which an individual employee meets various functions, serving as the expert, the sales person or the account manager (Rouse, 2007). However, as the TriHealth study indicated, roles are being shared among employees, on different levels (among Project Leader and the Performance Improvement Consultant, for instance). On a short – term, this situation of sharing roles might seem to overcharge the employees, as they must adjust to their own tasks and to the shared roles. However, in time, and with the help of an effective change management plan meant to guide the employees towards adjusting to the role sharing, this situation might generate increased efficacy, reaching the performance peak regarding the company’s business. Nevertheless, this process of role sharing must be a gradual one, in order to ensure the improving the performance within the organization for “one person at a time” (Cross, Parise & Weiss, 2007, p. 7). Moreover, role sharing can generate increased reputation and brand equity for the company that applies this human resource process, as individual employees can provide multiple functions, benefiting of various skills, abilities and qualifications (Rouse, 2007). Like this, on a long – term, role sharing can be beneficial for both the individual and the company, as the individual develops and grows professionally within an organization, earning more competencies, for which he can negotiate further employment benefits and the organization can apply a cross train for its employees, transposing personnel while optimizing its business.
4. The current structure on which TriHealth develops its activity includes managerial, leadership, consultancy, executional and expertise approaches that are complementary parts within a project. Each of this approach corresponds to a certain role: managerial approach corresponds to Project Executive Sponsor role; leadership is attributed to Project Leader; the consultancy approach is assured by the Performance Improvement Consultant; executional is exercised by the Core Team Member and the expertise approach is assured through the subject matter expert role. The Project Executive Sponsor assures the strategic business role, the Project Leader provides the employee advocacy, while the Performance Improvement Consultant guarantees the adaptation of employees to the change agent. This structure lacks the administrative role, meant to organize and structure the working processes, to monitor and implement various support activities. For assuring also this role, there should be created a new position within TriHealth – Project Administrative Coordinator. The Project Administrative Coordinator at TriHealth should be responsible: for formulating the company’s policies for governing the talent acquisition and retention; for keeping records regarding employees’ forms, benefits, leaves and absences, and other administrative aspects; for serving as a leant between the management and the employees (Rao, 2007). These should be the main responsibilities of the Project Administrative Coordinator, however, the attribution for this position should not be limited to these one mentioned above. Applying also the functions and activities required for the administrative role, TriHealth company would provide a comprehensive, unitary and complete pool or roles, assuring the overall functionality of the company. Creating the Project Administrative Coordinator role within the company, TriHealth could guarantee its efficiency, as the administrative duties would be much better structured and coordinated, providing competitive solutions on the market on which it operates.
CIPD (2006) The changing HR function. London. Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
Cross, R., L, Parise, S. & Weiss, L., M. (2007) “The role of networks in organizational change” The McKinsey Quarterly.
Hunter, I. (2006) HR business partners. Burlington. Gower Publishing Limited.
Key HR roles and Responsibilities. 2012. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/CreativeHRM/key-hr-roles-and-responsibilities-13819234.
Rao (2005) Human resources management: text and cases. New Delhi. Excel Books.
Rouse, M. (2007) Role sharing. Retrieved from http://searchitchannel.techtarget.com/definition/role-sharing.