4 Ways HR Can Take a Seat at the Table

By Asia Select, Inc.
2018-04-25 23:50:47 | 499 views

4 Ways HR Can Take a Seat at the Table

A number of business leaders attended the PH CXO 2018: PH Competitiveness on People + Technology Forum last April 19, 2018. One of the key highlights of the event was the afternoon session on “HR is the New CEO: Developing Business Leadership through People + Technology Strategy.”

HR professionals have evolved beyond their transactional roles and should now be impacting business decision making. Four notable industry leaders shared how HR is positioned to become CEOs and which points they should focus on in their next board meeting.


1.       HR Humanizes Data Analytics

Michelle Garcia, 2018 President of the Philippine Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP) and HR Director at SGS Philippines, discussed that effective HR professionals are able to marry their inherent intuition with the vast amount of data to be able to make people assessments and decisions.

Organizations make investments in HR information systems, generate data and metrics, and HR leaders should possess the analytic acumen to be able to translate HR data into actionable people strategies. Because more than just the numbers, they understand the stories of the people that make up the data. People managers have the capability to drive value to a data-driven culture, which results in making strong business directions and human capital strategies. 

Michelle concluded that for HR to be an effective business partner, digital and analytical acumen should be developed, and use this to elevate the well-being and performance of employees through data such as:

·         # of Top Performers vs. Top performers being recognized aligned with their wants and needs

·         % of Attrition vs. Identifying key people at risk of leaving and proactively addressing their concerns

·         Engagement Index vs. Knowing the drivers of engagement and enablement


2.       HR is Pivotal in Human + Machine Collaboration

Jacob Dalevi Artelius, Managing Director and Human Resources Lead at Accenture Operations Delivery Centers in the Philippines, stated that almost all organizations implementing artificial intelligence have been focusing on gaining efficiencies over work innovation to augment and help employees partner with AI to reach new revenue and opportunities. Additionally, he mentioned that the fear of the effects of automation should not be felt, as the HR is seen to be an essential partner in people and technology collaboration.

Jacob stated that companies of the future will be rapidly implementing intelligent technology and applying human ingenuity to all parts of the business to solve complex problems and to generate entirely new revenue streams.

For businesses that are in the process of evolution, HR takes a vital role. Proactive HR teams lead the push for a shift in how work is done and what new roles should be developed to further the company’s growth. They are the right individuals to be placed in charge of these types of business development because of how their roles work.  This assures stakeholders that transitions run smoothly, which in turn proves the value of HR to the organization.

3.       HR Builds the Organization

Alpha Omega Aquino, former Managing Director of Teleperformance Indonesia and an SHRM-SCP (Senior Certified Professional), shared how most decision makers lack a comprehensive understanding of Human Resources. In particular, pain points in recruitment, talent management, and work culture are being viewed as “to-do lists” of the HR, rather than how it is actually an integral part of building and maintaining an organization. This was one of the driving factors that encouraged Alpha to career shift from CEO to HR, as she felt that her transition would create more impact for organizations since she achieved the certification.

It was also discussed that business leaders need to be globally developed with competencies defined by accredited organizations such as SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management). Her challenge for HR practitioners in the Philippines was to have a change of mindset; unlearn what they currently know about the role, learn what the position actually entails, what competencies should be developed, how it impacts the business, as well as relearn every new knowledge there is about the job.

One of the ways to advance the HR profession is through experiential learning, such as joining the Philippine delegation at the SHRM 2018 Annual Conference and Exposition in Chicago. The event is geared towards connecting HR leaders from across the globe to discuss best practices, HR innovations, and industry updates.


4.       HR Grows the Business Allowing it to Reach New Heights

Hans Montenegro, the Head of Operations, IT Delivery Centers at Manulife Financial Asia United shared that decent HR leaders know the answer to basic business questions such as:

·         How does the company make money?

·         Who are the competitors?

·         What does the company do better than competitors and what do competitors do better?

HR leaders should be able to converse in business language and relate HR data to the bottom-line: company profitability. When it comes to reporting to key shareholders and executive teams in the boardroom, those handling other functions of the business would tell a story that directly impacts costs. HR should be able to practice a similar kind of storytelling, and that HR effectivity is adding value by not measuring the performance of activities, but by translating what HR can actually deliver in terms of profit.

The Seat at the Table

The talk of HR deserving a seat at the table is a conversation that has been going on for more than a decade in various parts of the world. In the Philippines, it may seem that HR practitioners do not fully grasp how they impact their organizations

An example given during the panel discussion is that when there is a vacant CEO position with ten competencies needed for the role, HR executives would actually have seven out of ten of those competencies. More often than not, Filipino HR executives would have a “humbled-mentality” and would feel that they are not fit for the role because they lack three of the competencies. On the other hand, those belonging in other functions would feel they are well-equipped to aspire and apply for the role, even with just three to five checked on the competency check-list.


HR is an essential facet of every organization. With the right blend of people and culture strategy and business acumen –the HR role is well on its way to being able to take a seat at the table since they are more than capable of leading organizations.