Repositioning HR management to meet the African growth agenda

HR & Business

Throughout corporate history, and not only in Africa, HR management as a corporate function has persistently failed to earn respect and recognition at par with its supposed functional equivalents like finance, marketing, operations and IT. Although it has gained some ground over the last decade, its relative worth to business is still being seriously doubted. Sadly, in Africa, HR actually assumes a support function rather than a line role in most organisations.

Is HR relevant?

Perhaps the biggest problem is that HR has to prove its much needed relevance in business. The perception that HR is a bit of a “soft” function – more art than science – and therefore less likely to contribute to the organisation’s bottom line, has been paddled for decades.

However, something can be said for HR professionals in Africa – very few have developed the necessary strategic, business and administrative skills required to function at board level. This brings several questions to the fore: what are those critical skills that HR needs to master particularly within the unique African social, political, economic, legal and cultural operating environment?

A further and related question is: do the HR leaders themselves, especially at senior management level, know the skills and knowledge that they need to acquire in order to begin to have real and meaningful influence on line business? And, likewise, do the non-HR functions know what kind of HR partner they would be happy to meet on the board?

The ability to provide answers to these questions will surely determine the success or failure of the business partnership role that HR professionals must assume in the new business era.

These and other pressing questions will be addressed at the 10th Annual HR Africa Summit incorporating the HRD Expo, which runs from 11-15 November 2013 at The Forum, The Campus, Bryanston, Johannesburg.

The 2013 conference will cover:
• World and Africa beyond 2013 – latest scenarios and theimplications for the field of HR

• The line manager challenge: solving the execution gap in organisations between line managers and
their relationship with HR

• The essence of a transformative HR practice in Africa

• Examining the growing challenge of HR leadershiptransformation: what are the future demands?

• Talent demand meets business strategy: understanding how five generations impact you & your organisation

• Delivering results through talent – the HR challenge

Read more and register here

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