As dwindling bottom lines continue to incapacitate the nation’s organisations, experts have identified a strategic alignment of human resources with business as the way forward.
The experts, who spoke at Lagos Business School’s ‘Annual HR Forum’ which held at Four Points by Sheraton in Lagos recently, observed that the HR function had been relegated to “hiring and firing” in most Nigerian firms, producing personnel without the capacity to deliver on the strategic goals of their organisations.
“If you build your people, they build your organisation,” said Context Consult Managing Partner Abiola Popoola, while giving a talk tagged: Repositioning Capacity-Building: How Organisations Want to Achieve their Corporate Goals.
Popoola suggested that the manpower plan of Nigerian firms be derived from their business plan which should in turn stem from stakeholder expectations in the context of the prevailing external environment in the country.
“The biggest challenge facing HR professionals is focusing internally on the functions of HR rather than externally on what customers and investors need HR to deliver,” he said. “Now more than ever before, HR managers who can add value by putting square pegs in square holes are needed. Only then will organisational goals be achieved faster.”
For LBS Faculty Dr. Franca Ovadje whose speech focused on leading change, high-performance are born when strategic outcomes are clearly defined and change given a human face.
“If positive organisational change is to happen, we need to invest in the growth and development of employees, walk them through what the future would look like and break down deference to hierarchy which incapacitates them,” explained Ovadje, while advising that companies conduct monthly performance reviews to ensure the change they drive is in line with their strategic objectives.
The focus of the event was not lost on industry practitioners, who shared their peculiar HR experiences and proffered suggestions that could ease the process. Some of the School’s strategic partners were awarded plaques for their services, including Nigerian Breweries, Total, Skye Bank and MTN.