As earlier mentioned the board of directors is authorized and empowered to set directional goals and objective for the company. The role of the board is well spelled out in Companies and Allied Matters acts. The board is headed by a CEO or a Managing Director depending on the company. Also, we have seen that one of the most important duties of the board is the appointment of the CEO, appointment or selection is basically a human resource management function undertaken at the board level.
Good and effective board function in committee and these committees are peopled by people with knowledge of the particular duties that are assigned to the committee. Prominent among the committees of the board are:
1)Audit and Risk Committee
2)Strategic planning and Investment
3)Nominating and Appointment
4)Ethics and Companys Social Responsibility
There are others committees with which the board control and coordinates the activities of the organization but for some explainable reasons the above mentioned are very conspicuous and found in most organizations. For all these committees it can be seen that the emphasis is to ensure that governance and the sustainability of the organization. All the committees are human driven and crucial attentions are mostly paid to the nominating or appointment committee and most importantly the board ensures that the appointment of the CEO is properly done because he is the chief implementer of board decision and the arrowhead of the organization.
Looking at the appointment of the board member too we have seen the organization that consulted extensively to have men and women of proven integrity to join its board because the soundness of board decision devoid of selfish interest will move the organization to the lofty height.
Reasonably too, it can be seen that HR function is of utmost importance in setting an achievable direction for the organization and at ensuring that it realizes its corporate objectives. It is the opinion of this blogger that appointment into board of company must be done in such a way that the board of directors composition is conducted along the line of skills, knowledge, and expertise that each member bring on board or the pedigree of such an individuals to objectively and passionately contribute to the attainment of the companys objectives.
THE EVOLVING ROLE OF HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AS A STRATEGIC BUSINESS PARTNER
There is increasing pressure on the organization today much more than it was some years ago. The 21st-century businesses find themselves in an environment that exerts so much pressure and demands for quality, quick delivery and less expensive products and services. Today there is neck breaking competition and borderless market with an almost disappearing trade control. The fluidity of technology and a talented workforce has further thrown up challenges that the 21st-century businesses must adapt to.
Just the way it was for businesses so also is the demand on human resource management as a profession, the change from Personnel Management to human resource management was an attempt to not only acknowledge the worth and significance of the employee as an organizational resource but as a critical asset. This shift to a large extent assigned a new and business-like role to HR now seen as a business strategic partner away from the erstwhile perception of it being solely a slow and bureaucratic system that just does the bidding of management without a soul of its own.
Modern writers and HR practitioners have taken up the challenge in charting a new path for the profession and ensuring that we are fully integrated into the mainstream of business partnership and strategic thinking. For example, Dave Ulrich sets new agenda for the next generation of HR Champions stressing that focus of HR should be based on four major areas of deliverables and results viz:
3)Employee Contribution and
4)Capacity for change
To achieve these results he also established four corresponding roles and focus of human resource management in the organization:
1)Human resource management as a strategic business partner that focuses on aligning human resource with organization strategy
2)Human resource management should be seen as an administrative expert working to improve business processes and deliver basic HR services
3)Human resource management as an employee champion, listening, guiding and meeting employee needs within policies and organizational framework
4)Human resource management as a change agent, managing change to meet the need of the business and workforce in a rapidly changing marketplace
The above postulations will also resonate with the position of Kavi Gupta, who emphasized the need for a shift in focus and accommodation for new challenges presented by the 21st-century organization. He stressed and very strongly too that A 21st-century company has to be employee-centric in order to stay relevant and push the boundaries of industry. After all, it is great people that make a great company
This article was written primarily with the objective of helping HRM professional appreciates the requirement of the 21st-century organization and the challenges of adapting to change and the demand of todays customers. Businesses have had to contend with tough requirements to adapt to issues of economic, environment, safety and human right protection. To a very reasonable extent, much more demand is placed on HRM to come into the main stream of business as a strategic partner and proffer solutions to the needs of the 21st-century business.
An attempt has been made to also look at some areas of conflict that are likely to hinder the HRM functions as a strategic business partner vis-Ã -vis the business ownership, the locus of control and coordination. We have seen that without such knowledge HRM professionals have run into the murky water of boardroom politics and got their fingers burnt.
I have taken a time to look at the different types of businesses and come up with role play for HR professional and enhance their strategic relevance and job roles.
It is my opinion that this article will generate more robust discussions and aimed at promoting the HR profession and its relevant beyond the 21st century.
Companies and Allied Matters Act 2004 (Nigeria)
Investment and Securities Act 2007 (Nigeria)
Ulrich .D. ( 1997) Human Resource Champions: the next agenda for adding value and Delivering Results Boston: Harvard Business School Press
The Director How Good Governance Can Attract Investment Opportunities to Nigeria September 2014, Issue No 12.
Neville Bain and Rober Barker the Effective Board, Building Individual and Board Success. Kogan Page, London, 2010
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