Human resources as a strategic business driver?

Executives from the private and public sector along with senior human resources practitioners during the Fiji Human Resources Institute (FHRI) CEOs breakfast briefing at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva yesterday. Picture: SUPPLIED

“SHOULD human resources be a necessary appendage or a strategic business driver?

FMF Foods Ltd managing director Ram Bajekal had CEOs pondering over this question during the FHRI CEOs briefing at the Grand Pacific Hotel yesterday.

Mr Bajekal gave real life examples of one local company but drove down the point of “strategic human resources management” and the importance of human capital. He spoke of the importance of linking business plans and human resources.

“People are our most valuable assets,” he said. “Financials measures are the history book, non-financials are the crystal balls.”

An example of a non-financial is human capital, which is not usually measured or captured in financials of a company.

But successful multibillion dollar companies in the world such as Infosys do measure its human capital.

In 2009, Infosys measured its human capital to be $42.2b and each employee was estimated to be $400,872 based on the potential value of their future earnings for the company.

Mr Bajekal said the importance of human capital to Infosys, which made a profit of $4.5b last year was captured by its founder chairman N R Narayana Murthy who said “our assets walk out of the door each evening — we have to make sure they come back the next morning”.

Mr Bajekal believed that for a company to succeed, the human resource department should identify key attributes of people needed to attain these business skills.

These include behaviour of staff members, organisational culture, knowledge, skills and attitude. He also urged for CEOs to identify HR roles as a more strategic one in an organisation instead of operational.

The event was well attended by CEOs, executive directors and senior human resources practitioners from the private and public sector.

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