For decades, personnel managers and personnel experts have been striving to be recognized as business partners and to be included in planning and decision-making processes of companies. Equipped with enormous technical and social competence, they put forth their proposals and ideas in the hope of finally being heard. However, their input is often ignored and things stay exactly the same: Human Resources (HR) implements what management has already announced and does its best to iron out the mistakes and smooth out the bumps. It is high time that Human Resources took the “driver’s seat”, giving its own role more effectiveness and actively shaping the development and long-term success of their organization.

If Human Resources wants to fulfill its role as a driver and a strategic player more consistently, the further professionalization, competence development and improved assertiveness of the HR managers is required. In its own interest, and in assuming joint responsibility of operational activities and the long-term viability of the enterprise, HR should also be the operator of their own ideas and projects and, as such, become a co-driver of the enterprise. It is also about assuming a leading position – where HR actually belongs to – with an operative and strategic relevance. The paths leading towards professionalization are:

  • Development of a Human Resources strategy to prioritize and implement topics relevant for the respective enterprise.
  • Improved change management competence in order to be able to react faster and more professionally in times of change.
  • Reflection on their own role in the current context and work on their professional standing.

Once this is done, Human Resources can take the driver’s seat with strengthened competence and resistance to conflict. They can effectively support the executives as an internal coach and contribute to the value and, therefore, to the long-term future-fitness of the organization. Such professionalization goes hand in hand with an improved internal marketing. At the same time it also fulfills the often expressed desire for a higher profile and more recognition.