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The Importance of HR in the Modern Workplace

With rising challenges in the external work environment and also taking into account the changing work trends at the workplace, the role of the Human Resources (HR) department is vital for the organization. They will need to undergo the transformation processes and make sure that they are able to fulfill the expectations of both employers and employees in a given working environment (Alexandru, 2019).

They will need to shift their work strategies from different administrative and payroll functions toward people-oriented and technology-oriented strategies to save time, efforts, and costs. Also, it will allow them to deliver better outcomes in the future. The top-level management of majority of the organizations are looking forward to different success factors and they will need to focus on the role of the HR team in the organization.

For the purpose of delivering superior quality products and services to the customers, they will need to have well-trained team in the organization. It will be the responsibility of the HR team to guide and provide the required training to the staff in this situation.

The given report will thereby describe the role of the HR team in the present working scenario. It will also include a discussion about the article published by Harvard Business Review: “People Before Strategy: A New Role for the CHRO”. The report will also include discussion about different HR theories that are functioning around motivation of the staff in a given operational environment.

It will also compare and contrast certain working models so that it will assist employees to determine the direction of work and later identify on the possible solutions pertaining to the HR problems faced by the organization.

The top-level management will need to realize on the fact that Chief Human Resources Officers (CHRO) will act as strategic partners to the organization. They will be providing knowledge regarding changing workforce trends, will provide details about work approaches, and also will suggest new strategies that will assist the organization in achieving desirable outcomes.

Motivation alone is not the lonely factor that is responsible for managing employees effectively in the organization (Al-Minhas, Nelson, & Fatima, 2020). These employees need to be trained on the aspects of adaptive leadership so that they will be able to handle complex situations in a proper way. Finally, it will be important for the HR team to provide feedbacks to the working staff from time to time so that they can improvise on the performance and will be able to deliver results to the given expectations of the organization.

The given section will be analyzing the case study article published by Harvard Business Review and is authored by Charan, Barton, and Carey. The key aspect of the article focuses on the role of the CHRO within the work environment of the organization and also determines the correlation between the HR management and organizational strategies in a given organization.

The authors are arguing on the fact that to achieve desired success, the top-level management will need to identify the contribution of the HR officials in the firm (Charan, Barton, & Carey, 2015). These HR officials are now not only acting as recruitment and training managers but are also working as chief architects of the firm. They are recommending working strategies that will boost the morale of the staff, will encourage them to work in the right direction, and also will be solving key problems of the workplace (Arsalan et al., 2020).

Effective HR Strategies for Organizational Success

The article clearly states of the Importance Of The Role Of The Chro In the organization. They should thereby be working along with the officials of the top-level management so that they will be able to provide better overview about current market trends and key challenges. Besides, CHRO officials should become strategic partners for the firm, which will result into increased revenues for the organization.

On the Other Hand The Authors Have Even Identified On The Key Challenges That The Teams And Organization Will Face In The Case Where There Will Be Lack Of Collaboration between the CHRO and the senior management. The HR team is expected to determine strategies that will work in the interest of all stakeholders of the firm (Charan, Barton, & Carey, 2015).

Secondly, the organization should be provided with certain compliance norms so that they do not breach any code of conduct. Third, the CHRO along with identification of talented professionals should also focus on the aspects of identification of formulas, which will assist the organization to achieve the desired success (Charan, Barton, & Carey, 2015).

Based on the on-field experience, the authors have recommended to deploy the G3 framework, which will combine the powers of CEO, CFO, and CHRO in corporate decision making (Charan, Barton, & Carey, 2015). The organization will then get benefitted through this approach as all the three entities will be able to utilize their working strengths.

Since the CHRO officials are having better overview of the problems that the organization could face, they will be able to share knowledge pertaining to designing of talent acquisition strategies and allocation of human resources to different functions in the organization.

To support this strategic option, researchers have reflected on the fact of internal hiring compared to external hiring. External hiring will allow the organization to have professionals that will be skilled and also will be able to demonstrate desired skill-set. However, internal hiring will allow the organization to reduce the hiring costs and at the same time will encourage the employees already working to remain satisfied through promotions (Charan, Barton, & Carey, 2015).

The Chief Human Resources Officer need to look out for three activities, which could possibly drive the change in the organization. These include - diagnosing problems, prescribing actions, and predicting outcomes. All these activities will be linking the finance department, marketing teams, and human resources department in the organization.

Once the problems are identified based on analysis, the HR team will be connecting with the finance department to look out for suitable new professionals or for promoting internal staff members to higher levels.  By correctly matching the internal working divisions with the skill-set of the professionals, the organization will be able to enhance on the performance of the staff and thereby will be able to achieve key results in the organization. The employees thus should be paid, rewarded, and motivated for the value that they are bringing in the organization (Charan, Barton, & Carey, 2015).

However, increasing wages and salaries alone will not motivate the staff. Today, employees are looking forward to other motivating factors such as flexible work approach, proper work-life balance, new career opportunities, and suitable work conditions of the organization. The role of G3 will be thus crucial as they will need to look out for ways through which they will be able to enhance on the overall motivation levels of the working staff (Charan, Barton, & Carey, 2015).

Analysis of the Harvard Business Review Article

Employees once motivated through this approach will then ensure of remaining committed and also will be able to perform to the stated needs of the organization. Another interesting factor that the HR team should focus upon in the present-day time is competitors' intelligence.

The data collected about human resource management of competitors will be a powerful tool considering the challenges of strategic gaps, risks factors of external work environment, and problems of dissatisfaction among the staff. This analytical tool will help resolve these issues but it can be expensive, time consuming, and also could challenge the level of effectiveness if wrong data is collected (Charan, Barton, & Carey, 2015). It will be thus important for the HR team and the senior officials to plan carefully before using this tool.

The CHRO and other HR officials should direct the employees to gather this data carefully, allow them to have access to reliable resources, and then make sure that employees will be exploit on the data available in a given scenario. The next activity that the authors are focusing upon is related to diagnosing of the problems and resolving them.

In the recent times, it is identified that employees are facing multiple challenges while working in the organization. The role of the CHRO will be to diagnose them and provide solutions to each of them. These key problems are related to - disputes among departments, conflicts among staff members, and problems related to internal working strategies (Bhatti et al., 2016).

The CHRO will need to deploy their resources and expertise to resolve on the problems, focus on the vision of resilient leadership, allow employees to work in a flexible manner, and even implement change management strategies as and when required. It will then protect the organization against the damages that will be caused to the reputation of the firm, loss in net revenues, and even internal turbulence (Bushi, 2021).  

Moreover, the HR leaders should have the ability to evaluate on the performance of the staff and promote them based on their overall performance. The CHRO should provide recommendations to the senior-level officials regarding choosing of the best leadership style in the organization.

The leaders and managers in the organization should be selected on the basis of their work approaches, leadership style, communication abilities, team-working skills, and people-oriented strategies that they will implement in the organization (Charan, Barton, & Carey, 2015). They should not be selected based on the performance-based promotion and career advancement as that will not provide desired results.

The third activity refers to the actions and tasks that the HR team and the CHRO officers should take for the purpose of delivering competitive advantage in the market. Human resources are one of the important assets of the organization. The companies will thereby need to have such abilities through which they will be able to provide career growth opportunities to all the working staff members (Chen et al., 2020).

In addition, there is a need to make a cultural shift and a mindset change among the top-level management officials regarding how the HR functions will be perceived in the organization. There HR managers should be actively involved in solving other problems of the organization from a strategic perspective.

HR Theories on Employee Motivation and Organizational Performance

Leaders of the organization should thus actively engage these HR officers and allow them to work on the psychological, behavioral, practical, and motivational aspects of the problem (Cote, 2019). The authors of this research paper are thereby providing few insights and recommendations as to how the role of the CHRO will be shaped in the organization. Some of the suggestions provided by them are as follows:

  • The HR functions should be revised and few of their administrative tasks should be outsourced
  • The CHRO performances should be measured with the help of metrics systems and they should be provided with feedback
  • The CHRO should be allowed to work on the vison of the organization so that they will be able to provide strategic alternatives to the top-level management
  • With the help of G3, the senior officials should be able to support strategic growth of the people in the organization

To achieve the desired goals of the firm, the HR department needs to integrate well with the decision-making processes of the company. The concept of HR business partnering is thereby developed so that all the HR functions will get aligned with the strategic business objectives.

The HR team will thus be able to influence even the top-level management and will be in a position to provide alternatives to the problems that the functional teams will be facing amid the given working environment. The HR team might even require to revamp the organizational culture, recommend leaders and managers about new leadership styles, and even deploy change management tactics to achieve required outcomes (Cristiani & Peiró, 2018).

It has been identified that the HR team and the top-level management will need to value the contribution of employees in the organization. They will need to focus on the aspects of motivation and rewards as they play a pivotal role in a given working environment. There are several theories designed for this purpose with an objective to encourage the staff and motivate them in the right direction (Florence Yean et al., 2018).

The first is the Maslow's Hierarchy Needs, which has a great influence on motivating the staff from psychological and behavioral perspectives. There are five levels of motivation identified that depict different needs at every stage. These include - physiological needs, safety needs, belongingness needs, esteem needs, and self-actualization needs. It will then depend on the needs of the employees for each of these levels while they are working in the organization.

The role of the HR team will be to identify it and based on that will need to motivate the staff at regular intervals. However, this theory does possess few limitations. For instance, it does not take into account the working levels of all staff members (Ghosh, Sekiguchi, & Fujimoto, 2020). Hence, this framework cannot be adapted in a similar way for all the staff members of the organization.

Secondly, it is not necessary that all the employees will react with same manner post the implementation of motivational strategies (Ghosh, Sekiguchi, & Fujimoto, 2020). Thus, there could be a difference observed regarding the performance of the staff amid the given working environment.

The lack of scientific data supporting this theory is counted as another criticism to this theory. However, it is still a famous theory that is often implemented by the HR managers and practitioners in the organization.

Hertzbergs Motivation Theory

The second is the Hertzberg's Motivation Theory that relies on two triggers of motivation. These include motivators and hygiene factors (Hur, 2018). The motivators comprise of - achievement, career growth opportunities, work recognition at the workplace, and responsibilities that will be allocated to the staff members.

Contrary, the hygiene factors comprise of - company policies toward the staff members, supervision approach, remuneration and salaries, work relationships, and job security. This theory was developed with an objective to serve the primary purpose of the organization, which focuses on completing the tasks on time and as per the requirements of the organization. But it indirectly helped the employees to improve on their work efficacy levels, once they were motivated through this approach (Zhang, Xiang, & Khan, 2020).

This theory does find application in the modern-day context but it still depends on the culture and context of the working organization. This theory demonstrates limitations when applied to employees that are either seasonally employed or are unemployed most of the time. The CHROs will thus need to make sure of implementing any of these motivation theories in the right context scenario. Only then the employees will remain committed and will be able to prosper to their expectations (Ispas, 2021).

There is another theory on motivation, which is labelled as Theory X and Theory Y as shown below in figure-1. It has first classified employees into these two categories and based on that has provided recommendations to the HR team about the actions that they need to take (Zdonek, Hysa, & Zdonek, 2021).

X and Y Theory 

Figure-1: Theory X and Theory Y


For instance, as per Theory X, employees will be lazy, will work for money, will avoid taking responsibilities, and also will be more of self-directed while working at their workplace. They will thereby need direct supervision, need to be provided with monetary rewards, and also should be motivated based on their personal goals (Jiang et al., 2020).

On the contrary, as per Theory Y, employees will be intrinsically motivated, will embrace challenges, will enjoy working in the organization, and will be more of autonomous in their work approaches. Thus, the HR managers and leaders will be required to deploy suitable leadership style at the workplace. These employees will not need any form of direct supervision and rather they will prefer flexibility (Kraev & Tikhonov, 2019). Also, they will prefer to have superior relationships with the senior officials in the organization.

However, this theory will to rely on factors such as working context, cultural and social values that the organization adheres with, and industry sector. Also, the leaders will need to take into account their monitoring approach and only then they will be able to determine whether employees have got motivated through the implementation of these theories or not (Zavyalova, Sokolov, & Lisovskaya, 2020).

Moving further, there is another theory developed by Vroom, which is known as Vroom’s Expectancy Theory. This theory takes more of a holistic and individualistic approach in moving the staff. There are three criteria used for motivating the staff in the right direction. These include - instrumentality, expectancy, and valence. In other words, it should be noted that employees will be rewarded differently based on their current needs and future expectations of performance outcomes (Kumari et al., 2021).

The HR team and the CHRO officers will be putting their efforts in a way that it will result into increased work performance of the staff. The better performance will then allow the HR team to reward the staff members. These staff members will then consider such rewards as valuable and will consider it as a source of motivation (Kuranchie-Mensah & Amponsah-Tawiah, 2016).

Theorists like Porter and Lawler have identified that there are other factors that will drive the motivation levels of the employees. These include - performances and rewards based on that. It is more important for the HR team to communicate on the type of performances that they are expecting amid the given situation. Only then it will make sure that the employees will be putting their efforts and they will be completing the tasks on time and as per the stated expectations (Latukha & Malko, 2019). They will be then rewarded based on their personal needs, which will encourage them to stay connected with the organization from a long-term perspective.

Everyone has their limitations and strengths and thus the HR team will need to deploy it based on the given requirements of the organization.  (Lee & Song, 2020)It is thus clear that some of the theories are focusing on the aspects of individual traits whereas others are focusing on personality factors, current work scenario of the organization, and even leadership style deployed by the HR managers in a given work setting (Lee, 2020).

Irrespective of any deployment of these motivation theories, it is more important for the employees to make sure that they will be working as per the instructions provided to them. They can take the assistance of the managers, CHROs, and even leaders of the organization so that they will be able to enhance on their overall performance and simultaneously will even allow them to receive work recognition and rewards (Li, Rees, & Branine, 2019).

There is one more theory developed by Deco, which is known as Self-Determination Theory. It is a framework that is evolved from intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. There are three elements associated with this theory. These include - autonomy, competence, and relatedness (Zaim et al., 2018).

Autonomy will refer to the psychological need for independence and freedom, whereas competence will refer to the skills that will be required by the staff to stay competitive in a given market environment, and relatedness will refer to the type of interactions that should occur between the ground-level staff and senior-level officials (Lim, Wang, & Lee, 2017).

This theory thereby focuses more on self-motivation aspects and will be able to generate internal stimuli, if employees are aware of the work approaches and are motivated amid the given work environment. This theory can be applied to work settings such as one in the healthcare or even education sector.

The outcome of this theory depicts two major things. First, motivation will come from within and thus managers will need to work on understanding the staff members from a holistic perspective. Second, the leaders will need to put efforts in a way that will allow them to guide and mentor the staff members (Liu et al., 2019). Only then these employees will be able to achieve desirable outcomes. There are other divers of motivation such as goals and equity.

Goal-setting theory was introduced by Locke in 1968, which correlates the formulation of the goals with the work approach mentioned by the managers and motivation needs of the staff. It will be always crucial for the HR team to look out for new ways through which they will be able to empower the staff members in the right working direction.

In addition, it will be crucial for the employees to work as per the theoretical approaches suggested to them. It will then allow them to perform accordingly and also receive the rewards based on their motivation needs. However, the motivational needs will vary from staff to staff and thus the HR team will need to work on the psychological elements associated with it.

They will need to take into account such aspects for the purpose of designing motivation plans for the staff members (M-Y Yusliza et al., 2019). They will also need to make notes related to the responses generated by these staff members when they are dealing with different challenges such as - work stress, financial problems, contingency work situation, and other external influences.

It is thereby important for the HR team to deploy creative ways through which they will be able to resolve on these problems and on the other hand will also be able to motivate the staff members at the right time and in the right working direction.

Based on previous researches, it is identified that staff can be motivated in following ways:

  • Work recognition
  • Promotions
  • Feedback and reviews
  • Re-allocating tasks that did not allow them to work earlier
  • Level of autonomy in the organization
  • Type of leadership style deployed by the CHROs
  • Fairness and Job Security
  • Increase in salaries
  • Work-life balance

Now, the key objective for the CHROs will be how to execute these motivation theories keeping in mind the strategic objectives of the organization. They will need to consider a lot many factors and also need to count on the feedback from the employees (Nathan et al., 2020). Only then they will be able to design such a plan that will work in a given situation.

One of the best ways through which they can overcome this problem will be through people management tactics. As per this approach, the CHRO officials and the top-level management will need to work like business partners. They will need to plan for the strategies and even design execution in a way that will allow them to direct the employees toward different tasks (Okoth & Oluoch, 2019).

Second, the HR team should deploy goal-setting work culture across the organization. It will then encourage the staff to work in this direction and make sure that they will be able to fulfill the expectations of the senior management (Yoon & Choi, 2019).

Third, the leaders of the organization will need to check out for suitable leadership style. This style will ensure greater work flexibility and also will ensure effective communication among all working members in a given working environment.

The HR managers on the other hand will have a clear view about how work approaches should be deployed and what motivating factors should be emphasized upon for the aspects of motivating the staff in the right working direction (Ouakouak, Zaitouni, & Arya, 2020). The CHROs will thus act as a bridge between the values of the staff members, their culture, and the overall company strategic direction. They will be able to deliver on the given organizational plans and also will be able to provide growth opportunities to the deserving candidates of the organization.

The communication and work alignment is much needed for the company officials to ensure that they will be able to achieve their short- and long-term objectives amid the given work environment. The organization needs to reinforce on the concept of people sustainability which will further ensure of human capital development. It will then result into development of human resources on a customized approach and will ensure of better work-life balance situations of the working staff (Panait & Panait, 2019).

The CHROs will thus need to intervene in the strategies of the top-level management so that they will be able to install positive work environment across the organization. The leaders of the organization will need to demonstrate a higher degree of work flexibility and also should be in a position to implement change management strategies to fulfill the expectations of the organization (Hur, Moon, & Sung-Hoon, 2018).

By carrying out performance analysis with the help of certain metrics, the HR team will be able to provide proper feedback to the staff members. These staff members will then be in a position to identify their working strengths and weaknesses. Based on that, they will be able to deploy their strengths and will be able to achieve desired objectives. It will even allow them to remain inter-connected with the CHRO officials and the senior managers of the organization (Su et al., 2020).

The HR practices have thus changed significantly over a period of time and they will need to shift their focus from recruitment, training and development to becoming a core part of the business. Only then the business firm will be able to survive in such challenging and globalization times and will be assist the top-level management in achieving their desired milestones in a given working scenario (Tian, Cordery, & Gamble, 2016).

Before joining for this course, I had few of the work experiences that included few of the managerial roles. I was allocated with the responsibility of looking after the sales and marketing operations in the superstore. Besides, I was even required to handle a team of 10 members.

Now, as per Kolb's Learning Model, it is found that one can learn about different experiences based on concrete learning, reflective observations, abstract conceptualization, and active experimentation. I have summarized my experience based on this model as follows:

 Kolb's Learning Model based on my Work Experiences

Figure-2: Kolb's Learning Model based on my Work Experiences

Source: Author

While I was working at the superstore, I found that the organization was not valuing their staff members. The HR team used money as the only source of motivation factors for their staff members. With passage of time, I realized that along with money, work recognition, working conditions, team morale, and similar other aspects were equally important to drive my motivation. This would then allow me to fulfill all the work responsibilities and on the other hand will even boost my work approach in the right working direction.

Based on my entire tenure of work experience, I am now looking forward to such roles that will not only meet my personal expectations but will even allow me to overcome the challenges of the operational work environment. I shall be able to demonstrate my skills with an objective to meet the expectations of the senior managers as well. Managing a small team does include challenges and hence I even focused on my problem-solving techniques. My views regarding people management are as follows:

  • There is a need to ensure employee satisfaction at ground-level
  • There is a need to create work atmosphere that will be of positive vibes
  • There is a need to pay salaries to all the employees on a fair basis
  • There should be opportunities provided to all the working staff based on their performance
  • There should be learning and development coaching scheduled by the HR team to upgrade the skills of the working staff amid the given work environment

My first strategy would begin with following of the company culture and values. I need to make sure that I am aware of the principles that I need to follow while working in the organization. Second, I need to follow the principles of team-working at the workplace as that would assist me in overcoming the functional gaps.

Our internal communication will have improvised and on the other hand will even allow me to meet the expectations of other team members. Unfortunately, due to current Covid-19 pandemic situation, a lot many challenges are faced by the HR team and the entire organization. Now, by taking into account the Learning Model and also the outcomes of the MBA course, I shall now be looking forward to important areas of career development in the near future. I shall utilize Gibb's Model for this purpose as follows:

  1. Description: Involvement in different tasks and also following team-working approach
  2. Feeling: Motivation, need to learn more, and Performing tasks to the stated expectations
  3. Evaluation: Performance evaluation, learning new skills, and looking for growth opportunities
  4. Analysis: Identification of my motivation factors and ensuring effective communication skills
  5. Conclusion and Action Plan: Considering academic journey and previous work experience to enhance my future career aspirations

I have encountered both positive and negative emotions and hence I am now looking forward to my motivation factors to boost my working morale. I am struggling at work sometimes and thus I even need to identify a specific solution pertaining to it. Finally, based on MBA course learning outcomes and other skill-set, I need to take steps that will improve my work approaches and leadership style at the workplace.

I want to focus on building effective relationships and also want to accept dynamic work opportunities. I need to follow the purpose of my life and ensure that I am able to serve to the expectations of concerned stakeholders of the organization. It will be important for me to enjoy my life equally so that I can even look out for other motivating factors of my life (Uka & Prendi, 2021). It will then allow me to not only escalate my current performance but will even increase my overall job satisfaction levels amid the given working environment.


It is observed that the role of the HR department is increasing day-by-day and they will need to integrate their functions with the core business functions of the organization. The expectations of the top-level management are changing and hence it will be crucial for the HR team to communicate about this to the concerned working staff of the organization. They will need to take all the measures through which staff members will be encouraged and will remain committed to perform amid the given work environment (Susan et al., 2019).

The employees on the other hand will need to adhere to the task instructions, need to complete it as per the given timeframe, and should maintain the quality of work that will be expected from them. Only then they will be rewarded for their performance and they will remain motivated as per the different theories mentioned in this report.

Finally, the CHRO officials will need to monitor all the work practices from time to time and need to check whether they are aligned to the key tactics of the organization. They will need to overcome operational loopholes, recommend best leadership style that will be suited to the top-level management, and finally, will need to increase the work morale of the staff from time to time. It will then allow the given organization to achieve desired results amid the given work situation.


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