Why Human Resources is Your Most Important Department

I’ve come to believe that if I could only rescue one department from a burning building,
it wouldn’t be marketing. It would be HR. I think it’s on its way to becoming the critical
branding skill of the 21st century, and the more “experiential” brands become, the
truer that will be. The challenge for corporations will be to get leadership to see that,
and to make HR a strategic partner with both a mandate and accountability. – Bruce Philp, ING Direct brand adviser and co-author of The Orange Code: How ING Succeeded by Being a Rebel with a Cause
Business transitions can be shocking, unsettling, and disruptive for your workforce.
Sometimes they come unexpectedly, other times they’ve been discussed for months
through office gossip and rumor. Either way, you’ll need an adept and nimble HR
department to ease the strain on your employees during a difficult time. Here are
some ways the HR department helps accomplish that.
1. Cooler Heads Prevail
Employees will stay calm and work hard if the HR department keeps programs
going like business-as-usual. Keeping a sense that the business will remain
streamlined and have its own identity will help ease tensions.
2. Open Communications
Information being shared quickly and completely as possible during this time is
critical to maintaining order. Having the HR department deliver regular
messages and updates will have employees feeling in the know and a part of the
process. This also will eliminate false rumors.
3. Contributing to Negotiations
The HR department understands the wants and needs of your employees so
allow them a seat at the table during takeover negotiations. That way you can
ensure the relative happiness of the work force by including clauses important
to them.
4. Acting as change agents
When the takeover changes do happen, like consolidation of offices or roles, the
HR department should step in and ensure these items run smoothly.

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