What do Sonya Buckley, Jose De La Cruz, Teresa Stivarius, Alexis Balkum, D. Chad Strickland, Beth Van Loon, Keith Hicks and Gary Jones have in common? They are all senior HR leaders who have shaped the future of their companies and have been recognized by SHRM-Atlanta as SHAPE Award recipients.
SHAPE is an acronym for SHRM-Atlanta Professional Excellence.
But what does professional excellence mean. Well if you look at the reasons why these outstanding HR professionals have been bestowed this prestigious award is that they all see themselves as strategic business leaders and not just managers of the tactical requirements associated with the largest asset of their organizations. They view their organization’s talent as a strategic advantage and put their efforts into leading, inspiring, developing and motivating this asset so that it can perform at its best.
How do they do this? They do not have larger staffs or greater technology than the average HR professional. What they do is they make a conscious effort to put the strategic initiatives in the spotlight. They balance the tactical daily fire drills with time for the strategic initiative that add value. Keith Hick’s, 2010 SHAPE Award winner said the first step is to create “chunks of time when you’re not going to focus on the tactical things [Carve out] time to think and work on strategic priorities.” Another important factor is they have a sound understanding of their organization’s core business. They embrace true employee engagement, which means that they recognize the importance of the talent to be aware of how their actions affect the business’ bottom line results. Gary Jones’, 2010 SHAPE Award winner said “Every employee needs to understand what business the company is in – how they make money, how they serve customers or clients and how to make a profit doing that.”
HR professionals like these past SHAPE Award winners are not only SHAPING the future of their organizations but they are also SHAPING the future of the HR profession. As the HR profession evolves to meet the needs of a globally competitive 21st century the opportunities for HR professionals will only increase. While the opportunities for those who have the aptitude and desire to be more strategic are obvious there will continue to be a strong need for those whose strengths lie more in the management of the tactical. The tactical needs associated with managing the talent of an organization will only increase in importance since only when all the tactical needs are met can the organization begin to realize the benefits of any strategic imitative.
Nominations for the 2011 SHAPE awards are now being accepted. Nominate an HR professional you know who is SHAPING the future of their organization and the HR profession.
This chapter update was prepared by Diane Tuccito, SPHR, CCP, GRP, Kinetix, EVP Signature Events for SHRM-Atlanta.