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The Role of HR in Helping a Company Maintain a Competitive Edge

One of the most important roles in a business is a human resources manager, director or generalist. The role of HR is quickly evolving to meet the needs of today’s fast-changing, fast-paced global business climate. Traditionally, the role of HR has been to serve as an advocate for both the company and the people who work there. In the past, HR managers primarily performed administrative tasks, such as handling accounts receivable and payable, distributing payroll, administering benefits and tracking employees’ sick days and vacation days. While many HR professionals still have responsibility for the day-to-day accounting and employee paperwork, their role has developed into one that can enhance an organization’s competitive advantage.

Role of HR as Change Champion

How can an HR department achieve success and build a competitive advantage for a company in today’s marketplace? As executive leaders and strategic partners responsible for organizational and employee development, human resource professionals are taking on greater responsibilities, driving change, increasing productivity and boosting sales, all of which keep an organization ahead of the competition. Recruitment specialists in an HR department are responsible for finding and hiring the very best talent. HR professionals can ensure that new hires are knowledgeable about and aligned with a company’s business goals and strategies. They often are charged with developing and implementing both training and coaching programs to ensure the best employees will be retained and will continue to help a company maintain its competitive advantage. Aside from salary and benefits, employee relations and team building, HR leaders can design and manage programs that track employees’ performance and identify stellar employees as candidates for promotions. The role of HR can maximize employee satisfaction and thereby minimize employee resistance to change and growth.

In order to be successful business partners and leaders of change, HR professionals should be armed with a solid foundation in business principles and strategies, be knowledgeable about finance and accounting, and be skilled in advancing practices, methodologies and trends within the field. One way to gain these skills is to earn a Master in Business Administration (MBA) degree. An online MBA program covers core courses such as finance, accounting, marketing, budgeting, and strategy and project management. Online MBA courses also emphasize human resource management, communication, problem-solving and team leadership, knowledge that is necessary for a human resources professional to add value and contribute to competitive advantage with any organization. HR management positions do not necessarily require an MBA but a graduate with an MBA seeking a career in human resources can have his or her own competitive advantage.

Learn more about UT Tyler’s online MBA program.


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