HR is one of those critical things that all organizations need, but most don’t put the focus on what it can do for your institution from a strategic perspective except as a financial consideration. This is one of the biggest mistakes that executives make – thinking about HR as a tactical tool as related to budget instead of a strategic tool that can create the culture and excellence that it strives for.
Most higher ed institutions have been insulated from the “rightsizing” that corporations went through in the 90s, and because of that, many have become bloated bureaucracies that are unable to make the changes necessary that are required by their operating environment. Additionally, many institutions lack the alignment of strategies, structures, and processes in the attunement of their stakeholders to the mission and purpose, vision, and values of their institution.
Leadership is a critical skill which seems to be lacking in most higher ed institutions. Instead of managers saying that “employees just don’t work as hard as they used to,” they should look in a mirror to find out why their own leadership skills are lacking. Unfortunately, very few higher ed executives have had formal leadership training, and results in “sins of the father, sins of the son.”