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‘Recognise HR professionals as change agents in national transformation agenda’

Author: Kwame Asare-Boadu

The government and business leaders have been urged to recognise human resource (HR) professionals as change agents in the national transformation agenda.

An HR consultant, Mr Andy Osei Okrah, who said this, noted that once the national transformation agenda hinged on industrialisation, the role of HR practitioners could not be underestimated.

Speaking at a strategic HR breakfast meeting in Accra on Tuesday, January23, 2017, Mr Okrah said economic transformation was critically dependent on recruiting the right skills for industry, developing new skills, changing engrained behaviours, and conflict management, among other things, all of which revolved strongly around effective human resource management.

The meeting, organised by Alica Consulting Limited, a capacity-building organisation, in conjunction with the Institute of Human Resource Management Practitioners (IHRMP), was on the theme, “The role of strategic HR in Ghana’s economic development.”

Practitioners in the public and private sectors attended the meeting.

Mr Okrah also encouraged HR practitioners to develop themselves and seek more knowledge in order to effectively play their role in the transformation agenda.


Overcoming barriers

Mr Okrah, who is the lead consultant at Alica Consulting Limited, also challenged practitioners in the field to help business leaders to identity and overcome barriers to change.

Pointing out that human resource practice had evolved into a major game-changer, he said, ““The human resource department of 20 years is long gone, and a more sophisticated, data-driven function has taken its place.”

On that score, he said, HR executives needed to always consider how well the HR function is helping to facilitate alignment between the organisation’s strategy and the performance of its human capital.

Building leadership

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Maddison Pine, a UK-based management consultancy firm, Dr Olubunmi Ajayi, said leadership needed to be built at every section of an organisation.

Stressing capacity building as a major ingredient in economic development, she noted that many economic transformation agenda around the world failed because “they ran out of capacity.”

Dr Ajayi observed that while the private sector of the Ghanaian economy was not mature enough, the public sector was also not resourceful.

“We have to professionalise the public sector,” she said, adding that it was refreshing that currently the government was moving more public organisations to become income-generation oriented.

She advised HR practitioners in the country to create globally competitive organisations.

Dr Ajayi expressed concern about the disconnect between the educational system of the country and what industry wanted.

Engagement

The Executive Director of IHRMP, Dr Ebenezer O. Agbettor, said the institute had engaged the government at different levels on how to position HR effectively in organisational development.

He described the breakfast meeting as very useful and said,” We need more of such training to enrich our competencies .”