totus consulting turns 25!

totus consulting turns 25!

Friends, I am delighted to let you know that on 11th of June, 2000, totus consulting, my boutique HR consulting firm was born.

Today marks the start of our 25th anniversary. I’m grateful for many great things that totus has managed to do over these years.

As I look back, there are three perspectives I would like to share about the function and its functionaries, based on my experiences.

First, if HR is not doing what it is supposed to do, Business Leaders will need to ask what their contribution has been, to that situation. Managing people is part of the larger approach to managing relationships and that flows from culture. HR is not just HR’s job.

Second, HR has to strike the right balance between advocating employee causes, championing their needs and forwarding business agendas. It is true that HR has swayed too much towards business and in the process alienated itself from employees. That is one reason for employees to sound angry about HR.

Three, it is very hard to prescribe how HR should be structured and what roles are critical for the function in such a diverse and complex world.

However, it appears that there are five critical competencies that will help HR professional stay relevant and do the right things. I call it the five Cs.

HR professionals need to be great at consulting. Their ability to diagnose and define problems and offer the right solutions is critical. While “buying off the shelf solutions” is tempting, it is consulting that will lend credibility.

HR professionals need to be counsellors. The challenges of mental health and well-being are becoming acute and there is need for those in HR to have a high level of literacy about matters of mental health and be competent in making resources available as needed.

HR professionals must be good coaches. They need to support performance, development, career growth and forward the aspirations through a strong coaching approach. They need to be the champions of a coaching style.

HR professionals must be able to offer wise counsel on critical matters relating to employees, the Law, pay, performance, good practices, people management and so on to managers and leaders.

HR professionals must of course be good at managing chaos. Chaos will be inevitable and helping the organisation navigate it will be critical.

If HR professionals master these 5 competencies, they will thrive irrespective of where they are, what roles they are playing and what structure they are part of.

I thank all of our clients who have reposed faith in us over the past 24 years and our team members who have made us proud.