chapter  11
16 Pages

Development of Lean HR Professionals

ByCheryl M. Jekiel

The growing interest in lean is creating a new vision of Human Resources (HR) as a business partner that can contribute to results—financial or otherwise. The obstacles facing most continuous improvement initiatives leave HR well positioned to assist the organization in overcoming them. Many forces merge to shape HR into a crucial element in the achievement of improved workplaces. Attention to improving operating costs, strengthening customer loyalty, and protecting revenues requires all support departments, including HR, to make a direct impact on results. Despite the advantages HR professionals and the organization can gain, developing Lean HR skills also presents some challenges. Developing new attitudes to shape HR professionals also requires acquiring new skills to evolve into influential business partners with other line managers in the organization. Lean HR professionals need to be knowledgeable and proficient in lean leadership competencies. HR can be a primary contributor in delivering both problem-solving and team skills training.