Georgia companies entering global markets face a variety of new human resources challenges, suddenly dealing with issues such as immigration, foreign languages and business culture.
To tackle these problems, companies often turn to professionals like Janet Walsh, president of Acworth-based human resources consulting firm Birchtree-HR LLC.
Having worked in more than 60 countries, Ms. Walsh, also a professor at the Keller Graduate School of Management at DeVry University, has dealt with human resources issues not only in theory, but in practice.
Her firm works with companies from medium-sized enterprises to Fortune 500 firms launching international operations, and with foreign companies opening offices in Georgia.
Ms. Walsh told GlobalAtlanta that companies can manage their human capital not only to address issues in going global but to increase their bottom line.
“HR has stopped being about, ‘How do we make everyone happy?’ and has gone to, ‘How do we get a return on our investment?’” she said, adding that her firm links human resources issues to a company’s overall business strategy.
Birchtree produced a two-day simulation last year designed to show executives ways they can improve their human resources to increase profitability.
The first day of the program puts company employees in groups that compete to develop a solution to a human resources-related problem. On the second day, groups of employees work out solutions to company-specific issues.
Jim McGuirk, former president of Blue Bell, Pa.-based global IT company Unisys Corp., evaluates the results and Birchtree provides a case study and workbook for the company to help solve the issue.
Ms. Walsh said that Birchtree has run the simulation in several different countries and the results have boosted companies’ productivity.
“Businesses that link HR with business strategy absolutely increase their performance over businesses that don’t,” she said. “Businesses serious about outperforming their competition can leverage their human capital in ways they never thought of.”
Ms. Walsh also works with CEOs on her weekly live Internet show, “Human Capital,” on ProfitabilityChannel.com. The Web site features regular programs on different business areas including sales, marketing, running a family business and software tutorials.
Recent guests on Human Capital include Dan Ariely, an Israeli behavioral economist and author of “Predictably Irrational,” a book examining why people make the economic choices they do.
David Ulrich, co-founder of Provo, Utah-based consulting firm RBL Group and one of two “most influential people in human resources” as named by HR magazine, was also on the show recently.
Upcoming guests include Debra Meyerson, author of “Rocking the Boat, How to Inspire Change from Within Your Organization” and Jason Alba, founder and CEO of job search Web site JibberJobber.
The live format allows guests to call in with questions and the Profitability Channel stores the content on its Web site.