Let’s Blame HR!

I was looking at the title of a blog series posted by Michael Carty on the topic of “If I Could Change One Thing About HR". Here we go again, I thought. Another round of “Let’s blame Human Resources!”

I frequently read blogs,to keep up on what is happening in HR, my career of 20 years. Lately I have noticed many blogs saying that HR isn’t strategic enough, or not concerned with the bottom line, or that it is filled with incompetent people who need more training, and so on.

So when I read blogs on HR I prepare myself to feel slightly indignant. It seems like every blog blames human resources for everything from unhappy employees to lawsuits against the company for sexual harassment (how exactly is that HR’s fault?). What about the PunkRockHR blogger who wants to know if “HR is Dying: Yes? No?” In this recent post, she writes that people just try to get around HR, that it is essentially a roadblock.

Most HR professionals are hardworking, competent individuals who toil day-to-day with important tactical responsibilities - getting people enrolled in benefits programs, responding to benefits and/or insurance claim questions, getting salaries changed, assisting with performance reviews, listening to employees personal problems, and all the other required duties. Most don’t even have time to read blogs!

While this work may not earn a seat at the table and may not be strategic it has dignity. Is there something wrong with doing this job? And many of us are kind, caring individuals who took the job because with the notion of helping others. The tactical HR professionals don’t have a seat at the table but our days are entirely filled with tasks that have to be done. If they don’t get done, things go wrong very quickly.

The first blog I read had what I expected – guest blogger Sukhvinder Pabial muses about why HR professionals rarely move up the ladder to run the company:

”Quite simply it's the way HR talks about business. We don't put ourselves in a credible position which shows that we are able to have business discussions with other business leaders. And don't fool yourself into thinking you're doing this.”

I read a few of the other blogs in the series. They were all about the same. Finally, I found the 'Existentialism is an HRism' blog, written by “The HRD” who states:

“It is my belief that HR is facing its own existential crisis. We can learn a lot from the existentialists about how HR can face up to this crisis, and take charge of its actions…...we seek the approval of others by behaving in ways that we often do not believe are proper…….stop worrying about what people think of you and start doing what you believe is right. Start today, start right now. Make every action count.”

That, I can agree with!

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