This morning a great discussion popped up among the social media team at SHRM, and I just had to share. This will probably be a little controversial, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing…
Can we cut to the chase? Let’s get rid of HR. Managers should be doing “HR’s job.”
Because in a surprising number of cases it’s not really HR’s job.
Want your HR team to be useful and provide real value to the organization? Let HR focus on strategic activity, supporting the critical business functions, and planning for the future.
Because when you spend all day fighting fires, responding to emergencies (real or imagined), and generally acting as a crutch for managers who won’t manage, there’s no time for the activities that will truly demonstrate the value of HR.
Should HR completely get out of the practice of being a facilitator for employees and managers? A large portion of the support that managers request from HR is actually work that could (and arguably should) be accomplished by the manager.
Anonymous HR professional: But wait, my managers need me! They need my help. They don’t have time to help employees set goals, talk with them about performance issues, or discuss succession opportunities. I’m a critical piece of the puzzle!
Yeah, those HR pros are going to be hurting, because change never happens without some growth pain. For those that want to cling to the “power” they have by being a resource for managers, they’ll never be able to grow into true strategic players in the organization.
The choice is yours, but I’d like to explore getting rid of HR as it’s all-too-commonly practiced. It’s about time.
I apologize in advance for looking like I’m worn out, the poor lighting, the shaky video, and pretty much everything else. It has been a challenge to connect to the wifi and 4g networks in the past few days!
fun/funny shirts and other great recognition items-Baudville; conversation turns, as always to how to get our managers to give who don’t like to provide feedback regularly
hireology-hiring science, testing/assessments, interview guides, more to come
achievers-katie shout out, great platform, but same question–how to get managers to use? Make it a challenge/game. Might work. Not quite convinced yet, but better answer than I could come up with.
HRCP-great PHR/SPHR study tool, but relatively unknown. They have a pass or you get a 100% money back guarantee, and they’ve had a handful of people out of thousands actually ask for it in more than a year of the guarantee being in place. Great tool for SHRM chapters looking to help set up a study group for members.
HRevolution 2013 brought to you by Sum Total Systems
So, what now?
Wondering if this event is for you? Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d be happy to give you an honest assessment. If you want to sit down, take notes, and then walk out of the event without a plan to make any changes in your organization, then it’s probably not a fit for you.
I’ve made some great friends and long-time connections at HRevolution events, and they’re unlike anything you’ve ever been to in the HR world before. Just check out the funny session we had on HR Improv last year.
A few years back, I was in a local mentoring group through my SHRM chapter. I heard a story from one of the senior level HR professionals in the room that has forever stuck in my mind.
Recently they had won an award as the “best place to work” in our area, and the others in the room were asking for the secrets to their success.
Here’s a paraphrased version of the story.
Others began talking about how their ratio wouldn’t allow for an HR person to be embedded into the work groups of 50-80 employees, and the conversation quickly began to turn into a “Well, we have 150 employees and only 1 HR person” discussion. People were actually proud of the fact that they were extremely lean in HR staff.
Now, assuming there’s work to be done, I am a big fan of avoiding that overly-lean level of staffing in the HR function. Check this:
Sometimes you have to stop and wonder where common sense has gone. Companies are expecting more from their HR team than ever before, but according to data gathered by XpertHR, companies are increasing the number of employees relative to the number of HR professionals. This leads to a number of trickle-down effects, but the major one is forcing those human resources employeesinto a more administrative function.
No, it’s just an ever-increasing spiral in an attempt to decrease costs and increase efficiency. While you’ll never meet someone who’s for increasing costs and lowering efficiency, that does come with its own baggage. Recent information from Gallup puts employee disengagementhigher than 25%. Source: HR to employee ratio
Now that I’m off my soapbox, let’s look back at the original idea. Embed HR pros in the employee work groups. Don’t centralize the HR function in a remote location and expect to get the same results in the areas of recruiting, employee relations, etc. The more time I spend getting to know our people, their work, and our customer, the better I can serve them as an HR professional, pure and simple.
So, let’s take a peek at the “groundbreaking” concepts that you can use to make your HR team great.
The big three
Let HR interact with the employees, managers, and leadership team. Yes, all of them.
Have enough bandwidth in the HR team to do more than just cover administrative functions. Unless you like being a secretary.
Be in the middle of things. There’s no substitute.
And I didn’t mention it outright before, but it needs to be said–don’t use the employee to HR ratio as a means of measuring effectiveness in your function. Some industries think 1 HR pro to 100 employees is perfect, but they also might have different challenges from following that formula with no regard for the people on the other side of the equation.
Want a breakthrough in company performance? Hire great people (HR included!) and let them work. It’s a pretty neat concept.
Every once in a while I share things here that I’ve put out to our managers. Why? Because I know that many of you struggle with getting your managers on board in some areas, too! The message below is one that I recently passed to our supervisors in order to help them understand the end of the recruiting process.
I see this as a critical juncture, because as the in-house corporate recruiter, I’ve developed a rapport with the candidate and have their trust; however, to ensure that the working relationship goes smoothly, I have to transition them into the care of their supervisor for any future needs. Here’s how I try to set the managers and employees up for success:
Next time you have a new hire coming onboard, please take the time to look at the steps that they will be going through. The HR, security, and accounting teams are working closely with the new hires to make sure they are as ready as possible for their first day of work, but you have a job to do in that regard as well.
You’ll notice that there is no specific training to help the new hire fit into your team. Oh, there is an orientation session for new hires, but that is for answering benefits questions, gathering paperwork, etc. The moment they leave the orientation session, they are starting to gather input and learn more about the company and person they will be working for.
Here are a few tips that you can use to help get the employee productive (and profitable) while making them comfortable as well:
1. Email the person a few days before their start date to see if they have any questions, concerns, or comments. Be sure to mention how excited you are about them starting with you.
2. As soon as their orientation session is over with HR, consider implementing your own short orientation session to help get the new hire engaged with regard to team dynamics, communication styles, workload, and anything else they might not think to ask about. (Check with HR if you want some help with developing a department-specific orientation session; we’re happy to help!)
3. Take time often in the first days to ask and answer as many questions as possible. The more time you invest in the person, the sooner you’ll be able to “take off the training wheels” and let them do what you hired them for!
More questions? Contact me at HR@….
This isn’t an all-inclusive list, but if I can get managers to understand, accept, and practice these three items, then it will go far in helping them to have a happy, well-adjusted staff from the earliest days of work. If you’re looking for additional ideas, check out the free New Hire Orientation eBook.
What tips and ideas do you share with your managers about onboarding, orientation, etc.?
One of my friends forwarded me this private message they received from someone on LinkedIn. This was an unannounced, out-of-the-blue message from an HR person at a company they previously worked with. Check it out:
What is your employee headcount and who is your HR leader? I used to see Pinnacle in the news quite often, but have not recently.
Um, really? You get a limited number of characters to reach out to someone, and that’s what you put into the message?
In case you didn’t know, that’s not really the appropriate way to approach someone that you don’t know well. It’s insulting and falls solidly into the “rude” category.
Thankfully the person who received the email is a good friend and laughed it off. She likes her HR leader. :-)
If you’re using LinkedIn for networking and connecting with others in your industry, please keep this in mind as a great example of how not to connect with others.
Have you seen other issues with LinkedIn etiquette? I’d love to hear some other stories…