“What do you think of HR?”
1. A babble of excitement and positivity (usually from HR professionals)
2. Groans of disgust accompanied with scowls
3. A blank stare of confusion
Why is there such a wide range of emotions when it comes to HR? If you ask about finance or R&D or IT, the responses aren’t nearly as varied.
HR encapsulates so many different sub functions such as payroll, policies, employee training, hiring, etc. that it can be a little confusing as to what the main, overarching function of HR is supposed to be.
When it comes down to it, HR is planned and strategic effort to improve productivity and profitability through employee management; utilizing people to drive the business in an effective and efficient way.
Unfortunately there are a lot of thought incongruencies on HR and this can be attributed to two things:
1. Different direct/indirect experiences with HR
Everyone’s experience with HR is varied and employees can have both good and bad experiences that influence their thoughts. For example, the guy who just got laid off by HR will have a different feeling than the guy who just received the biggest bonus of his life.
In other instances, people are influenced by their family , friends, and the media. The media especially has a habit of portraying HR as the butt of jokes. With all these different sources of influence, it’s easy for people to focus on a specific positive or negative experience and develop an opinion solely on that.
2. Each Business/Organisation is different
With all the different businesses out there offering different products and services, each needs an HR function that works best them; there isn’t one universal system to fit all HR departments.
But because of these differences, each HR function utilizes different strategies to drive business and some strategies are simply better than others. In addition, HR prioritises its sub-functions differently and each business puts a different level of stock in HR.
So what can we do with this information?
Honestly, not much. As individuals, it’s difficult to change opinions already set in the mind. What we can do is promote positive and ethical practices in HR through sharing strategies that work and being good role models for developing HR professionals.
Keeping the excitement and positivity alive while keeping your eyes on the prize of the solid end goal will keep us on the right track towards unifying HR and what it means.
DO YOU AGREE?
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