Thursday, 15 May 2008

HR Carnival 33

HR Carnival time already! I've only managed one post since the last one which can't be good news.

Anyway, do check out carnival 33 on Peggy Andrews' Career Encouragement blog.

It's got some good posts although I was disappointed by the first one from 8 hours & a lunch. Not that there's anything wrong or poor about the post - Deb's (sorry, deb's) always an entertaining writer and findings like those in the HCI's / Vurv's (shortly to be Taleo's) HR in the age of Talent certainly need to be discussed. But I strongly disagree with her conclusions. So here are mine.

While I'm at it, I've added some other complaints from HR Guru:

1) too many HR folks spend too much time on things that really don't impact the business / HR people do not understand the business

Yes, agreed, but let's no stop at just implementing the business plan - we need to shape that too.

2) too many HR folks can't speak the CFO's language / HR people expect others to understand “HR Speak”

Well, OK, we need to understand our businesses and be comfortable with Finance, but we need to educate the rest of the business to use the CPO's language too!

We shouldn't expect our business colleagues to understand debates around grandfathering or red circling, but they do need to understand how reward influences motivation, and 'engagement' is no more jargon than 'balance sheet'.

3) too many HR folks are all about the party planning

Sorry, I don't see them. I think this one's a myth. (But note, the early results of my Social Connecting survey suggest that physical connecting activities like parties are likely to be more effective at building social capital that virtual ones using social media tools).

4) too many HR folks are all about the politics

Nor this.

5) HR people care more about the process than the outcome

I don't think they do, in the main. But they do recognise, which a lot of their business colleagues don't, that they can't be responsible for business results. The missing link is human capital and I think if HR can take more responsibility / accountability for this, then the perspective of the business will start to change.

6) HR people prefer talk to action and are non-committal and vague

The issues we deal with are often extremely complex in which cause and effect relationships are subtle and tenuous if they exist at all. There are often no right answers. Organisations are not machines. They won't 'change' overnight but they will move as people's shared understanding shifts. And sorry, but this requires talking to each other.

7) HR is a tool of management

Actually, I agree with this. I don't think enough attention is given to Ulrich's employee champion role. It goes back to the point I made above. Yes, HR needs to help their organisations implement strategy through their people, but they also need to make the business aware of the potential of their people, and the value they can add to business results.

Harvard Business' Conversation Starter has encouraged HR to paint a new picture of itself. Well the above points and my comments to the Conversation Starter post are the outlines of my painting.

I did start off outlining some of my beliefs about HR last year (I've no idea where the time has gone!) and will return to complete these shortly.