Wednesday, 3 June 2009

HR’s spineless response


   I still feel a little uncomfortable about my last post – suggesting that some of my readers and potential clients may be overpaid probably isn’t the smartest business move I’ve ever made.

Still, we can at least take comfort from Human Resources’ report that HR salaries see double digit rises (even if this needs to balanced against People Management’s opposite findings that a quarter of HR and recruitment specialists have had their pay cut).

Also, I believe there is a growing need for all people in business, and particularly in HR, to be more authentic, and I’m trying to role model this approach myself.

After all, the dangers of inauthenticity are increasingly clear.  One is the sort of collusion between politicians, regulators, mortgage lenders, estate agents etc that has led to the financial crisis.  But HR has also been culpable for much of this muck.  As a really interesting report from Duncan Brown, now at the IES, notes:

“Commentators seem to all agree with the
Financial Services Authority chief executive Hector Sants
who wrote in an inquisitorial letter to his banking peers
last October, that ‘there is widespread concern that
inappropriate remuneration schemes have contributed to
the current market crisis’. One recent survey of the HR
executives involved in designing and administering
some of those schemes presents a somewhat spineless
response, along the lines of, ‘we knew there were
problems with the designs, but were afraid to act first in
case we lost our best people to competitors’.”


Spineless indeed.  But then I’ve been participating in this collusion too.  An example is my concerns about remarks made at a CIPD conference in 2007.  Although I thought the approach one of the presenters was describing was a disgrace, as I was sitting in a room of potential clients, I didn’t challenge the speaker at the time – or even in my blog till much later on.

I regret now that I didn’t challenge this more – and I can only hope that readers value my recommitment to authenticity and robustness (you may even want to try doing it yourself? – in your business – and in your comments on this post – authentic and robust comments are always welcome here!).


Photo credit: FIR0002


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