At some pivotal points of our working life, we must have had cause to interact with one HR department or the other. While some would speak well of their interactions with HR, the same cannot be said of a whole lot of people. I might not be able to back up my claim with any statistics but because I work in HR, I can give an informed opinion of how we are perceived by our non-HR colleagues.
There is this ‘myth’ about the HR office in an organisation. People try as best as they can not to visit the HR office and when they have to, it is with trepidation and awe. This is not limited to the employee with the highest record of absenteeism record as highly productive Staff are also not left out. I might never be able to give genuine reasons as being responsible but I will simply call it the ‘HR Myth’.
At a time when businesses are putting employees at the forefront, no HR department will want to be described as egocentric. The main thrust of HR is to align its people-oriented functions with business objectives. It is interested at doing everything in its might to help employees in delivering their job functions. It then does not add up when people paint HR with an ego problem.
I am not oblivious to the fact that some HR pros see themselves as demi-gods. They have a snubbish demeanour because they are in HR. If you are in HR and you fall into this category, you are doing a disservice to our profession. Let me put it quite frankly, you are not needed in HR because you are a direct opposite what the profession stands for.
HR is and should always be people-centred. Some of us are quick at enforcing those punitive areas of Employees Handbook and slow at implementing sundry benefits and allowances beneficial to employees. If you are still the HR pro who only writes policies on disciplinary issues, it would be pertinent to inform you that HR has shifted from that function to a more strategic role.
To a lot of HR pros who have embraced the strategic function, well done! You guys are doing a wonderful job by making your presence felt across various industries. That HR is not listening, it is all myth. We are as approachable as ever. Walk up to your HR department and discuss any challenge you are having. Break that ‘Myth’ today!
Bashir Baba can be reached on Twitter @ El_De_Bash