Here is a link to an article that offers some worthwhile commentary on the status of HR: The Truth about Human Resources.
If you have a couple minutes, I think you will enjoy it. I did – and I particularly liked the following paragraph that emphasizes one of MindSet’s strongest themes for HR leaders: Take away the crushing bureaucracy and corporate indifference to employee’s needs, and they’ll turn their attention to your problems instead of their own…. When you build a Human Workplace, you don’t get sued. Everybody’s bread is buttered on the same side, from the loading dock to the executive suite.
When I think about companies that are struggling and trending toward insolvency, it is interesting to ponder what department or part of the company has the opportunity to “save” the organization? Oh sure, the CFO may be able to do some fancy financial maneuvers to delay the inevitable, or the CEO may be able to do some structural changes to fend off the end – but I believe the department most capable of playing hero is HR. They are in the key position to gather (or retain in the face of difficulties) tremendous talent, build a sense of loyalty among existing staff, and encourage an approach to supervision that engenders innovation, ownership, and hopefulness among employees.
Now you may be thinking that a CEO could certainly do all those things, and in some instances you are right. I believe it is the responsibility of a good CEO to support (actually, to insist upon!) exactly this type of orientation and focus from their HR department. The passion and drive for the creation of a culture that can attract, build, and retain phenomenal employees, and to provide them an unusually healthy work environment, should be emanating directly from the HR department. Such is the case with many of our existing MindSet clients, so as unusual as it may be, it can be done!
On the other hand, if a CEO is having to carry this ball while HR sits passively as little more than a referee…well, as pointed out in the linked article above, that constitutes a massive missed opportunity to advance growth and success. It will also, and usually sooner rather than later, become a ruinous problem for the company.
Related: Corporate Stupidity – Kim details six reasons why HR departments are able to get away with actively hurting their culture.