Please read the article “Why we Love to Hate HR” posted in the Course Materials folder for Week 1. What criticisms have you heard about HR? Are these fair/unfair, unfounded, etc? How can HR address these criticisms? What are HR’s strengths, and as an HR manager, how would you advocate for HR at your company? Please do not just summarize the article, but use this as a launch point for a discussion on the role of HR in today’s organizations. You are encouraged to respond and contribute to the ideas that your peers post. I have heard many criticisms of HR myself in my work at other companies. So I am challenging us all this week, and throughout the course, to consider the value we bring to the company as HR professionals. Happy writing! Have at least 3 replies completed(I will upload later). Replies should be substantive (thoughtful), should further or contribute to the discussion, and should be made throughout the week. You can reference the discussion board grading rubric here.
The article link
Week 1 Discussion
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I think HR professionals have many responsibilities and face challenging tasks. They are expected to manage internal communications, strategic planning, recruit and screen candidates, and manage employee conflicts, just to name a few. They need to have a firm understanding of each department’s functions in order to help the business achieve its goals. HR reps need to stay current on technological advances that are being utilized in their company’s departments. Essentially, HR professionals need to be quick to adapt and take direction from the top levels at every turn.
Despite the hard work that HR teams have to accomplish, I feel that sometimes their efforts are under-appreciated. Because HR does not seem to directly affect company sales, manufacturing, etc., I think it’s unfairly viewed as a lesser department whose functions aren’t as important. Many times throughout different companies my offices have had to attend mandatory yearly training sessions held by the company HR reps. I’ve seen coworkers perceive these as a “waste of time” without acknowledging the time and effort that was put into the PowerPoint presentation and they undervalue the importance of the information being shared. I have seen other HR initiatives like wellness programs or health challenges not be utilized by coworkers who did not feel like they had time or energy for extra activities, even though the programs were designed to improve their overall well-being and reduce stress.
On the tv show The Office, branch manager Michael Scott is always criticizing the office HR representative, Toby, and never hides his anger and frustration at HR. He explains to Toby: “My job is to make the office fun. Your job is to make the office lame, and we have an eternal struggle, you and I…”. I think this is a funny, but unfair attitude towards HR.
Overall, HR plays an important part of every company’s success, but it faces unfair criticism and unenthusiasm from employees who don’t always see the bigger picture of what HR does behind the scenes to help the organization function.
Week 1 Discussion
I believe HR to some companies is like the police to some communities, they want them when they are in danger or in trouble but bash them when everything is going fine. They see them as a nuisance.
One of the most common criticisms I have heard about HR is them creating superfluous obstacles in helping them run the business. To avoid litigations, HR must follow guidelines and procedures set forth by the EEOC. Apparently, a lot of the hiring managers wanted to cut corners to save time by hiring their friends or someone they knew in their gut would be a good fit for their positions. I had to explain to them the recruitment process and how I could not simply hire one of their friends especially if they were reporting directly to them. When I would ask them if their “referrals” met the qualifications per the job description, they would get really upset with me for following procedures.
I believe the criticisms are unfair because what we do is keep the business from going under from unfair labor practices followed by litigations. We help keep employee morale and engagement high by being consistent and fair.
As an HR Manager, I would be proactive and not reactive to employee and HR concerns. I would work directly with senior management to ensure HR goals and objectives are aligned with the business strategy. I would base HR decisions off empirical evidence to help drive the business strategy so the company can achieve its goals. I would recommend HR partnering with supervisors and managers to gain a better understanding of what the employees are dealing with in their everyday jobs and how HR can potentially improve it, within reason. I believe this would enhance the company culture which could assist in attracting and retaining great employees. I also believe HR should sit on the Board, so HR can have a voice. Not only would this give them a voice, but also fiduciary responsibility.
Week 1 – DB
The most common criticism that I receive or have been called while working in HR is; “You’re a glorified babysitter” or “You’re just a paper pusher”. I also laugh because technically these comments are not incorrect but it’s also shameful on the employees to know that they have to have a babysitter because they cannot follow the guidelines or requirements set for their position. As for the paper pusher comment, well, someone has to hunt down management for approval and HR is not the only field where signatures from upper management are required.
I personally love to defend my career in Human Resources. I’m a firm believer that your employees matter and can make processes efficient and improved if you give them a chance. As mentioned in the article employee attitudes and success have an impact on profits. I find the happiness and success of employees to derive from HR, as we have a voice to improve the environment and in some cases implement employee programs to improve culture and benefits. As an HR Manager, I would advocate being proactive by working closely in alignment with the CEO and any initial projects the company plans to initiate. Pulling analytical data such as retention, health care uses, performance issues and compensation analysis can help the C-Suite positions make decisions off of the data that you created and pulled. It gives HR a one up in the situation if we know how our operations are running. I also believe that HR deserves a seat in the C-Suite. By working closely with leadership we are aware of the target goals that need to be achieved by each department. This knowledge could better assist us with performance, recruiting, and even policy implementation.
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