Is HR Dead?
I read. I read a lot. I read a lot of books, blogs, magazines, whitepapers, and articles on a variety of topics related to HR, talent management, training and development, metrics, leadership, and management (I am sure there a few more I missed). I have read a million buzz words in the past several years and hundreds of works that discuss why HR will never have a seat at the table. In fact, I have written a few of these works myself. Recently, I keep reading and hearing a phase (you know all those free webinars which are really just audio white papers that allow for a few minutes of questions at the end) over and over.
HR is Dead.
I have heard this in whitepapers, webinars and even in comments to blog posts and answers to questions located on forums (thanks to Google reader, I get all things HR). It appears that there are some college students that think the field is a poor choice for a degree. Go with the MBA, I read. Others are using the phrase to spark interest in reading their whitepaper which explains that HR is not really dead. Instead, HR as an administrative function focused on compliance, policing and controlling expenses in all the wrong ways is dead. And, recently I also keep hearing how HR is not a profit center. It’s a cost center and HR programs get cut when costs need to get cut.
Is HR Dead?
I don’t think HR is dead at all. I do however, think that HR needs a marketing campaign and those on the inside (all the HR pros out there complaining about not having a seat and being hated because we are not a profit center) need to step it up. HR is exciting and it is a great profession and a great degree choice. There are so many opportunities for HR to make strong financial impacts in organizations. There are so many ways to build programs that move the organization in a positive financial direction. Here’s a few steps you can take to get you there.
- Lose the victim mindset
- Embrace your role as a financial contributor to the organization
- Become a student of your business and your industry
- Learn financials (You can start with a class or seminar, but I would go straight to the finance guys in your organization.)
- Tie behaviors to results
- Measure the right things
- Tie the metrics to the company’s revenue (How do the results of your engagement survey tie to business results?)
- Study successes and failures in your organization. What common themes can you find within each?
- Find a network of HR folks that get it.
- Present information in the language used by operations, marketing, and/or finance
Whatever you do, get started. Long live HR
For more resources, See the Human Resources library.
Sheri Mazurek is a training and human resource professional with over 16 years of management experience, and is skilled in all areas of employee management and human resource functions, with a specialty in learning and development. She is available to help you with your Human Resources and Training needs on a contract basis. For more information send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.sherimazurek.com. Follow me on twitter @Sherimaz.