Cynicism & Human Resources


I just read Frank Roche’s blog post called 65 Things I Believe About HR. I’m a day late and a dollar short in linking to this brilliant article, but there are so many hidden gems. Here’s one nugget that stands out in my mind.

I believe cynical HR people should get out of HR.

Frank is absolutely right, which is why I will continue to write my blog.  I will only accept another job in Human Resources when I have an opportunity to contribute to the profession in a helpful way. Right now, I’m still sorting through whether or not I believe Human Resources can be saved. I’ve written manifestos and talked to the best and brightest leaders out there, and I’m still not convinced that Human Resources — as a function — is anything more than a hodgepodge of administrative, operational, and commoditized activities.

  • We aren’t employee advocates.
  • We are not influencing policy leaders or creating policy at any level where it matters.
  • We rarely generate a profit for our organization, and when we do, we want a certificate of achievement.

I still believe HR faces an identity crisis. Employers need to muddle through the day-to-day operation of managing people; leaders & managers need to acquire, develop, and retain employees through competitive compensation packages; and companies need to develop brands that are flexible enough to attract customers, investors, and employees — and that includes traditional employees, consultants, temps, leased workers, and every other mix in the marketplace.

Does this sound like something one department can do? What do you think?

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