Monday, 15 June 2015

I've given up reading the papers ...

As Tom Robinson sang back in the dim and distant 1970’s:

I've given up reading the papers
I've given up watching TV

Right now, I’m tempted to follow his example! 

Rarely does a day go by without a depressing scare story in one of the HR journals suggesting that:

  • HR is out of touch with the commercial reality of the businesses we work in
  • HR professionals don't possess the skills and capabilities to keep up with the demands of the future workplace
  • The HR profession is increasingly populated by policy-dependent automata who take delight in saying no and preventing managers from delivering their objectives

Then, of course, there's the managers themselves:

  • When it comes to recruitment they all make hiring decisions within two minutes of meeting the candidates
  • They all avoid managing poor performance in their teams, and (conversely) fail to give recognition when team members do an outstanding job
  • They can't see the point of investing in learning and development for their subordinates

Is it actually that bad?

Here's a couple of questions: 

Do you work in a function populated by dopey, unskilled, progress-blocking and change-resistant HR people? Actually, do you even KNOW any people like that?

Or is your organisation run by rubbish managers who ride roughshod over processes, policies and people, driven by an unquestioning desire to deliver results, regardless of who gets destroyed along the way?

No, me neither!

So why is there such a focus on the negative side of HR and of the managers that the profession supports?

The simple answer is probably that bad news attracts more attention than good news: after all, who wants to read an article about how the vast majority of HR professionals are rather good at doing their job, or how managers are increasingly effective at motivating and developing their staff, and making sensible hiring decisions after a robust and comprehensive recruitment process?

But isn't it time for us to change the narrative for a while, to expose the myth that HR is the resident clueless ringmaster in the circus of misguided managers?

Let’s ignore the small minority who drag the reputation of the HR and general management profession down.

Instead, how about we declare this week to be national “Let's Celebrate the Great Work of the HR Function and the Tremendous and Hard-Working Managers we Support” Week

I’m in – who’s joining me?