Saturday, July 26, 2014

You actually do not need a real HR: Facade works, use them

HR does orientation and training and they help new folks learn how to get to speed and performance in any organisation.  They help people know what makes them successful and how they can expedite their learning and contribute at their peak performance. HR folks help people feel great about the workplace by creating a lively and welcoming environment that promotes learning, excellence and culture of reward.
All that looks like the management book dream expectations from HR and we find  them not playing such roles in words, spirit and passion. Why? Because they most of the times struggle to make sense to people as people know what is there in the policy books and all such information which HR used to master as they were written and interpreted out of secret HR books and vaguely written HR policy books. Now all this information is available and people manage all their needs on HR side easily. Now HR feels like, what to do, as people hardly need anything from these super specialty people. Of course employees approach HR when they find their employment data wrongly presented on HR systems, appointment letter has mistakes, bills are not reimbursed in time and correctly and accounts guys tell that , they do not have information from HR on such payments. I got 2 and half month's salary on my first month's salary at an MNC which hires people from top B and T schools only. Same is not true for people in HR. My joining date of 5 Jul was interpreted as 7 May.

I have heard from many employees that their appraisal letters, bonus letters, had several mistakes , several times. This may be individual characteristic but overall HR being considered a parking place, is such an ugly joke to people they serve, such a regressive thought! 
Richard Rekhey, CEO, KPMG India rightly positioned his most successful Partner from business role to head HR function. This truly defines that if HR has to take directions, vision and everyday instructions on people matters, from their masters in business, then why not people in business run HR themselves as they may not like to lose transmission loss or divergence from their vision of HR, which is mostly derived from the business, right? If business people define business success and strategy, they can manage HR better than anyone else. If only an HR degree is a reason to position someone in HR roles, which is related to living things (humans), who have brains, emotions, aspirations, and can be unpredictable too, needs someone very intuitive and refined and evolved. Time to re-think on HR as Ram Charan wrote in HBR in Jul-Aug, HR shall split into HR-A and HR-LO . A for Admin and LO for Leadership Organisation. Welcome move. 

I think much of HR's plight is due to its image as being Management's agent. Since HR gets most of directions from business and many employees who maintain relations with management directly, actually find all decisions are driven by business and so HR is just a tool! Puppet, right?
Time to change from tool to solution to business enabler, an SME who can bring business insights from people (resources, talent, leadership, risks, Capability, Aspirations, etc) into business planning and strategy. How many HRBPs to HR VPs ever do it? How many of them have even gone above the Admin of HR? This HR does not do as this is very high capability/risk area for HR to enter unless HR leader has free hand and CEO is a powerful leader. Most of the times HR's interventions in matters like,  Resources, Talent, Leadership, Risks, Capability, Aspirations, etc, make HR sound like trade union leader, anti-management or anti-some business leaders, tech heads, who in turn wage a war against HR guy and finally that HR leader is pushed outside the discussion room and at times fired! 
Why should an HR guy take HR leads that are written in the dream books of HR? Why would HR person take such risks and destabilize her life, EMIs and then go job hunting? 
Remember, big shifts, turnarounds happen only in 1% places, other places HR programs are emotionless copy-paste boring facade! Blame business not HR!  

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