05 September 2008

Give Them What They Want!

I'm in a great mood today (see previous post), but I really need to get this off my chest:

HR people need to stop whining all the time.

Instead, we need to start listening to our customers and provide them with what they really need.

Free bonus tip:
They might want something different from what we think they need.

Shocking hypothesis:
They might even be right!

Rick at Flip Chart Fairy Tales discussed a McKinsey article mentioning that
  • HR professionals see themselves in a far better light than Line Managers see them
  • HR thinks they should be the judge of how effective they are
  • And we're still looking for reasons why we should have a seat at the table
Mark at Human Capital 3 wrote a very inspiring post explaining why he can't stand mediocrity and encouraging HR professionals to strive for more.

Yes, I want my seat at the table someday. But I'm not ready yet and still have a long way of hard lessons and painful mistakes in front of me.

I also want to start seeing my HR job more like a business. How can I expect line managers to play along with all the cool HR stuff like employee development programs if they still struggle with basic processes? Why should they see me as a valuable strategic partner if I don't deliver them solid support with basic things?
Wait, we're in HR. We read all the good books and know what the company needs. We're just misunderstood and under appreciated. Nobody understands us. The other kids are so mean.
Or could it be that I have to prove myself first? Do I understand my line managers' business and know what they're struggling with day after day? Did I seriously think about how I could make their lives easier?

Would the line managers agree to pay me if I was an outside consultant?

My recent post Employees Are A Necessary Evil is probably a sign that I'm losing patience lately. And I know that I have a tendency to make snarly comments, but I really like this quote from the TV show Burn Notice. It's about spies, but I decided to apply it to us HR folks.
You know HR professionals... bunch of bitchy little girls.


HR Minion said...

There is much we can learn from Bruce Campbell. Like how to be so effing awesome!

Happy Employee said...

Wait a second: I pour my heart out and risk getting marked as public HR enemy #1 ...and all you can think of is how awesome Campbell is?

You're breaking my heart ;-)

The Team*** said...

I jumped to doing all the things in HR most just dream about when I figured out "its not all about me"...I am with you on this one, less cheese, more meat!!!
HR folks need to be more critical of themselves if they want to get the brass ring!!!

HR Minion said...

(pats Happy Employee on the head)

I'm sorry I was distracted from the message by his coolness. :)

Happy Employee said...

This is great career advice and I had to mention it in today's post.

Thank you!