Proactive approach to HR is good for business

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. I have been speaking with two friends about HR over the past couple of weeks– a senior profit-and-loss manager with a large, US-based, brand name inconsumer and business goods; and a key functional leader in North America for a European household brand name. Both of these guys frequently call me to ask HR questions – not about taxlaws in Belgiumor about retirement schemes in Singapore,but about broader HR issues in their areas. Then it occurred to me that both of their employers enjoy solid reputationsas having good HR departments and policies. So why were they calling me todiscuss their HR issues? I posed this back to them, and was disturbed with the similarity of theanswers. They each have designated local HR ‘go-to’ people, and HR functions at acorporate headquarters. But they only hear from HR when it wants to give them anew policy or procedure. Their HR ‘go-to’ people only transmit. When my friends do ring their local HR with a query, they can’t get ananswer that doesn’t include fitting them into a policy document. Local HRdoesn’t seem to be able to conjure up solution. When they call corporate, they are immediately referred either to a specificpolicy document, or back to the HR person who couldn’t respond in the firstinstance. Neither do they hear from their HR people on a proactive basis. They neverget a ‘how are things going?’ call, or one that asks ‘what’s new in thebusiness?‘. They can forgetthe call that might say ‘I saw the second quarter figures, and I think HR canhelp with x’. HR is part of their problem, not part of their solutions. There’s a crime being committed here, and as a profession we must hunt downthe criminals and stop them. We have an obligation to our businesses to not only engage our line managerson an exceptional basis, but rather in a continual dialogue about the thingsthat HR can do to support the business. There is a requirement that HR must become more focused on the enterpriseand it’s myriad nuances,rather than on HR itself. Simple expertise in HR is required, but no longersufficient. Our line managers rarely need ‘in-the-box’ solutions. If we’ve done theright things in development, they should be able to solve most issuesthemselves. It’s the unusual issues that allow HR to show its abilities. Are you showingyours? Do your line managers call you with their issues, or are they callingstrangers? If so, why? HRmanagement is about relationships.Lance Richards, GPHR, Senior directorof international HR for Kelly Services and adviser to SHRM Proactive approach to HR is good for businessOn 10 Aug 2004 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img