Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Why "I don't like" HR !!

In the modern market, organizations with the best talent win the lead.
Finding, acquiring, and developing that talent to the most benefit of the organization is the most important tasks of the so called “HR Department” !

For me, the Human-Resources function proved itself as a necessary evil and sometimes a bureaucratic force that blindly enforces stupid rules, resists creativity, and impedes constructive change.

I see the annual performance appraisals as nothing but time-consuming and routinely useless. They are nothing but a tool to enhance the role of the HR as a henchman for the guy on the top, finding ever-more ingenious ways to cut benefits and hack at payroll.

I don't deny that, over recruitment interviews and periodical orientation meetings, HR guys are mostly smart, engaging people who seem genuinely interested in doing their jobs better. They also has an outstanding talent to speak convincingly about employee development and cultural transformation.

But it's also easy to figure out that  in the real life practice most of HR departments have ghettoized themselves literally to the brink of obsolescence. They are competent at the administrivia of pay, benefits, and retirement, while organizations  are increasingly outsourcing those functions to service providers who can handle such routine tasks at much lower cost. What’s really left for them is to facilitate budget cuts !

And here is exactly where you can find out why HR doesn’t tend to hire a lot of independent thinkers or people who stand up as moral compasses. Despite the fact that some HR guys entered the field by choice and with the best of intentions such as love working with people and being helpful. Unfortunately, HR isn’t about being a do-gooder. It’s about how do you get the best and brightest people and raise the value of the firm through exploiting them.

Knowing many of them, HR managers are typically interested in the amount of activities rather than in outcomes. Sadly, most of CEOs measure the HR guys by what they do not by what they deliver. They tend to be interested in the cost of activities rather than the real value delivered to employees and line managers, as well as the benefits that accrue to investors and customers.

The truth is, HR isn’t working for you. The annual stupid, useless and routine performance appraisal is only there to protect the organization against its own employees.
It's a piece of paper between the organization and the employees, so if there's ever a confrontation, they can go to the file and say, ‘Here, I’ve documented this problem.’ ”. A defensive stance to maintain the interests of the organization against the labor regulations. It's a tool to make it much easier to kick you out without suffering the painful reputational and regulatory consequences. The HR are now playing an important role as protector of corporate assets, making sure it doesn’t run afoul of the rules. That’s why they are now in the position of saying no a lot, of playing the bad cop. They just don't step out of that, see the broad possibilities, and take a more open-minded approach. They just refuse to understand where the exceptions to broad policies can be made for the good of all parties. Sadly, they are always using the approach of “One Size Fits All”.

In a perfect world, employers keep their best people by acknowledging and rewarding their distinctive performance, not by treating them the same as everyone else.
HR should have the same view and send the message that the organization value its high-performing employees and that it is focused on rewarding and retaining them.

Instead, HR guys just benchmark salaries, function by function and job by job, against industry standards, keeping pay, even that of the so called stars, within a narrow band determined by competitors. They bounce performance appraisals back to managers who rate their employees too highly, unwilling to acknowledge accomplishments that would merit much more than the preset organization-wide increase. In other words, HR forfeits long-term value for short-term cost efficiency.

As many professionals do, I believe that HR should be a unique function that discovers opportunities about the business through the lens of people and talent. In most companies that I have worked for, that opportunity is utterly wasted.

And that’s why I don’t like HR !

"This article does not refer to a specific organization and is based on a personal 20 years of experience of working for several employers as well as the reports and testimonies of HR Professionals and senior directors at international firms"