Human Resources: Two Simple Words Creating Great Confusion
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Human Resources: Two Simple Words Creating Great Confusion

  Oct 18 2015

# Human Resources and Training


Two: In Numerology number 2 means modesty. While everybody stands in admiration of the control and decisions of number 1, it is number 2, the HR leader, who is the real power behind the throne. He is a consultant, an advisor and a partner, and number 1 relies on his clever and insightful advice. In addition, we know that it takes ‘two’ to tango, and Human Resources cannot justify its existence without ‘humans’. However, this relationship has never been ‘love at first sight’. It is a relationship built through a long path of commitment, careful handling, actions and deliverables.

Simple: The business environment is becoming more complex and demanding forcing broad organizational changes on a regular basis. Many handle these changes using the same old weapons: they create sophisticated workflows, new positions and complicated procedures. However, the easiest solutions require us to simply chop the complication into its essential elements and manage the more wieldy resulting pieces

Words: HR people, sadly, are widely reputed for their ineffectiveness and arrogance. I believe this reputation to be somewhat justified: Too often, HR still uses old-fashion avoidance or reactive strategies while it should adopt a more proactive and open communication approach choosing the right delivery channels. By focusing on the most appropriate approach and using positive words the message will be clearly understood and accepted producing desirable results. Words can be powerful weapons if we use the ‘T3’ ammunitions (trust, transparency and tangibles).

Creating: Historically, HR was conceived as a support and service department. All the dirty work of communicating and enforcing staff reductions, loading additional responsibilities on overworked employees and imposing regulations were dumped on its shoulders. As a consequence HR was accused of being heartless, non-creative, overstaffed and sluggish. HR has to change this image; it has to lead the way in encouraging creativity and innovation among its staff. After all, aren’t they required to create a positive and inspiring work environment?

Great: HR leaders have the opportunity to go beyond “Good”; they are invited to become “Great” and to acquire the following qualities:

  • Honesty and modesty
  • The ability to engage employees
  • Business knowledge and insight
  • The skill to balance between people and organizational needs

Confusion: Have you noticed that many employees are confused about the role of HR? HR is always assaulted by hundreds of reasonable and, often, unreasonable requests. Managers rely on HR to find, secure, accommodate, train and develop talents. They accuse HR of stubbornness and of dragging its feet. While employees think that the final decision on these requests lies with HR, the reality is different. In most cases HR is thrown in the middle of the battle without weapons. As a result many are disappointed with their HR. This confusing situation needs 3 rules to be avoided:

  • Department managers must take on some HR related roles
  • Top management must empower HR
  • HR must demonstrate exceptional leadership

When line and department managers embrace their HR responsibilities, when top management trusts and empowers HR and when HR harnesses the basic principles of leadership, confusion will be dispelled, and those two simple words (Human Resources) will start creating great value.

Written By: Charles J. Tawk, Management Consultant