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Business Resources

Cheering for HR. Someone has to do it.

Geez. I like to spend about 15 minutes daily on LinkedIn checking out latest trends in banking, HR, & leadership. This morning I felt bombarded with some HR posts lambasting our profession and suggesting that HR itself should "get the boot." Come on now, folks.

Let's get real. Who is sitting at your HR helm? If your company placed a former Administrative Assistant. or Operations person in the HR seat, then it's time to look in the mirror. If you placed that person there and never developed them to understand the Human Resources function beyond getting payroll done on time and accurately, then you've got what you got. Help them exit gracefully. (Likely you will need an experienced HR professional to help you with that "gracefully" part.)

"Companies must fight to win talent for the HR team that is tech-savvy, data-oriented, creative, and able to produce results, get things done, and shake up (or wake up) the company culture."

If your company places valuation on the HR team as that of rule-makers, and rule-followers, and administrative paper-pushers, then likely that is what you have. So live with it, or do as your posts suggest, change the face of your HR team.

If your company won't commit resources to having HR technology in place, then expect the HR team to spend an inordinate amount of time building spreadsheets, updating them, and hand-counting those paper applications in the file cabinet.

HR can be forward-thinking. HR can understand data, and with systems in place, can provide data. Even data that might make the most assertive CEO a little squeamish with turnover numbers; add-to-staff numbers, and the trend analysis of annual health insurance costs. Those are HR professionals that I cheer for. And those are HR professionals that we employ.

"If your company places valuation on the HR team as that of rule-makers, and rule-followers, and administrative paper-pushers, then likely that is what you have. "

HR can provide coaching opportunities for line managers to improve their people management. Why? Reduce turnover. Retain key performers. Build successors. Retain corporate intelligence. HR, when 'allowed' to partner with the C-suite, can help to develop an innovative staffing plan; find key talent through passive recruitment, and partner with income-producing departments to build a talent pipeline that will ultimately reduce expense, recruiting time, and grow the culture.

HR pros aren't just company cheerleaders. They must be innovative, yearning for learning, and assertive in sharing their perspective. They must be leaders. Companies must fight to win talent for the HR team that is tech-savvy, data-oriented, creative, and able to produce results, get things done, and shake up (or wake up) the company culture.

One can whine about HR being so black-and-white that they want to create a rule or policy. For everything. Including whining. Perhaps it's time to (re)consider what your company needs in an HR function. Then find it.

And then you may place the "ashes of problem employees" and "ashes of problem bosses" alongside your fun work photos and your HR-bashing blogs. HR professionals should be a combination of passion, intelligence, creativity, knowledge, assertiveness, and take-no-crap decision-makers. Take a look in the mirror, company leaders - if you are bashing your HR team, did you put them in that role? Help forward the HR profession - there are those who do make a difference to organizations.

 

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