Sunday, April 23, 2006

HR In The Eyes Of Her Stakeholder

These are the general role of HR professionals, also known as the HR Quadrant

1. Strategic Partner

2. Change Agent

3. Administrative Expert

4. Employee Champion

Item 1 & 2 deals with strategies and 3 & 4 with day to day activities, while 1 & 3 deals with systems and 2 & 4 with people.

But are these aligned with the stakeholders’ expectations-- Capitalists, Senior Management and Employees in general?

1. Does HR have a seat in the table "being a strategic partner" or is this wishful thinking?

2. Does HR champion the cause of employees?

3. Who is the "stronger" force in effecting organizational change, HR or?

Through the years, HR role evolved from reactive to proactive to meet the modern demands of running a business. But basic perception may not be on the side of HR because she is perceived as the "police" of the organization, procedure freak, compliance and protocol driven. As a result, HR mindset is different from her stakeholders.

1. HR said, she is a strategic partner but organizations are outsourcing most of her functions like recruitment, timekeeping, compensation and payroll, medical services, and training, to third party service providers. The only HR silos that is unlikely to be outsourced is labor and employee relations, at least in the Philippines.

2. HR said she is an employee champion, but most of the time, HR finds herself in a sticky situation protecting management interests.

3. Stakeholders and HR are in agreement, though, on HR Role as “administrative expert".

4. Aspiring to be a "change agent" is noble. But stakeholders and HR differ in its scope. To HR, changing the mindset of top management is part of her objective. Employees, on the other hand, expect HR to take the cudgels for them (lest they may opt to "self organize"). But investors look at this role as keeping the employees happy, grateful and aligned with the corporate mission and vision, in-spite and despite of the terms of employment.

But the Role of HR is influenced by two forces-- the values of the HR practitioner and investors expectations.

HR can be the heart and brain of the company having employees "board the right bus and sit on the right seat" ensuring equitable work and growth of the organization and the employee.

Or HR can be a villain, being in the forefront of corporate slavery.

HR can be a "tool" of investors at his disposal or the "heart and conscience" of the organization

Ask the investors and still some believe HR role is limited to administration. Happy are those who already have a seat in the table.

Ask the front end and back end units how they perceive the value of HR. Chances are, HR and her guidelines may be perceived as outdated if not backwards.

Ask employees if HR is championing the cause of her employees, specially the "organized" companies.

With all the conflicting expectations, is HR profession a no thanks job?

Copyright © cross+roads, 2006 All rights reserved.

Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, or by any means (electronic mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of the copyright holder and author of this article.


At 9:38 PM, May 26, 2006, Anonymous somas said...

be alert . be smart. be expert in whatever you are doing. change is in evitable. be part ofv this exciting journey. i liked your commnts and article.


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