HR- Stop justifying your position, Rather stand up

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Here is my 5 year old niece turning her face away, offended at me because she was not getting my attention. She is my sweet little naughty munchkin always wanting to play and have fun. Being an adult I get tired of playing like a kid with her and when I lose my interest she gets into action to seek my attention by outbursts and tantrums.

In some situations I felt HR pros are like kids, waving their hands to grab others attention, getting cranky but not always asking what they want. Even though we always talk about how HR as a function adds value to the business, very recently I saw an HR professional who take care of common admin responsibilities and doesn’t have a voice in making decisions on strategic issues like engagement or retention.

I love HR but I hate to see HR merely becoming a service function who doesn’t have the voice or courage to speak up to management and facilitate anything and everything and does not dare to offend them. Not just with management alone but with other business heads as well.

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HR should not always have to lean backwards and let the business functions speak or take decisions on behalf of you.

  • Stand up when it is clearly your turn to let your employees know how their performance contributed to the annual productivity of the organisation.

  • Speak up when you know you must reject a candidate who referred by a business leader. Because you found that candidate got fired for stealing company property from his previous organization.

  • Interfere when a business head lets a top performer go because his new manager doesn’t like him. Inspite of the employee being loyal to the organization for a longer period of time and a key contributor to the function.

  • Intervene when you know the long time internal politics/clash between your sales and customer care function is going to take a toll on your employees and the whole organization

  • Take charge if you were to fire a Manager when you know he does not live up to your standard and is definitely not a culture fit

HR, as is its nature, is meant to be people oriented but that doesn’t mean that you should not offend anyone. Confront your business heads and deal with tough conversations when it is your call to protect the company’s values and goals.  When it comes to taking tough decisions you have to speak up or else it can cost you huge and you will fail in your profession.

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