My job is not to get out of your way

Let me start by saying that I love working in HR. It’s a fun and interesting profession. Why do I need to put that out there right from the start? Well, this post may get a little ranty and I don’t want anyone to be confused as to why I would work in a field that can inspire such emotion. It’s just me, I emote well. But then again, if you’ve read my blog before, my love of HR and a good rant should not come as surprise. Now, moving on…

How do you think managers view HR? How do you think executives do? Considering that HR more often than not feels like the red headed step child of the organization it’s fair to say that perceptions aren’t typically positive. And that’s fine, I get it. HR could do a better job, not only as a part of an organization but it could also do a better job managing it’s image. It’ll never be perfect given the nature of what HR does (no one can make layoffs look good, not even George Clooney), but we could do better. But more than that, I think HR could do a better job pushing back and making it clear what role we actually play in an organization. And that role is not to get out of your way.

HR does not exist solely as a sounding board for your problems. We do not exist just to fire the people you don’t like or have the conversations you don’t want to have. We are not here just to plan your parties and supply the birthday cake. Our function is not to agree with you whenever you want something and shut up when you are about to shoot yourself in the foot. We are not glorified admins and we are not babysitters. If that is how you view HR because that is the kind of HR department you have, well guess what: You brought it upon yourself. That’s right, YOU. Do you have a weak willed HR team that can’t seem to do more than push paper around and issue punitive corporate policies? That’s because deep down you feel HR’s role is unimportant and all you want them to do is get out of the businesses way. If you actually felt that HR was a valuable part of your organization you would have completely overhauled your HR department by now. Not too mention that the HR professionals who could really help affect change and make a difference would never even consider working for a company that didn’t value their skills and ideas. So the next time you get in a huff about how much you hate your HR department, think about how you are enabling your own frustrations.

So with that being said, why don’t you do me a little favor and move over a bit. You are getting in my way and I have a job to do.

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