Personnel Today‘s exclusive research into what the business really thinks of HR is going to make for some uncomfortable reading. After all, no-one likes to be told about their faults.
But what we wanted to gain from our 360-Degree Appraisal of HR survey was an insight into how HR is perceived. We wanted to identify where the gaps in perception are, and offer some creative ways of plugging them.
In a nutshell, what the survey reveals is that the business does not rate HR as highly as HR rates itself. That may be down to performance issues. But, more likely, it is down to an image problem.
At their worst, HR professionals are perceived to be risk-averse ‘blockers’ who wrap themselves up in red tape and talk in jargon. At their best, the business appreciates the proactive HR ‘enablers’ who get them out of a tight spot, who get involved right from the start, and who understand operational priorities.
Line managers want HR to be visible and accessible rather than distant and secretive. They don’t want you to quote the book at them they want a sounding board that offers real-time, pragmatic advice. Above all, they want HR to know the business inside out, and they want help in improving performance and achieving strategic objectives.
Most HR departments are probably so busy doing this already that they have little time to promote the fact. But if you want to bridge that perception gap, then perhaps it’s time to consider doing some more PR and more shouting about your successes.
The research suggests that HR departments aren’t great at selling themselves, which is why we’ve aimed to provide some tips and advice in this issue as to how you can do just that.
While it is right and proper that HR should be there to support the business from the wings, when the HR profession does make a big difference to the organisation’s performance, it deserves its own moment centre stage where it can trumpet its own achievements.