Numbers don’t add up when you are dealing with people

The opinion piece you featured by Nicholas Higgins would have been better placed in your Rant section (Personnel Today, 22 May). I am sick to death of reading the conjecture about whether or not HR is a real function/profession/value-adder.

Some of us HR professionals (20 years’ experience, CIPD, MA in HR management – I think that just about qualifies me to include myself in that group) are busy just getting on with our jobs. That includes the strategic bits, the messy hands-on bits and everything else in between.

Most of us do not have to spend hours navel-gazing on whether we are adding value neither do we have to waste hours attempting to fit what we do into a numbers-based metrics system of self-justification. We just get on with doing a damn good job in an increasingly litigious environment, mostly dealing with issues that the bean-counters of this world wouldn’t touch with a barge pole.

Dealing with ‘people issues’ has never easily leant itself to creating numbers that justify our existence, aside from the obvious labour turnover and absence percentage data, etc. I am thankful that my managing director just allows me to get on with my job without me having to produce an utterly pointless string of data every five minutes.

Higgins needs to wake up and realise that there is nothing scientific about dealing with people. Each employee brings with them their own unique individuality. Our job is to support the organisation in getting the best possible ‘output’ from each and every one of them, whether that takes five minutes or five hours.

So please, put your charts away, stop bothering us with minutiae, and leave us in peace to get on with our jobs.

R Gilmour, HR manager

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