Touchy-feely HR is now a thing of the past

How many of you work in HR because you want to help people? Hands up.

And how many of you think that ‘business’ has nothing to do with HR, that it’s something other functions in the company take care of?

If you found yourself reaching for the heavens, then it’s time for a rethink as many of the leading thinkers and practitioners in HR are arguing that the model of HR as ’employee champion’ is on its way out.

That’s not to say that employees won’t benefit from the progressive measures you introduce. It’s more than likely they will. It’s just that being the employee champion is no longer an end in itself. The real purpose of HR is to help an organisation achieve its goals. Until HR in the UK realises this, it will continue to lag behind its European colleagues in the amount of strategic influence it exerts, and will forever struggle for a seat on the board.

Check out the comments in this week’s letters from a strategic HR adviser who says that the employee advocate role is such an outdated notion that it is ‘damaging to HRÕs collective professional credibility’.

Yet the move to create a generic set of employee measures is a chance for HR to repair that damage and gain more influence and credibility in an organisation.

The Accounting for People Taskforce concluded that it wasn’t possible to devise generic measurements for human capital. But a new working group aims to prove that it can be done and give HR professionals the opportunity to attract the attention of leaders in their organisation in ways that have never been possible before.

It’s not good enough to say that the value of your people can’t be measured. If HR wants to be taken more seriously, it has to move beyond the ‘helping people’ role and put some metrics where its mouth is.

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