Does HR Have a Culture (People) Problem or a Branding Problem?
by Lynna Peterson
Today, I’m beginning a new series that will hopefully push the boundaries of how you perceive yourself as an HR Professional. What I’m going to be asking of you in the upcoming weeks is actually really simple: I want you to be completely honest with yourself about the role you play and your worth as an employee. What do you have to offer? What skills do you possess that makes you good at hiring/managing people? Does your value extend beyond the bare minimum HR duties you perform on a day-to-day basis?
How do you perceive yourself as an HR professional?
These questions may seem a bit intrusive – especially since I’m an outsider looking in, but they’re really the basis of what we’re going to be exploring for the next few weeks. Hopefully, by the time we finish this series, you’ll have a better understanding of yourself – both on a professional and personal level.
A couple weeks ago, I attended a SHRM event where the topic of focus was whether HR really has a people problem or if the misconception surrounding HR, stems from how HR markets themselves. So, what we’re really weighing here is whether we have an HR culture disconnect or an HR Branding issue. Not surprisingly, the SHRM leaders chalked up the opinion that HR is run by a bunch of “old ladies with gray hair” to HR’s failure in promoting an image that is more strategically focused.
And while I think that this notion is true for some HR folks (especially those that work for larger corporations), I don’t personally believe that this is the case for all HR Professionals. That being said, I think this is largely due in part to the evolving role of HR over the years.
The duties and responsibilities that affected HR tens of years ago shares few parallels with the HR of today”
Think about it; the duties and responsibilities that affected HR tens of years ago shares few parallels with the HR of today. One of the primary examples of this is compliance. Think about how much compliance has changed over the years and has also shaped your role. You have a tremendous responsibility as HR affiliates to grow and change at the same rate as the rest of the world and lack of willingness to do so could render your position obsolete. Trust me; I get it. It’s no easy feat.
So what I’d like to do is take you on a journey for the next month or so that will involve some pretty heavy self-examination. I’d like to share with you my take on all of this both as a business owner who works with hundreds of HR folks every month, and also as a mentor who presents a handful of strategic webinars/seminars to SHRM members. I’d really like to hone in on not only what it means to be strategic, but also how to execute a strategy that will transform HR’s role from one of compliance to one of organizational vision.
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