Sunday, June 11, 2006

Why I Don't Like HR?

I found an interesting article by Keith H. Hammonds of Here are some of the excerpts:

…“Why are annual performance appraisals so time-consuming -- yet so routinely useless? Why is HR so often a henchman for the chief financial officer, finding ever-more ingenious ways to cut benefits and hack at payroll? Why do its communications -- when we can understand them at all -- so often flout reality? Why are so many people processes duplicative and wasteful, creating a forest of paperwork for every minor transaction? And why does HR insist on sameness as a proxy for equity? …”

His reasons:

1 HR is second rated job for underachievers. “HR people aren't the sharpest tacks in the box…. Some are exiles from the corporate mainstream: HR represents a relatively low-risk parking spot.”

For example, how many decent HR practitioners in the world are able to
answer the following questions?

  1. Who is our Company's core customer? “Have you talked to one lately? Do you know what challenges they face?"
  2. Who are our competitors? "What do they do well and not well?"
  3. Who are we? "What is a realistic assessment of what we do well and not so well vis-à-vis the customer and the competition?"
2 HR pursues efficiency in lieu of value. HR provides the number of people it hired, the percentage of performance evaluations completed, and the extent to which employees are satisfied or not with their benefits. But only rarely does it link any of those metrics to business performance.

How many HR regularly asks its employees question such as "Do they understand the company's strategy?" "Do they see the connection between that and their jobs?" "Are they proud to tell people where they work?" …

Then, HR will correlate the results to a survey of 2,000 customers, as well as monthly sales data and brand-awareness scores.

3 Typically, HR people pursue standardization and uniformity in the face of a workforce that is heterogeneous and complex. My previous Company called it – ‘consistency’. “Bureaucrats everywhere abhor exceptions -- not just because they open up the Company to charges of bias but because they require more than rote solutions. They're time-consuming and expensive to manage. Make one exception, HR fears, and the floodgates will open.”

4 HR waits to hear from top management. HR is clueless as far as the business issues are. HR afraid to step up and assume responsibility, rather they wait for ‘higher order’ to knock on the door. Then, HR reacts.

And that's why he doesn’t like HR...


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