LEADERSHIP & THE NEW WORLD OF WORK
This is not HR bashing. I love HR. Not in a creepy way. That would get me hauled into HR.
The term HR is increasingly being transplanted with the term ‘People’. CHROs are being replaced with CPOs. Our organisations believe we need someone to tell us how to deal with ‘people’. Why not? We need a CTO to guide our use of technology. But a CTO isn’t going to tell you how to use your iPhone, and your HR function shouldn’t be telling you the basics of treating another humans as, well, humans. Because, as we are regularly told by various thought leaders, business IS people.
As someone who works in HR, I 100% believe that people are what makes a business. But I have routinely witnessed business (in the news and in person) who don’t put people first. So how can we fix the issue of the ‘right’ way to do HR/the people function in a way that has real impact for the business.
People experts that aren’t afraid to give it away for free
Imagine for a moment that you had managers who occasionally had to work on the front line to do the work of a fleet of electricians. Would you be happy that those managers didn’t have skills and natural aptitude to carry out that work? Would you see the frequently broken equipment and disappointed customers as a necessary cost? Or that fact that they need to phone in every 5 minutes for advice an acceptable operating model? I doubt it.
So why do we accept that managers need guidance from HR, at any level, to be able to do their jobs. Electricians, have vocational training and often on the job learning by way of vocational schemes, before they have the necessary qualifications to carry out the work. And in many cases it is only those with aptitude that do it anyway.
And yet we often accept we need huge support teams to keep our people’s motivation on life support and our managers legal. It shouldn’t be like this.
Don’t get me wrong of course there is value in people whose accountability is to think of people. And value in training people in people skills. But how many of our HR interventions have the sole purpose of creating independence from HR as its primary…