While science can prove its hypothesis, art needs marketing to sell a thought. While every subject and process needs to go through a process of change and recycle continuously, HR as a profession is on a severe back foot in today's day and age due to its dated process designs. From learning and development theories and practices, to performance, succession and motivation processes, HR has repeatedly failed to show business value. Engagement as a function is yet to find its bearing. The only functions that have constantly bailed HR so far are employee relations, statutory compliance and communications. Drawing largely from the theories of psychology (which change quite frequently these days), HR has mostly been relegated to repeated transactional jobs.
Unfortunately HR has been reduced to the level of just hiring or payroll processing in most businesses since, business leaders fail to see the value of investing in other aspects of HR due to our repeated failure in justifying ROI. On LinkedIn for example, nobody even bothers to read through your entire profile before sending across their CVs or manpower solution capabilities. The two letters ''H'' & "R" in your job title is sufficient for almost everybody to assume that you are into recruitment. As if that is all that HR does.
The number of HR persons involved in transactional roles such as Recruitment and payroll in most organizations today is atleast five times that of those in transformational roles. These repetitive transactional jobs unless they are value based, are not just seasonal and but also simply supportive in nature. This leaves a mere one-fifth of the HR members to partner with businesses in upping their people readiness meters.
Despite this, HR leaders will go ahead and shoot themselves in their foot by stating ''HR to Employee'' ratios, without first explaining to business leaders the difference between transactional and transformational HR. The other worrying feature in HR of late is the over dependence on analytics. HR analytics to me seems like the most illogical investment of time and resource. HRM is all about managing behaviours, expressions, expectations and emotions. If an HR team is not qualitatively clued in to what employees are feeling and thinking about your organization and you need quantitative data to tell you so, then, such HR needs to be scraped from the organization. Numbers can at best give some clues to guide HR. But if numbers drive the HR function, a business should kiss goodbye to stability, culture and sustainability.
I once heard a funny anecdote about an analytics expert telling an HR manager why they needed a new hire. Because an existing employee did not come to work on a Monday (peak work day) and had been taking a few extra sick leaves over the past couple of months, it essentially translated to the existing employee looking to leave the organization. Interesting, I thought, given the fact that an ideal HR manager should have already known the reason why the employee was looking to leave and where he/she had interviewed and much more than this if they knew their job.
HR unfortunately today does not have its ear to the ground. Mimicking the so called "Best Practices" of other organizations in your business is possibly the "Worst Practice" possible. "Best Practice" was surely a term coined by some HR team with great marketing skills. But even those organizations that are pioneers of "best practices" or have them all, continue to have employee attrition. Doesn't that ring a bell?
As the quantum of knowledge workers increase in an organization, HR has to enable self managed benefit structures instead of obsessing over confidentiality and secrecy. And let's face it, from appointment letters to compensation structures to L&OD modules you can Google them all. HR needs to be quick and agile today. HR needs to understand what the business needs and design practices suited for the organization. If your policies need to change, they must. If your old legacy systems needs to be trashed, they must. If pushing paper is taking too much time, HR must go digital. Stop bringing in consultants to tell you what others are doing better and hence, you should do it too!
Getting the business to agree to your point of view, is where your marketing and influencing skills come in handy. So here are some sure shot ways of influencing and championing for your team and your ideas. I always tell my team, that you can never expect to please or satisfy 100% of your audience. Target the majority and the rest will sort themselves out. Naysayers cannot stop your success. Be proud and confident of your work and ideas so that external ridicule does not demotivate you. Don't try to be a people-pleaser all the time. Time yourself right. Talk logic. Talk sense. State verifiable facts. Do your homework. Do not push your idea too hard. Give your audience time to absorb your new idea. They will surely come around when the time is right.
Hope these help.