Human resources is one of the most important functions of any company, yet it remains one of the least respected. Several companies today have even tried to get rid of the human resources label altogether, replacing it with more contemporary language. Men’s wear company Bonobos, for example, appointed a “chief people officer” in 2015; and startup companies such as Slice have changed the traditional title of human resources manager to “head of people” or “head of talent.”
Many outdated perceptions of human resources are rooted in myths and stereotypes that still persist. In an article for Workforce Magazine, David Mendlewicz identified three such outdated perceptions and explained why they are bad for the future success of your business.
1. “HR doesn’t contribute to the bottom line.”
While it may be hard to see a direct link between revenue and human resources, the connection is there. Research has found that engaged employees are not only more pleasant to be around, but they are also more productive than disengaged employees. The more productive employees are, the more things that are done, and the more revenue that a company can make.
Mendlewicz writes, “Failing to see the business benefit of promoting an engaged company culture hurts the bottom line, whereas leveraging HR as the primary resource for building up a strong culture will have a tangible ROI when measured by output and the ability to attract and retain your very best people.”
2. “HR makes things harder than they need to be.”
From minor things like not having enough chairs at a company event to major things like layoffs, human resources tends to be blamed for things that they do not have direct control over. HR is often made to look like the bad guy in order to protect senior leadership, but it’s not fair to say that the prime purpose for HR’s existence is to make our lives harder.
“HR exists to make our lives easier and better,” Mendlewicz writes. “They exist to improve how we feel about our roles, our colleagues and our teams. They are here to listen to our feedback, and then find solutions for turning that feedback into action where it makes sense.”
3. “HR primarily focuses on admin tasks and do not have a strategic function.”
Because traditional human resources functions such as managing payroll and benefits are being replaced by technology, some are concerned that HR practitioners may fall victim to future job automation. Mendlewicz is among those concerned, predicting that artificial intelligence will soon streamline most people management functions of HR. But even this cloud has a silver lining as more time will be freed up for talent professionals to focus on people development.
“And when we really think about it, isn’t developing and growing your best talent, and building a healthy and transparent corporate culture, the single most important responsibility of HR practitioners?” Mendlewicz asks.
“As the administrative function of HR is increasingly becoming streamlined by technologies designed to make people management more efficient, organizational leadership should consider re-engineering their teams to staff the right people against people development.”
Mendlewicz is the CEO and co-founder of New York-based Butterfly, a chat-bot that offers real-time leadership training and supports managers based on their team’s feedback and surveys.
For more, see the full article at Workforce.com.
Danita White for TechFunnel.com