When did Human Resources stop being about humans? Over time the great idea of having a facilitator that breeds communication, company pride, and work efficiency became the clerk and enforcer. Morlocks waiting in hidden offices to spring up and grab unsuspecting Eloi workers with written warnings.
Businesses are being operated with fewer and fewer employees, as technology creates an environment where more is done with less. Secretary and administrator positions are evaporating, and the clerical work is being shifted into existing positions. Sometimes this means having Management handle their own emails and travel arrangements, in many cases this leads to repurposing entire positions, like Human Resource.
The HR Department has taken on duties from the payroll clerk position, like policing time cards and protecting the company from employees trying to take advantage of the time off system. Management have moved warning notices and reviews over from the secretary of the individual manager into the HR Department.
Coupled with the tightening of responsibility has been the increased complexity of legal issues facing small to mid-size businesses. Large companies have attorneys on retainer to aid in navigating tough questions of harassment, privacy, and diversity. Small businesses are turning toward the HR Department, and looking to them as a legal shield. Changing the role of a Human Resource professional to a fixer that looks to quash issues.
As a small business owner, that works directly with businesses to build recruiting programs, I have intimate knowledge of the two greatest challenges small to mid-size companies are facing; finding and retaining top talent. The answer is the rebirth of the position that has been mispurposed. A functioning HR Manager that works exclusively on open communication, actually talks with all the staff about positive growth issues, and is freed from being an enforcer that dampens employee relations.
Image the change in your business if someone was spending their entire day talking about improving your business, and getting your employees to buy in to a better work environment with more profit.
Greg Gershman – Employer Brand Ambassador