Dissolve the layers !!

The field of HR is vast.  I dig that.  You can seek a career in HR and going in many different ways.  Not many other fields can do that.  The ironic thing about this breadth though is that we don’t embrace it.  In fact, we do our best to have massive barriers built between the different areas so that each one can place its stake in its respective ground.

Here’s an example . . . vendors.

HR people don’t like vendors.  Vendors, in turn, don’t like HR people.  However, we need each other in order to do our job well.  But, instead of embracing each other and seeing each other as resources, we tend to tell each group to stay in their camp.

Another one . . . Sr. HR Executives.

I know I’m heading into treacherous water in calling this out.  But, when did Sr. HR pros forget that they weren’t always Senior ??  Is there an apex in our profession where we can avoid those “below us” because we don’t deal in the transactional work that lower level HR people have to address?

DissolveI don’t get it and I refuse to.  I have a different approach that I’d like us all to consider.  Let’s dissolve the layers that separate our profession and work together as talented parts of an amazing whole !!  I’m not asking us to become an HR commune.  I’m asking us to truly be strategic and understand that each part of our profession brings a strength and value to what we bring to the business community.

Last week I spoke at a very small HR chapter along which had four students from a SHRM Student chapter.  An a “Sr. HR professional,” I could have taken the stance that I wasn’t with those “of my kind” and that this was a waste of time.  Or, I could see it as an opportunity to meet great new HR folks that I didn’t know and maybe, just maybe, one of those students could meet someone that remembered how hard it was to start in HR and give them my time and attention.

So, let’s rally together !!  Vendors, recruiters, OD, Training, Consultants, Generalists, Comp & Bens folks, HR Admins, HR Analysts and Executives.  Together we make up HR.  Let’s quit trying to splinter our field.  Let’s be the example of how together we are a vital, relevant and strategic business entity !!

3 thoughts on “Dissolve the layers !!”

  1. I love this post Steve. Last week I took the time to visit with two different students (one an employee at my organization, the other a former volunteer now in undergraduate school) to discuss the role of HR. I was fired up, and they in turn fed off that energy and are more interested about HR than ever before.

    If we get too stuck on ourselves the future of HR will be very, very bleak.

  2. Approach-ability, open door policy and getting to know your employees is a wonderful idea. At one plant that I worked for I had to look at the photographs that had been taken at the beginning of an employees’ employment and was required to know these employees by name when I met them on the plant floor.

    Some of the photos were quite old and made it challenging to put the names to the faces. But within one month I had done so for 200 employees.

    So whether it was a safety issues, discipline issue or personal issue I was able to function with knowledge and mutual respect for every employee.

    I have carried this notion of recognizing people by name in every aspect of y life from church to business meetings.

    Additionally, when I receive a business card I note on the back, the date I met them, the function attended and any personal info gleaned from schools their kids attended to where there wive’s/husband’s worked to their interests and hobbies.

    HR wears multiple hats so no matter the specialty within HR we are about human relations. And human relations begin with the first contact.
    Just my humble opinion. Just too many chiefs (wearing various headresses) and so few followers. Maybe no one follows because we forget to put the human in the relationships.

  3. It is absolutely vital that HR Heads, Recruiters, Assessment tool makers, employee engagement managers and consultants work together unitedly and perform as a team.
    If they operate in silos they would loose their relevance.

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