Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I'm Dropping My Gloves

I don't speak for HR, and neither should you.

Since when am I responsible for ALL of HR?
-         the bashing
-         defending the profession
-         whining that we're not at the table; or we don't deserve to be there
-         it's all noise, noise, noise

Last I checked I’m responsible for my HR team, not the slacker down the highway who still lives in the stone age and is so risk averse they don't get any respect (nor do they deserve it.)

Lots has been written about how ineffective HR is, and how CEOs and CFOs have lost confidence in the profession. Really? HR is the problem in Corporate America? Are you kidding me?! Are we responsible for the retention of employees that don't report to us? Do we create the daily culture that drives employee engagement? Do we make every decision that affects the employment experience? Do we have the ability to manipulate earnings statements or broker major deals independently of the other Executive team members? I think not.

I’ve seen plenty of Executives in other disciplines who failed miserably, but their profession is not under attack. Did the VP of HR at Enron bring down that company? No.

I am proud to be a member of the HR community, and if old school leaders who feel threatened by HR’s growing impact are going to pick a fight, I say Bring It. I’m dropping the gloves right now.

Oh, and by the way…the next time the you-know-what hits the fan...give another department a call. I'm sure they'll be very comfortable working through your employee relations problems and the litigation that will surely follow.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

pic courtesy of necn


  1. Jay-
    Sometimes I wish you would tell us how you really feel.
    Kidding aside, I am totally aligned with you. For my internal customers, I am fortunate that they respect HR. Why? Because our HR team has been delivering consistently.
    I'm sure your's is too.

    1. Thanks Tim. Granted, this was a bit of a tongue-in-cheek rant, but the point in there (I hope) is that HR is too often a scapegoat for operational failures. We're working hard to deliver a good work product for all of our customers, but sometimes we end up serving as an excuse.

  2. Dude - I am so in the ring with you on this one !! HR is a fantastic profession !! True, there are those that may pull HR down, but that is true in EVERY profession. We don't have to be the sparing partner in organizations and I think we need to bring it - every day !! The way we move forward is by modeling what we expect (and know) HR can be !! Great post my brother.

    1. Steve - many thanks for the feedback. Hopefully this post wasn't too much of a rant; but, I've seen a number of criticisms of HR lately, and felt the need to speak my mind!

  3. Jay you are very angry today. Someone must have done you wrong. Put me down on the side of Tim and Steve; I am with you brother. Congrats again on the FOT ranking. You are #1.

    1. Thanks Dave. This one is certainly one of my stronger posts. I've just grown weary of HR playing the "goat" time and time again. Many thanks for the support and kind words!

  4. Hey, I'm borrowing the 'dropping the gloves' image for a series I'm doing about hockey fights... Mind?

  5. If so, I'm at www.fishbowl-living.blogspot.ca. Just leave a comment if you must and I'll stop using the image.