Defining the Modern HR Function Takes Passion

by Laurie Ruettimann | Posted | Business Impact

Defining the Modern HR Function Takes Passion

I am very excited to speak at the 2014 Halogen Customer Conference. There are more than 50 educational sessions where attendees can meet Halogen experts and HR thought leaders. In the evening, you can network with cool people like Steve Boese and me!

My session will focus on the five strategic pillars that define the modern human resources leader. We will explore HR leadership trends - from talent analytics through business forecasting - and define the ways in which HR intersects with ever-changing business priorities in IT, procurement, finance and the C-Suite.

Does that sound boring? It sounds a little boring to me, except I believe that a great human resources department is full of friendly and knowledgeable business professionals who are also workforce management experts.

I want to talk about cool people doing cool things in Human Resources.

I know so many men and women who are confident, poised, and are responsible for the flawless delivery of people-related services such as:

  • Workforce Operations and Infrastructure
  • Recruiting and Talent Acquisition
  • Learning and Development
  • Performance Management
  • Labor Forecasting and Budgeting
  • Workforce Technology

Those are important jobs where people make a difference. I see great work every day in the trenches of HR.

And yet...there's a lack of executive confidence in HR

That's why it breaks my heart when Deloitte Press publishes research that shows a lack of executive confidence in human resources. I know the numbers don't look great:

  • Forty-two percent of business leaders think that HR is either underperforming or just getting by;
  • Forty-five percent think HR isn't ready to tackle basic tasks such as performance management, succession planning and e-learning; and
  • Forty-seven percent feel like their companies don't have a good handle on data related to the HR function.

Although these numbers represent how executives feel, feelings aren't fact.

So how does HR overcome such bad press and break itself from the cycle of low expectations?

Well, anyone who works in human resources knows it's not just a job. Unlike any other part of the organization, HR is a calling. The men and women in this profession see the underbelly of the organization. When things go well, no one thanks you. When the roof is on fire, HR is accountable for answers and solutions.

Loving the unsexy but mandatory aspects of HR

In order to break stereotypes and reclaim the function of HR, I think you need to love your work. Not romantic love. I'm talking about respect, admiration and appreciation for all of the work we do in human resources - from compliance to paperwork to teambuilding.

If you don't love the unsexy but mandatory stuff, and if we don't band together and show appreciation for the people in the field who do the tough work with our employees, we'll never get a chance to behave in a strategic way and help our organizations grow.

I'm looking forward to speaking at the 2014 Halogen Customer Conference, and I hope to see you there. Please leave a comment and let me know if you are attending. I'll be waiting for you at the bar, ready to toast the future of HR.

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