HR – An Autopsy

HR is Dead. I got called yesterday to come down and ID the body.

They ran an Autopsy to discover the cause of death and to know one’s surprise they found a number of issues, including:

Deficient creativity – apparently HR bored itself to death.  So caught up in ‘creating’ process, it forgot what ‘creating’ actually meant.

Lack of Soul – Organizations need that immortal essence that is given by it’s people.

Formality Glutinous –  To be stuffed so much with formality that you explode from the inside that people can’t stand being around you.

Analysis Paralysis – Stuck in indecision unable to move forward surrounded by so many metrics.

Feline Rabies – Yep, in the end, having 4+ cats on average, did in HR.

HR wont’ be missed by many.  The fact is not many really knew HR.  For years locked behind a department door that had not only a keycode to gain entry, but a palm and retinal scanner as well – security of your employee files being of the utmost importance to the organization.  Where we once knew them from the annual company picnic, alas, it has been years since HR was willing to plan that employee event.  Even our annual open enrollment meetings were cancelled for online, interaction-less, enrollment – efficiency over relationship.  Survey Monkey engagement surveys, email follow-up, phone screen interviews – some have questioned was HR really ever a person at all.  One time, through the sliding window, I once spoke to someone, “Here” I said, as I handed in an exchange of address form, “Thanks” she said.  HR seemed friendly enough.

I don’t mean this to be an anthem to a dead profession, but let’s face it – HR as we have known it, thankfully, is almost there.  I’m asked frequently – “What’s the future of HR?” and I say, “HR will change organizations more than any other single functional area in business.  We have ways to hire a more talented workforce.  We have ways to increase engagement of our workforce. We can increase performance and productivity that has a direct bottom-line impact.  We can make the workers we have better, faster, stronger.  The future of HR – won’t be like ‘HR’ at all.”  But let’s forget the future.  Let’s focus on the present. Let’s make HR not HR.  Let’s make HR everything we want it to be.

Let HR be technology leaders. Let HR be financial leaders. Let HR be Performance leaders.  Let HR be operational leaders.  Let’s plan the picnic and at the same time drive the highest productivity our organizations have ever seen.  Let’s flawlessly administer benefits and simultaneously attract complete freaking studs and studettes to our organizations.  Let HR not be HR.  Let HR be a driver of every part of our business – not a functional area – but an integration into what we do best.

And if we don’t, then yes, HR, as we know it, will be completely dead.

9 thoughts on “HR – An Autopsy

  1. Great post Tim, I couldn’t agree more. Time for a serious overhaul to the department that you and I grew up in. It won’t make it if it stays the same.

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