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HR is Not Fluff

If your HR department is seen as being the ‘party planning, make work fun department’, you need to look at your department’s goals and objectives. There is no doubt that employee engagement is a big part of workforce management, but that doesn’t mean that holding BBQs and parties will improve employee engagement.

For most organizations, their people are their biggest asset. Many believe though that the HR department is responsible for nothing more than paperwork and ‘fluff’. Ultimately, the role of HR could depend on the culture of the organization, but regardless of where you work, HR should be a strategic partner to the business. An important function, like HR, which helps maximize human potential and can directly contribute to the goals of the organization needs to have a seat at the table.

Although there will always be a transactional role for HR, mainly tasks like record keeping, payroll and benefits, HR must also ensure the people working for the organization are best suited to support the business. Employees have to be properly trained and prepared to perform their jobs. Succession planning is important to support changing roles and structure. Reward and recognition initiatives help retain those high potential employees. All of these functions are crucial to helping a business succeed.

Many business owners see HR as a necessary evil and can’t get past the idea that a primarily cost centred department can bring value if they aren’t directly bringing in profits. It’s true, most HR budgets are expense based, but the ROI of a good hire, a performance management program that prevents turnover, and an engaged workforce will save your company a lot of money.

HR professionals want to add high strategic value. They don’t want to be party planning, paper pushers. They want to help managers engage their employees, to see increased productivity levels and support employees who need assistance. Showing loyalty to an employee will come back two-fold when you need to call upon him/her to do the same in return.

Remember that people create value. They help drive businesses forward by being great and doing great things. The golden rule of HR is that people matter. Recognizing that doesn’t make HR fluffy; it makes them good leaders.


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