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Is internal HR/OD on its way out?

 
#1 Is internal HR/OD on its way out?
13/09/2005 12:38

Wee Willy Wonka

Has HR been relegated to the backroom and brought out only to hire and fire? When I sit in a board meeting, I often find it difficult to sit and watch my colleagues dozing while our poor HR executive tries to bring the idea forward that people are what make this organisation and HR needs to be more involved in strategy as a whole, and not just a support role. What do you all think?

I find it disturbing that a critical strategic function such as internal HR is pushed aside to make space for HR consultants who don't own the job, who are not accountable in the long term for what happens to the people as a whole, or the organisation.

What do you think? Is there an argument to keep HR as a strategic internal function? Or are they on their way out?

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#2 Re: Is internal HR/OD on its way out?
13/09/2005 12:55

RecruitGal

Ahh, a topic that is close to my heart! I am in a minority among my HR chums in believing that a lot of the stuff that is traditionally farmed out to HR should actually be done by line management - employee engagement, performance management, nurturing and developing key talent, etc. If these things are so key to the organisation, why aren't they everyone's responsibility? I think that in a 'perfect' organisation, HR would be largely redundant. The line would make people issues their main focus. Controversial!!

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#3 Re: Is internal HR/OD on its way out?
13/09/2005 13:10

Wee Willy Wonka

Are you saying that HR needs to be more strategic and less administrative, with the administration of HR being taken on by line management? If that's the case, I agree 100%. Employee engagement, performance management, nurturing and developing should be undertaken by line management who are in constant direct contact with subordinates, but the TOOLS and EQUIPPING to do this should be an HR initiative. Perhaps a change from the title "human resource management" to something like "performance development management" would be in order. I, however still think that nobody can do this better than someone who is already working internally, with occasional external consultant engagement for direction in new best practice.

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#4 Re: Is internal HR/OD on its way out?
13/09/2005 16:19

Jack Welch makes a very strong case and push for the HR function in his new book, "Winning". Worked for GE, so why not elsewhere?

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#5 Re: Is internal HR/OD on its way out?
14/09/2005 07:20

V

HR is far too important to keep in the backwaters of the organisation. Unfortunately the internal politics of many organisations prevent the HR function from becoming a strategic partner which can help access the full potential of employees. And this brings about the outsourcing of strategic HR functions. Perhaps it comes from years of reinforcment where leaders in organisations put "administrative" types into HR, when they should be putting people with general and strategic management experience in HR. (no offence to administrators, you guys are the backbone of organisations. Without you, there would be no order). I think a redefinition of HR, perhaps even scrapping the title, would be the only way to change these reinforced perceptions. I like the idea of performance development management. In any case, wasn't the creation of the term "HR management" supposed to change the perception of personnel management, by changing it to something more strategic? I'd be interested to hear what you have to say.

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