You're probably familiar with Ram Charan's infamous article It's Time to Split HR and if you're not, you've heard of it. You may have also read one or more of the mounting number of articles declaring what's wrong with HR or that we should ditch HR all together. Guess what, this isn't one of those articles. In general, it seems like HR is adapting to the times just like every other department in every other organization. As the title suggests, we're here to talk about the "problem with HR," so we're going to come out and say it: maybe it's you. Perhaps the problem with HR is really that we choose protecting and maintaining over confidence.
The Problem With HR Isn't Unique
As we've mentioned before, HR is about protecting, whether it's protecting the company against legal and compliance issues, or employees' rights. Therefore, it's easy to default to maintaining the status quo, rather than asserting our views or leading initiatives to improve workplace culture. But this problem, while we're talking about HR isn't unique to HR. No, this can be evident in any department, and most likely is to some degree.
The Problem With HR Is Real
It would be naive to say that because the "problem with HR" isn't unique, we can sweep it under the rug. You probably have plenty else to do, but stop. This is important. As the gatekeepers of compliance and culture, where is it most important to tweak when we see a problem. So, ask yourself, "Am I confident in how and what I do?" Are you a "yes" person? Are you at the beck and call of the C-levels? Is every day just another nose to the grindstone kind of day? Stop. Now breathe. And start saying "no."
The Problem With HR Is Not Saying No
Fixing HR starts with you being confident in who you are in the company, knowing your best contributions, and then taking that and being willing to grow. You will have to say "no" because a potential candidate loved by the hiring manager may harm the culture. You will have to say "no" to initiatives that aren't in the best interest of the company. You will even have to say "no" to the executive's disrespectful swipes at HR *gasp*.
No, this little tip isn't meant to fix everything. However, it will go a long way for both the "problem with HR" as well as your own work life. There's nothing intrinsically broken about HR, however the transition toward a better department begins with you being confident and doing what you do best: look out for the company, no matter how unpopular it may be at the time.
Source: Fistful of Talent