Shouting from the rooftops: How HR will gain attention as a central business function

It’s time to put the ‘Human’ in HR and give it a personality. HR’s traditionally perceived position within the organisation is as the paper-pushing handlers of bureaucracy.

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“HR is facing a battle of hearts and minds. If ever there was a time for HR to be acknowledged as a central business function, it’s at the dawn of the human organisation. The more important culture and values become as concepts to organisations, the bigger the opportunity for HR, but it needs to open its mouth.”

The world finally seems to be realising that people are the most important thing for any organisation – and rightly so. At the moment, it still seems to manifest itself in a strange way.

The parts of the organisation who look after external people (particularly customers and potential customers) get seats on the board, large budgets and plentiful recognition. But what about the parts of the organisation that look after internal people?

HR is facing a battle of hearts and minds. If ever there was a time for HR to be acknowledged as a central business function, it’s at the dawn of the human organisation. The more important culture and values become as concepts to organisations, the bigger the opportunity for HR, but it needs to open its mouth.

Traditionally, it’s the salespeople who are the alpha personalities, strutting around, telling anyone who will listen how targets are being smashed, drawing the attention and, in the main, the plaudits. The old view is that if the product or service isn’t being sold, there is no business.

But who puts the salespeople there? Who spans the entire organisation, coordinating a happy, productive workforce? Human resources.

It’s time to put the ‘Human’ in HR and give it a personality. HR’s traditionally perceived position within the organisation is as the paper-pushing handlers of bureaucracy. There’s no flamboyance or personality – it’s about ticking boxes, having the right paperwork trail in place and overseeing process.

HR’s position within the organisation is changing. If we’re moving into a more humanistic age, HR is the parent – controlling the home, keeping everyone happy, together. But it needs to give itself that more human personality in the first place.

The platform is there for HR to really be understood as central to an organisation’s success in the evolving business landscape, but it needs to take up its own mantle. There’s no shame in being excited about what you do and no arrogance in genuine enthusiasm.

If HR adopts and drives the culture and personality of the organisation, there will be no avoiding it. Partner up with internal communications, workplace, finance and every other department. Come in from the periphery and place yourself at the centre of success. HR’s responsibility is to build the bridges that will drive the organisation forward – and in doing so, it will put itself at the centre of the modern organisation.

Without people, what does an organisation have?

Nothing,

HR has the right and the duty to take up the mantle. It may be scary, it may feel like we have ideas above our station, but we can start gathering data now that proves our points. We just need to look at it in the right way, measure the right things and not be afraid to admit that some things can’t be measured in traditional ways.

If we believe in the importance of the humans in our organisations, we owe it to them to get up, shout from the rooftops and make the organisation take notice.

About Andy Swan

I believe that simpler, more human organisations are the future. I’m passionate about work, culture and engagement and I’m prepared to live my theories!
To fully question what ‘work’ is conceptually, structurally and personally, understand the mechanisms it perpetuates in our lives, how its evolving and how we can make it better, I’m currently living as a one-man project. You can find out more about "The Work Project", the #100Connections side project and get links to my blogs at my website.
I also use LinkedIn to blog some of my theories that build bridges between HR, internal communications and the workplace.

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