Is HR to be blamed ?

Posted in Human Resources Articles, Total Reads: 3579 , Published on 06 October 2010

HR department knowingly or unknowingly becomes the voice and face of an organization. Any Policy introduction or change, any announcement, any news (good or bad) always comes from HR.
Employees get all the bad news from the HR at most of the times and over a period of time and many bad news, the employees start to form an image of HR department which is not very pleasing.



Any compensation change, blame HR! No Raise this year due to Recession, blame HR! Average working hours in a week increased, again blame HR! Coffee machine on my floor not working, Oh Please HR can’t be blamed now!
So is HR always to be blamed? The answer is partly Yes and partly No.

Many a times HRD is actually at fault but on many occasions they have just to communicate what the external factors or the Senior Management dictates. In the latter cases HR is just a medium of communication with the employees at large. Recession lead to many cuts and layoffs, at that time HR didn’t have much in their hands rather than to make policies for laying off an employee.
So when do we actually blame HR? HR is to be blamed when they don’t perform their functions properly like
1)    Improper HR planning
2)    Recruiting poor quality of workforce
3)    Assigning a wrong person to a wrong project
4)    Improper Compensation Structure even when the company can afford paying better
5)    Too many and unnecessarily strict policies
6)    Inability to control Attrition even when it reaches alarming rate

If majority of employees are not happy with their work and policies of their company, surely HR has to be blamed here.HR needs to act as an agent to felicitate a good working culture for an employee. Improper working schedules and allocation can lead to an employee resigning very soon. We can all imagine how costly is it for a company to replace an employee who suddenly left his job with a new one. You need to find a suitable person to replace him, train him, and familiarize him with the work. It takes time, money and effort.HR is definitely to be blamed in this case.

But what can HR do if the industry is seeing such high attrition rates where employees themselves are not loyal and switch frequently? But HR can at least try to retain the employee. If the HR just takes the attrition and exit interviews as normal routine of the job, then HR is to be blamed.HR needs to analyze the exit interviews to see why the employees are leaving ?Is there some generic trend which is causing the outflow of the employees? Which companies are actually poaching your talent pool?

So if these questions are unanswered then HR is definitely to be blamed.
But many a times, it becomes a culture in an organization to blame HR even when the poor fellows are not to be blamed entirely. So what can HR do in such a case ?
First of all HR actually needs to be like a part of the main organizational functions like Finance, Sales or Operations and not be like some supporting agency for providing employees. HR needs to understand the business well. What does the company do or make? What kinds of employees are most suitable? HR decisions should be part of the overall strategy of the organization and not just some separate HR strategy in which parameters are just the number of employees joining and leaving.HR should try to map an employee properly to the job he has to do.

HR’s of IT industry are often blamed of randomly allocating new joinees to projects.e.g. An engineer with a mechanical background is thrown into a development project for a construction company whereas a civil engineer is put in a typical automobile project.

What do they get out of it? Two confused employees. If effort would have been made to map it in advance then definitely the reverse situation would have been more motivating and knowledgeable for both the employees and the project. Mechanical engineer working for automobile giant and civil engineer working for a construction company even if they both are developing software but it would definitely give more satisfaction to both of them and also help projects in the longer run. Result: Two happy and motivated employees.
So in first case is HR to be blamed? The answer is loud and clear: Yes

HR is by default the face and voice of a company without any choice but they can put an effort to make sure that the face is beautiful and the voice is soothing. Proper planning and thought process can ensure that. If a little care is taken, Employees would consider HR more of a friend than foe.



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