HR & standing up for ourselves: Defining HR responsibilities
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The time has come for the HR revolution.  We need to stand up and be counted.  For too long HR has been seen as the soft target for organisations to cut in the bad times and overwork in the good.   Where should we start?

How about recognising the difference between HR and organisational responsibilities?  Do we hold the Finance Director for the organisation achieving its financial goals – no.  So why do we hold HR accountable for the organisation’s people?

So what is HR responsible for?  At CourageousHR, we believe that HR is fundamentally responsible for helping the organisation deliver its strategy or purpose through its people.

HR is not responsible for delivering the ‘people strategy’, although there are some aspects of the people strategy that HR is responsible for.

HR is not responsible for employees, although we have a role to play in helping managers deliver this objective.

HR is not responsible for measuring the effectiveness of employees, although we can play a powerful role in helping the organisation achieve this. 

HR, like every function, is responsible for delivering its assigned activities as efficiency as possible.  We need to get over making shared services, outsourcing and process mapping a big deal – we’re simply late to this party.

HR is responsible for bringing its technical knowledge –training, development, resourcing, compensation, recognition, employee law (and so on) knowhow – and organisation knowledge – its culture, structures, competitors, products, politics (and so on) knowhow –to ensure that the right mix of technical levers are used to achieve the organisations goals.

HR can have a responsibility in retaining and sharing specialist knowledge and skills that is not often found elsewhere in organisations – change management is common but another might include project management.

Finally, HR can also have a responsibility to practice a form of employment that has crept up on organisations over the last thirty years – what CourageousHR call partnership working.

HR, stand up for yourself.  Be proud of what you can deliver and don’t be accountable for what you have little control over.