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We are passionate about Human Resources, what HR can do and what HR’s role can be in organisations.  But that doesn’t mean we like everything about HR or everyone who calls themselves an HR professional.

Take HR bosses.

Some of our most inspirational bosses have been in HR – although the competition is pretty light, to do well and be respected by line management takes a lot of doing if you work in the HR function in most organisations. 

So why is it that most of our worst bosses have also been in HR?  You know the ones I mean – the ones that are always covering their a**e, never have an opinion (except that of their line boss), take pride in following the process (who cares if the result is right) and spend their entire time ‘trying to get a seat at the top table’.  Like, if you did a good job….

One of our bosses (Group HRD of the UK entity of a large US multinational) actually told us that our role was to “wipe their (line managers) noses and clean their bottoms”.  Or was that the other way around?

Great HR bosses however are not like this.  They know you do a tough job and they know that measuring your success isn’t a tick box exercise, but they still push you to work harder and to work better with your HR colleagues.  They inspire you to continually understand the business and organisation, to have an opinion and make it heard.  Critically, they create an environment that lets you make honest mistakes (but never stupid ones) and gives you a framework in which you can deliver your very best.  With them around, HR is part of the fabric of the organisation.

Great HR bosses make going to work a reason to get up in the morning.

So what type of boss are you?