Why We Hate HR
Metropolitan State University
Hammonds makes it very clear that he does not like the Human Resources (HR) department however the purpose of this paper is to differentiate Hammonds opinion about why he does not like HR from important key facts and issues. One of the main issues Hammonds emphasizes about HR is the departments’ lack of involvement with the overarching strategic mission planning of the company. He notes several reasons for this including that HR does not understand business strategy, HR is not concerned with the bottom line of the company but rather more concerned with employee satisfaction, HR is more concerned with preventing litigation and enforcing rules then helping individuals, and finally that HR is too concerned with picnic planning and payrolls which according to Hammond, is not a strategic planning role.
I agree with one of Hammonds primary issues in that many of the functions of HR do not necessarily align directly with strategic planning of the company. Strategic planning involves actions like partnerships with other companies that can increase revenue and company growth. HR on the other hand is responsible for many tasks including managing employee satisfaction, efficiency, and payrolls. One can argue that if employees are not satisfied, then they can become inefficient, thus affecting productivity and then the bottom line, but Hammonds seems to argue that HR is lacking a more direct relationship with the strategic planners of the company. Pynes (2009) supports this notion by saying “Unfortunately, many HRM departments have spent their time ensuring compliance with rules and regulations, so they lack the skills and competencies to act as a strategic partner.” (pg. 34)
Another primary issue I disagree with Hammonds about is that he seems to be blaming the HR department for its lack of involvement with the strategic planning staff. Hammonds argues that companies are outsourcing typical roles of HR staff such as learning and development, payroll, recruiting, and health and welfare. He notes “The tasks companies are outsourcing—the administrivia’’tend to be what your good at. And whats left isn’t exactly your strong suit.” (Hammonds, 2006 pg. 7) If companies are outsourcing HR tasks to improve or protect their bottom line, then HR should not be blamed if the roles that they are used to doing are now gone. The CEO is ultimately responsible for farming out the HR roles to other companies, so it is also the CEO’s role to then incorporate the HR staff into more strategic roles within the company. Certainly outsourcing HR functions to other companies frees up HR staff to play a more strategic role, but it is the responsibility of the entire management team to ensure that the strategic role is there.
A secondary issue that is of concern is Hammonds claim that “HR isn’t working for you.” (Hammonds 2006, pg. 4) This is not necessarily a true statement in that Hammonds seems to be equating success narrowly with the bottom line. According to Pynes,( 2009) “Human resources management is critical if organizations are to be effective.” Important HR functions such as legal compliance, compensation, pay equity and benefits, training and development, healthcare, performance management and employee relations are integral components to the overarching success of the organization. Syed and Yan (2012) performed a study about the impact of high performance human resource management practices on employee job satisfaction and determined that “Job satisfaction is a pre-requisite for employee performance in any company.” Although one can argue that there are unsatisfied workers that continue to work at organizations they do not like, by using Syed and Yans rationale, unhappy employees may still go to work, but perform poorly. If employees are not performing to their highest or at least efficient capacity, then the organizations output and thus the...
References: Caldwell, C., Truong, D. X., Linh, P. T., & Tuan, A. (2011). Strategic human resource management as ethical stewardship. Journal of Business Ethics, 98(1), 171-182. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10551-010-0541-y
Nasiri,S., Zanjani,.S. (2012). A Consideration of Human Resource Management Future. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 2(1). Retrieved from http://go.galegroup.com.ezproxy.metrostate.edu/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA329750483&v=2.1&u=mnamsu&it=r&p=EAIM&sw=w
Pynes, J. (2009). Human resources management for public and nonprofit organizations: a strategic approach. 3rd ed. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Syed, N., & Yan, L. X. (2012). Impact of high performance human resource management practices on employee job satisfaction: Empirical analysis. Interdisciplinary Journal of Contemporary Research in Business, 4(2), 318-342. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.metrostate.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/1033050877 ?accountid=12415
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