It’s safe to say that the vast majority of employees in corporate America are accustomed to rolling their eyes or yawning at the very mention of anything HR-related. The HR function in many, if not most organizations is associated with bureaucratic administrative functions: payroll; hiring/firing; benefits administration; data analytics. So reports LinkedIn.
Anyone who’s ever been an employee (or a boss, for that matter) knows that HR is a vital, but often unexciting departmental affair. So, how refreshing to read ,an HR insider’s point of view that paints Human Resources as anything but mundane and impersonal.
To Liz Ryan, the author of the LinkedIn article, the “human” part of HR is what it’s all about: “The human energy in an organization is the point of HR.” Ryan admittedly cut her HR chops in start-ups, which left her with something of an entrepreneurial approach to building HR from the ground up.
Policy-making and enforcement of rules and regulations are important, but Ryan says they’re overblown. As for record-keeping and other transactional HR “administrivia:” She recommends outsourcing them. Mostly, in Ryan’s experience in both start-ups and more established corporations, HR is about listening; communication; and building trust between the workforce and the company.
Yes, there’s a gritty and an unpleasant side of the HR function. People break the rules and need to be disciplined, and sometimes fired. Bosses who engage in inappropriate sexual conduct need to be reprimanded, and there can be lawsuits. But Ryan sees a higher calling for those working in HR: they serve as “Ministers of Culture” in a “Human Workplace.”