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HR, or Human Resources to give it it’s full name, has actually been around in some form or other since the industrial revolution in the 18th century, so why is it that as HR professionals we can sometimes have a bad reputation?

Often, managers in other departments and specialisms, along with some Board Directors, have the view that Human Resources is a necessary evil (but still an overhead!) or that we’re all about being pink and fluffy! The employee view can all too often be that we are always the bearers of bad news or the wielders of the ‘Sword of Damocles’?

Some practitioners view is that we must play it strictly by the book (we’re dealing with people so it isn’t that black and white or that simple!), and, oooh, don’t forget the ‘fresh fruit Friday’ incentives! This really doesn’t help!

However, maybe you share my view of Human Resources, ie that there is a genuine need for a robust, commercial and strategic approach to effective people management in an organisation in order for businesses to be truly successful.

In HR, it’s important to remember and understand the importance of how human beings think, feel and behave so that we ensure when we make strategic changes, they’re not just done for practical or economic reasons, but they actually have a chance of being well received and, as a result, implemented. Furthermore, we should be taking the best concepts from the Finance (data analysis, commercial awareness and efficiency), Marketing (influencing human attitudes and behaviours) and Product Development (end-user research) teams to ensure they understand what we’re trying to achieve.

Sadly, too many companies expect their managers to ride the waves (sometimes tidal ones), without first giving them the chance to learn to surf or without a proper surfboard – and then they wonder why they’re drowning, or worse still, just berate them for falling off the board!

I am passionate about making sure businesses and managers have the policies, processes and training they need in order to ensure their HR strategies echo the competitive decisions taken in order for organisations remain productive and profitable, and that these strategies actually work, both for the company and it’s employees.

If you’d like to chat more about my thoughts on this over a brew, give me a shout.

Emma Morris of Embrace HR is a specialist HR consultant supporting businesses in Bury, Bolton, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, throughout the North West region and beyond.


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