HR does not have to be your friend to be effective

“HR does not have to be your friend to be effective,” explained David Ulrich who was speaking at the CIPD conference held in Croke Park last week. A very interesting and topical quote that seems to resonate throughout the HR market. Read more here.

During his talk, Ulrich pointed out that there are two things that HR should focus on: commitment to employee well-being and organisational success. It isn’t just about having one or the other, as without both the company will likely collapse. Without employee happiness, they don’t have dedication and without success within the business there would be no place to work.

Having recently joined HR Search, I have viewed the HR industry with fresh eyes. Before starting, I, like many, would have believed the certain (somewhat negative) connotations associated with HR. People might think that HR only has the company and management’s interests in mind or that there is too much politics associated with HR. However, having met with a number of professionals who work within HR over the last couple of months, one thing that has echoed throughout each meeting is the complete dedication they have to their employee’s well-being. Yes, I have met with a number of different personalities, from the more softer and endearing to a more straight talking type of HR professional. This is a mere observation as to why HR may be viewed as “the big bad wolf” but what is essential is that all types of HR professionals essentially have placed your well-being at the top of their list.

Long gone are the day’s where HR was just an administration arm of the business, where they processed payroll and contracts. Yes, that is still an operational responsibility, however many companies have HR teams that have developed way beyond this – with strong investment in their employee well-being and people. Going forward, HR should and is more so being viewed as a strategic partner in the business.

It is important to appreciate and remember that behind the scenes, HR are fighting for that salary increase or those extra benefits on behalf of their valued employees. For example, Irish Life announced today that they are now offering 8 weeks fully paid paternity leave, which would be spear-headed by HR. Evidently, they have their employee’s happiness and welfare and the heart of their business.

So perhaps remember the wise words of David Ulrich the next time HR get your goat.