Former President George Bush was well-known for his love of broccoli…
I do not like broccoli. And I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m President of the United States and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli.
Sounds like what far too many think when the topic of Human Resources comes up:
I do not like Human Resources. And I haven’t liked it since I entered the workforce and they made me follow a slew of inane Policies and Procedures – and never did anything I asked them to do. And now that I’m finally in the managerial ranks, I’m not going to start listening to HR – I’ll take care of things my way.
For many HR represents the One-Percenters of the workforce, a group of professionals whose career aspirations include helping people (because HR folks looooove people) while striving for respectability, C-level job titles, and that coveted seat at the table. This isn’t a vision made up for a spoof reality show but it is a collage of reality snippets gathered over many years from both employees and HR practitioners – especially HR practitioners.
Sorry folks, you know this is true. The first step in changing perceptions about HR is admitting we have a serious problem. Remind you of something?
Gwen Webber-McLeod, one of the presenters at the upcoming New York State SHRM Conference in Buffalo, tweeted at last week’s #NYSHRM14 Twitter chat:
Now Gwen is one smart cookie – this is evident not by her agreeing with me but by her changing her opinion mid-discussion. And a fast moving one at that. HR needs more people like Gwen who aren’t afraid to change their tune mid-whistle (and she’s one of the speakers at the State SHRM conference).
The upcoming New York State SHRM Conference has many topics associated with addressing the needs of HR professionals. But what’s missing – and this is where social media can help fill in the blanks – are the substantive discussions that actually get to the heart and purpose of HR.
“Why does HR have a serious PR problem and what needs to be done to address it?” is a significant topic to discuss – rather than denying that we have a problem (quite a bit like Glassdoor ratings – where even one negative rating is a call to action to fix the problem).
Since there isn’t a formal discussion scheduled to address the Public Relations problems of HR, using Twitter and the hashtag #NYSHRM14 to bring light to the real substantive issues of our profession is the way to go. And mark my words – the #NYSHRM14 Social Media team of Victorio Milian and I isn’t afraid of taking on the tough cases…
Frankly, there are quite a number of fluff sessions scheduled that were likely designed to ensure that the State’s HR professionals leave Buffalo feeling good about themselves. (I’d just as soon spend my money on a day-pass at a local gym). That’s why I think I was asked to be one of the two official bloggers for the event – my honesty and often outside-the-box way of looking at things. Or calling out people and their positions…
My social media goal isn’t to help those who aren’t fans of HR to magically love HR; but like broccoli, to understand that while you might not like it, at least understand how it can be good for you.
Or think of it as shocking the pacemaker…
I dig it but I don’t like lumping HR under one Umbrella if you will. Recruiting, Admin stuff, “Issues” (Sexual Harassment, Employee relations etc) and often money/payroll stuff. However, we cannot forget that it is an arm of the FIRM, and the underlying goal is to make things run smoothly… for the company. Usually, that goes hand in hand with what upper management wants but not always. Sadly, not always. That is where HR often falls short. Sadly, you cannot have accurate and honest communication in any type of hierarchy.
lol. One of your best and most lucid blogs Steve. Am totally in agreement. Love both the Pace maker and the broccoli. I think you should be doing presos on that subject. See you soon.
@Newman YOU know from experience the feeling when HR has it’s raison d’etre taken away. Nothing quite like the “powerless employee”, eh? HR has to do better rather than waiting for someone to show them the way.
If HR has to wait and see if their position goes hand-in-hand with what upper management wants – well that’s not exactly a glowing endorsement of HR…
@Gerry It’s not as if I woke one day and thought, “What if I write an article about HR and broccoli?” See you soon as well Gobi Cran…