Why we need to have a new discussion about HR

Why the current debate about the ‘HR’ function is superfluous and why a new one should start to take place

By Dirk Verburg

It seems like the Human Resources function attracts more and more criticism over the years. This criticism was initiated by a few articles in high profile publications. The most important are: ‘Why we hate HR’ by Keith H. Hammonds in Fast company,‘It’s Time to Split HR’ by Ram Charan in the Harvard Business review, ‘Why We Love to Hate HR and What HR Can Do About It’ by Peter Capelli in the Harvard Business Review and ‘Companies Say No to Having an HR Department’ by Lauren Weber and Rachel Feintzeig in the Wall Street Journal.

These articles had a lot of impact and resulted in a great deal of soul-searching by HR leaders and HR practitioners. Although critical self-reflection is usually a good thing, the question is whether this is justified merely on the basis of these articles. The second question is whether or not this is the most important debate to have about the HR function now – or are there more important issues for HR to focus on.

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Unlock the full value of your HR Shared Service Centre!

By Dirk Verburg

 A number of organizations have not yet unlocked the full value of their HR Shared Service centres due to compromises made at the time they were created. By reviewing and undoing these compromises, companies can unlock the full value of their SSC’s, thereby achieving lower costs and a higher quality level. Continue reading

Less is more: The hidden costs of change in organizations

A number of change initiatives in organizations do not add, but rather destroy value. In this post, the reasons for this are explained and recommendations are given on how to prevent the launch of such initiatives. Concrete examples are provided to illustrate the issues.

Change has become a necessary and constant factor

In 1965 Bob Dylan wrote the iconic song ‘It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)’ with the prophetic line: ‘He who is not being born is busy dying’.

The ability to ‘Being born’ is not only important for individuals, the capability to effectively change (or transform) the organization based on changes in its environment, is also vital for organizations.

Organizations that do not adapt themselves in the right way and at the right time to changes in their environment often cease to exist, with all the associated broader economic and social consequences.

Fortunately, most organizations are equipped with leaders who realize this and are able to initiate and implement changes in their organizations in an effective manner. If they are under the impression that they are not capable of handling this effectively themselves, can elect help out of the armies of external consultants on the market who are more than capable and eager to assist.

Change for the sake of change

So if changes are necessary and most organizations are able to handle them effectively, what is the problem? 

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‘Overqualified and bitter’ – Integrating overqualified employees in the workplace

As a result of the current economic crisis, a number of people need to take a step back in their career and accept smaller roles than they were used to or hoping for. These people face a choice between accepting this new reality with a positive mindset, or rejecting it and become bitter.

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