The intersection between HR strategy and HR technology

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Pet Peeves Translated to HR 1

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So it’s obvious that writing a daily blog is weighing heavily on the writer. What does one write about…?  However, my daily grind is weighing even more heavily and there are a few things that bug me that I really want to write about.  However, since this blog is about HR, I have to tie it in somehow.

So topic number 1.  Just because you are done smoking your cigarette, does not mean it’s ok to throw the butt out the window.  I mean really, it’s still littering even though 60% of it is gone.

So what does this have to do with HR?  Well, nothing really, but I’ll force it in.  Here’s where I’m going to go with this.  What might seem right to you, may not seem right to others.  A prime example here is cost savings and efficiencies.  When we outsource and automate processes for HR, often we’re actually just offloading the work to someone else.  We love implementing things like manager self service, and when we do so, often managers actually get more work than they had before.  Their response is:  why did you push your wasted effort onto me?  I’m the one producing direct value for the company.

In fact, they are often right.  When we implement things like on-line job requisitions, hopefully we’ve implemented them so that the work is more intuitive, less time consuming, and more easily accessible than before.  Sure, you’ll have the random manager complaining that their old paper based process was better, but these reactions are easily controlled through a decent change management program.

Often however, we’ll actually implement a process that while automated, might be more cumbersome than before.  Because it’s automated, we’ve used the excuse to plug in 3 approval levels, and asked managers to assist us by telling us where they might want to source candidates from.  We’ve asked them to put interview notes into systems they never had to worry about before.  In all, while we might have a more effective solution for HR, the solution for the manager (a.k.a. the business user, end user, real stakeholder…) might have gotten significantly worse.

It’s all based on your perspective.  While you might think it’s perfectly acceptable to throw the cigarette butt out the window, the guy who that butt is landing on might have a very different perception.  In HR, we must understand that we are not our own customer.  In most cases, executives, managers and employees are, and it is their perception and point of view that matters most.

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