What Does HR Stand For In Your Company?

Full Transcript Below

[ANNOUNCER]: Breaking down everyday workplace issues and diagnosing the hidden sickness, not just the obvious symptom. Our hosts, James and Coby.

[COBY]: Did we lose a patient?

[JAMES]: No, that’s just my lunch.

[COBY]: Hey, thanks for joining us. I’m Coby, he’s James. And, let’s get started with a question. What does HR stand for in your company?

[JAMES]: What I thought would be really interesting to talk about with this question is to actually explore some of the expectations that we often see companies putting on their HR departments and then talking about the impact that these expectations have on both the business itself and the employees. Now, we all know that HR, ah, just like every single business department, is there to help the business, to perform key tasks, to mitigate risk, and to advance the growth and development of the organization itself. So we’ve kind of put the expectations into that are placed on HR, into four categories. The first is, are the company’s expectations for HR, to use them to just administer all of the, red tape administrative tasks, whether that’s, you know, legal compliance or, oh, and s, or benefits administration or HRIS, data input, you know, is HR primarily an administrative role? The other, and the next one is our company’s expectations for HR to use them primarily for hiring and firing. Is your day so consumed with just trying to get bums in seats because the turnover is atrocious, that it’s just constant hiring and firing, which, unfortunately, is an expectation that we see too often. are the company’s expectations for HR to use them to restrict and squeeze every last drop of productivity out of their employees that we can? Or are the company’s expectations really focused on helping, getting HR to use, to nurture and support their greatest asset, which are their employees as their primary path to success and profitability? So the question of, what does HR actually stand for? Has two meanings. We want to talk about the philosophy or approach that HR takes on an organization which is heavily influenced by those expectations that are placed on them by the senior leadership. But also we want to explore, what do the letters h and r reflect in your organization? Are you holding red tape? Are you highly reactive? Are you hovering and restricting? Or are humans actually required?

[COBY]:Yeah. And I think that this will be a very interesting conversation for HR professionals, but I think we’re going to make sure that we cover a lot of valuable, ideas and, kind of insights that will help kind of general, everyday employees, as well as managers and leaders in kind of this positioning of it. So something that we’re sometimes, when we kind of have, like, an HR topic. This, you know, some people m might think it’s really just up for HR professionals, but this is going to be very, I think, interesting to HR professionals, but this is going to be really, I think, helpful and insightful for kind of general employees and kind of managers and leaders. Hopefully, this will be something for everybody in this conversation.

[JAMES]: Yeah, well, everything is reflective of this. Everybody’s going to be impacted by this in some way, and…

[COBY]: If you work f

 or a business, this is going to be reflective for you. But I think one thing that we should also just touch on briefly is we’re going to probably drop a few job titles and stuff when we actually dig into the kind of those four categories that you mentioned. And, we want to kind of also just kind of make clear that there’s a big difference in HR titles in different companies, in different sectors and different size companies, even in the same sector, because there’s sometimes I can almost feel like the wild, Wild west out there when it comes to job titles in a small company. there might be a single HR professional that’s titled like, HR manager or director of HR, but really, because of the need, it’s really more of an administrative role, which might be the same as like a generalist role in another company. So we might say that in this situation, there might be a lot of generalists. And, we don’t want to confuse people to kind of say that only generalists have this type of experience, but some reality of, you know, we may talk about a job that might sound like yours or sound like one that you’re familiar with in your company, but the title is really, really different. So that’s just.

[JAMES]: And HR professionals know this. It’s not a mystery that, in any, department, we tend to be somewhat generous with, titles at times.

[COBY]: Absolutely, yes. So just kind of wanted to put that out there. But kind of a big recurring theme we’re going to get into is the kind of main question is HR about having this core business function an equal partner to finance and to operations and everything else like that, too? That is about leveraging the human capital that is probably our biggest investment in our workplaces. Isn’t our HR labor costs and getting the most out of the people that perform the functions of our business? Or is HR really about being just regulated to risk mitigation and maintenance? Is about keeping, you know, keep putting out the fires and keeping the company, you know, safe from liability and…

[JAMES]: And let’s be real, those are important functions. Yes. There’s like, the HR. Absolutely. The, those administrative responsibilities are essential to keeping the business operational, keeping it compliant, keeping and keeping it from shooting itself in the foot when managers do stuff to, try to fire somebody without cause or make really bad decisions. And now they’re going to scrambling, going to HR, saying, how do I get out of this? There’s an absolute need for that. But it takes a shorter term view of the impact that HR can have on an organization.

[COBY]: Well, one of the things, too, is we talked, a few times on the podcast about comparing the function and value and roles in HR to that of finance. Because m like, I mean, like, you know, finance clerks do a lot of administrative work, and they are essential to kind of the, the operations and keeping the grease that kind of makes the department work. But in no finance department, it’s really just clerks. There’s people that have higher investments, you know, have the ear of the CEO. And so, so there’s, there’s a structure, and there’s roles and major responsibilities that exist in that function. Not saying the clerks aren’t important, but they’re not the top of the food chain in that department, but often in HR, you know, with some of these, and we’re going to get into them, sometimes those clerk functions is the top of the food chain within the HR responsibilities, and everything else is kind of under someone else. So even though those are just as important as they are in other departments, it’s that, sometimes we don’t give the weight and we don’t give the voice to the people side of the business. And it’s often kind of like a sub sub sub department of, like, operations or something else like that, too. So, again, even though we might sound like we’re tucking down on some of the more administrative stuff or some of the more like, you know, things like the more typical functions, we’re definitely not.

[JAMES]: Saying there’s, our intent is not to talk negatively, but HR, to be a business partner with the two, as a unit, to support and advance the growth and development of the organization, really has to have more than an administrative function. Yeah, I think that’s at the heart of what we want to share is that, we want to take you through these different classifications that we’ve arbitrarily come up with, because we feel that there’s value in identifying where the limitations are, and how HR is such a powerful tool for your organization. If you look at it from a strategy mindset that HR has a seat at the table and will influence our people initiatives.

[COBY]: Absolutely. So let’s, so the bulk of this talk, I think we’re going to get into those four kind of different versions of those acronyms of HR that you mentioned. So I think I’ll recap them again quickly, but then we’ll kind of dig into them one by one and talk about kind of what they look like and everything. So just to recap, the four, versions of HR, ah, that James mentioned. So the first one is Holding Red Tape, the next one is highly reactive, then there’s hovering and restricting, and the last one is humans required. So let’s talk about holding red tape. Now, this is that very administrative, legal compliance, kind of a lot of that clerk work, payroll, benefits, ohms, you know, mostly administrative, what would be kind of thought of as that typical kind of entry level generalist role. And again, these are important functions, but it’s more of like, when holding red tape is what HR stands for, then you’re often looking at it very much being just about taking the administrative work off the plate of management.

[JAMES]: Yeah. And that I think this really comes from a, lack of strategy in the growth phase of an organization. where I’ve seen this happen so many times is as small, businesses grow, it happens very organically of, at a certain point in your growth stage, you just as the senior leadership team or leader yourself, you need to offload those responsibilities to somebody. I just need somebody to take this stuff off my plate and so that I can continue to focus on growing the organization, whether that’s through, sales, through client relationships, whatever your growth mindset and strategy is, it’s a, I need some, I know I need this done, and I just need somebody to do it. And so I don’t have to think about it. The problem is that for many companies, they never go back and revisit that expectation of this. We didn’t put any strategy into what HR would actually be in our organization. It grew out of a necessity and it grew very organically. And we just started piling on more and more administrative duties onto a person, or eventually department of people to as manage those legalistic, or, administrative functions.

[COBY]: Yeah. And I mean, like, sometimes when there’s again, this point of like, you know, we’ve hit a certain threshold in our business, based on the industry, that threshold can be different. Like, you can be often be between, you know, like, 15 and 50 employees is kind of a common, you know, range for people where, okay, this is too much work for the leadership team. To hold on to. We need some help. So, you know, we’re like, well, we need an HR person. So some people will think, well, if HR is just thought of as holding red tape, we’ll just give this work to somebody to just handle it so we don’t have to where other companies might look. Okay. We need to start being more tactical with our, with our human capital needs. So maybe they’ll, they’ll take that money that they would hire kind of entry level, generalists, and maybe they’ll hire kind of, a fractional chro that would help them actually build this out kind of right from the very beginning. And if your business is in that state where you’re like, okay, we need to do our first connect, our first acquisition of someone to help us with our HR needs. Those are not, those are two things to consider. Should we hire an, entry level person to handle the administrative work, which would be very helpful in the short term, but could, like, box you in in the long term? Or should we look at somebody who could bring us in a strategy to help us not just, you know, manage stuff in the short term, but also really going to help us make a real plan so our human capital needs become the for kind of like, you know, like at the foreground of the work that we do?


[JAMES]: Well, it’s about aligning your growth strategy externally with how are you going to grow internally? What’s your, what? How do you plan to scale your people growth to match the needs that are coming from your external, client acquisition or market, segment growth?

[COBY]: Absolutely. You know, and that’s a really good way to think about it. Yeah. Are you planning. Yeah. Are you planning your external growth and internal growth to scale together, or are you trying to just patch the holes today and hitting the snooze button on dealing with the scalability later?

[JAMES]: Well, yeah, and I mean, it’s a fairly common mentality, though, that we prioritize the external growth we need that if our companies are going to survive, we need more m, revenue coming in, we need more money coming in than what we’re spending. So focusing on that external growth of bringing in client acquisition or, partnerships that are going to lead to increased market share or whatever that growth, merger, acquisition as part of your growth, whatever that growth strategy is. we know the importance of that from a external, focus.

[COBY]: Absolutely.

[JAMES]: And we just tend not to put the same onus on our ability to scale internally.

[COBY]: Yeah. So when we’re working with the holding red tape kind of type of HR, when that’s what HR stands for. one of the things that we kind of also need to be kind of clear is that the holding red tape department is not really there for employees benefit. Really. It’s really just there to take the work off the manager’s plate. And that’s really the function that they would probably only have interaction when it comes to legal compliance or the payrolls and benefits administration or, you know, sitting in an Awicness meeting performance reviews as.

[JAMES]: Part of your regular requirements.

[COBY]: Yeah, but really they’re there as almost like the sidekick to the managers. So that way the managers have less work on their place, so they’re not really an asset or an advocate or anything for employees, in that context. So if this is the type of workplace that you’re in and you’d like to maybe evolve beyond this, I think that a good thing to do would be for leaders and managers to really kind of have, you know, maybe think, you know, you might think that you have your HR needs covered by the holding red tape department. but, you know, if you, you really are vastly, underutilizing a core kind of, you know, function of your organization. And it is going to end if that’s kind of. If it’s really just, if the, you know, that side of it is really regulated just to the administrative work, just the compliance work, the clerk level authority, then it’s going to have a, it’s going to really hinder your long term success, kind of because you’re really trying to move forward without having, like you said before, kind of that strategic, you know, kind of asset focus, like, you know, you know, growth and scalability side of it. So you’re going to end up hitting an internal scalability wall, which is going to hold back your external scalability.

[JAMES]: Well. And what we often see is that the holding red tape as a company continues to grow, externally, and they aren’t able to make that mindset shift. We see it tend to transform into one of the two next, categories that we’re going to talk about.

[COBY]: Right. Yes, but I think the last thing I want to say about the holding red tape department is if you’re an employee, and this sounds kind of like what HR, ah, stands for in your workplace, began to be kind of clear, there’s not a whole lot that they can really do for you. They’re not really empowered to do much outside, of that administrative work. They don’t really have a seat at the table or have the sway to really be the advocate that you might want or need. So you also kind of need to kind of have a clear expectation about what HR can do for you because I’m sure the individual professionals might actually want to help, but they’re probably not in a position to actually do much.

[JAMES]: Yeah, I mean, and it’s, it’s not a reflection of the individuals performing the, duties. it’s a more reflection of the company hasn’t taken a long term strategic view of it.

[COBY]: Yeah.

[JAMES]: but it does lead us into one of the, one of the outcomes that we see of this mentality as you continue to grow is that it evolves into a highly reactive position. We see this very, frequently in. Actually, talent acquisition tends to be a big part of this. if HR has never had a strategic mindset or a strategic seat at the table, then it tends to evolve into this very highly reactive, continuous cycle of nonstop recruitment, non like, high turnover, constant postings, constantly trying to fill seats. And it becomes this reactive. We just have to put bums in seats. We just need more people because we are bleeding employees.

[COBY]: Yeah. So when. Yeah, you’re right. So when we are part of this new version of HR, the highly reactive department, you’re right. A big, example or probably, major thing to be aware of is the fact that it really is more about that recruitment and dealing with turnover. It’s almost like every day it’s about putting out the fires or it’s about just responding to what, one disaster after another. No one ever gets ahead. And we see this, especially when it’s about turnover and, and recruitment. I mean, some industries, this is this kind of notorious for having a highly reactive department. Like, we’ve seen this a lot in manufacturing. We’ve seen an awful lot in healthcare and yeah, healthcare strategies, but into some other degree we’ll kind of see in like the auto sales industry. So there really is about like, you know, when it’s just about, you know, the turnover is crazy, people are constantly leaving or it’s about dealing with fires and you know, like, you know, like scheduling issues or whatever. It is like that. It’s just always reacting, reacting, reacting, reacting. You know, that tends to kind of. You’re right. One of the causes of how we get to a highly reactive department sometimes it’s the natural evolution from the holding red tape department.

[JAMES]: Yeah, we’ve been holding red tape for so long and we haven’t put any thought or strategy into what HR can be beyond just the basic administrative tasks that we’ve turned our culture into just a revolving door of talent where we’re constantly bringing people in, constantly trying to, upskill and onboard as we, and we’re just, we’re stuck in this loop. It’s like a hamster on a wheel, just constantly running and getting nowhere.

[COBY]: Yeah, well, yeah, and I mean, in some places, like, you know, we’ve seen organizations where their entire, you know, HR department is just doing recruitment. Like there really is very little else other than they’re doing, mostly because they don’t have the time to do anything else. They constantly have, you know, double digit vacancies they have to fill every single day. So there’s just nothing left in them or there’s no, you know, and, and sometimes, you know, their expectation placed on the, on these highly reactive departments, from their leadership is just, well, isn’t that what HR does? Isn’t that all HR is good for? And that tends to kind of be some of the core of the problem.

[JAMES]: Yeah. I mean, that’s your job. Your job is to hire people. Your job is to fire people. Your job is like, it becomes you. You talked, and you used the analogy earlier of, you know, putting out fires.

[COBY]: Right.

[JAMES]: And that’s what we, we hear that from, people in industry, from HR professionals who we are talking with, who say, I feel like I just run from problem to problem to problem to problem. And m never actually have time to do the things that I enjoy about HR, which is that more people centric approach. I mean, this is a profession that draws people who want to help other people. And a lot of us are drawn to HR because we have, it gives us an opportunity to impact the work and the life and the, by extension, the lives of many people. And we can actually do something cool to make that better for people. and it can be incredibly frustrating and incredibly demoralizing to be relegated to a position where all you do is run from problem to problem to problem to problem and you’re stuck in this constant cycle.

[COBY]: Yeah. And I mean, so it’s funny, we did a, video on our YouTube channel, about a year ago. We talked about why HR professionals are burning out, at a higher rate than, other than other positions. And we talked about it because a lot of them work in the highly reactive department every day. They’re eight tasks behind and they, you know, may only get to seven of the eight tasks, which means they’ve got nine tasks tomorrow. And you’re right, a lot of them get into the work for trying to make a difference, you’re trying to actually be there for people is the advocacy or that they have a desire to help other people. And then when you put them in this position where it’s almost like they can see the opportunity to help people behind the glass, but they can never break through because everything else is blocking them, then it’s almost like, you know, compounding insult with injury. Well, we, you see how you could help, but you don’t have the time, ability, even authority to help. It’s almost like even worse. You could, but you can’t.

[JAMES]: Well, and you’re, you’re right. So often in conversations, it’s been, I can see so many ways that we can be better. I just don’t have time to implement any new strategies because we’re just so highly reactive.

[COBY]: Yeah. So if you’re a leader or manager, and this sounds like what HR stands for in your organization, then it’s kind of like you basically have a leaky bucket that, you know, when it comes to talent, you know, whether it’s HR talent or just general talent, you’re constantly pouring water into this bucket that’s full of holes. And, the more you pour in, the more it is coming out. And until you take the time to patch the holes, to get proactive, to stop. So to try and invest in what you need to be away from every day, reactive to trying to get ahead and have a plan and have a strategy and to grow with intention, then you’re constantly going to be dumping, you know. Well, I’m saying, you know, water, but really money, time, effort, energy, mental health into this bucket that is constantly leaking out. And you, and every day, you know, there’s less water in there than there was a day before.

[JAMES]: Yeah.

[COBY]: Because the thing is, is that, you know, especially if, if your, if your recruitment, if you’re that revolving to our talent that you mentioned, at some point your labor pool is going to dry up.

[JAMES]: Well, yes. That’s the other thing is that we, it’s already difficult to, attract talent. I mean, people are, it’s a common theme throughout every business conversation we have, is it’s getting more difficult to hire and retain people. You do not have an infinite supply of laborers. I don’t care what industry, where you’re located. At some point you will burn through your labor supply, either because your reputation, reputation is so incredibly terrible that nobody wants to work for you or because you just hit a wall and there, you’ve recycled so many people through that you don’t have the luxury of just treating people like a commodity.

[COBY]: Yeah. And let’s be clear. We’ve seen both of those and they’re both awful because you hit this wall and then, you know, there you cannot fill positions and you’re, people are not showing up even after they hired because they eventually hear about the reputation or whatever it is, and then you’re stuck. And it’s something that, you know, it’s, that something has to change and you can’t, you know, it’s because, like, if you don’t change, it’s like, I know how to get ourselves out of this hole. Let’s dig even more.

[JAMES]: Yeah, yeah, I, yeah. And it becomes a more expensive problem.

[COBY]: Absolutely.

[JAMES]: Like when you, when you hit that, that breaking point, it becomes more costly to fix because you’re, you’re into brand reputation, you’re into brand management now. You’re into your employer brand. It seeps into the consumer market when you have a terrible, employer brand that it is so incredibly easy for people to share their experiences.

[COBY]: Yeah.

[JAMES]: and people are very happy to share negative experiences.

[COBY]: Absolutely. So one thing I kind of want to mention before we move on from the highly reactive department is, I want to say, if you’re an employee and this sounds like your HR and your company stands for the highly reactive department, part of the thing you’re going to have to understand is that they are just trying their best to keep their heads above water and they’re burning out as quickly, if not work quicker than what you are. So likely they can’t help you, they can’t meet, you know, the deadlines. and I’m sure, and again, let’s be clear, I doubt there’s any industry where you have a highly reactive department that is the only ones being reactive behind the eight ball. I’m sure everybody is, every department. So it’s just, you know, that they are just as behind the ball as you are. So there you might say, well, what’s the point? They’re not, they’re not helping me. You’re not wrong, but it’s, they are just not, probably do not have the capacity, the time or ability to be able to get ahead to help you.

[JAMES]: It’s a leadership philosophy, unfortunately. And unless leaders take a more strategic view, a long term view.

[COBY]: Yeah.

[JAMES]: It’s unlikely to change.

[COBY]: Absolutely.

[JAMES]: As depressing as this is, let’s move on. Keep going. That’s power through.

[COBY]: Yeah. So the next one is the hovering and restricting department.

[JAMES]: So on to the happiness.

[COBY]: Yeah. So this is, so you thought highly reactive was bad? Buckle up. So this is the reporting and discipline focused department. This is what you hear on social media of the toxic HR side of the equation, where they’re the personal relationships police. They’re, you know, they administer the, the kind of mandatory training that you have to do to say, well, this is what you can’t do in the workplace. This is the enforcement side of the, of the work. So they’re really about what you cannot do and monitoring you to make sure you’re not doing it well.

[JAMES]: And that’s the, that’s what we often see at the complaint, is that it’s a very much a monitoring role. It’s a, employees cannot be trusted. We have to watch them like hawks at all time to ensure that they never step out of line. And if they do step out of line, we are going to smack them so hard that nobody ever thinks about stepping out of line again. I would like to believe that this, that this mindset is going the way of the dodo, and is on its way out. I believe that we are seeing a shift in mindset, towards a much more strategic and what I consider a much healthier mindset of how we invest, in employees. But unfortunately, the reality is that this mindset is still prevalent. we often see it in large corporate structures where one or two people in a position of power, have carved out a nice little kingdom for themselves.

[COBY]: Yeah, this is something that we often see in the very, like, eighties NBA, old boys club, you know, corporate culture. And this is, you know, so, so there’s a lot of, like, like, you know, it’s, this is not something you see a lot in, like, you know, new and evolving businesses or businesses that, like, you know, are kind of leading edges. These are more like, you know, like longstanding legacy businesses where I think this is probably a little bit more common. but really it’s about HR is there to do the dirty work. They, you know, they monitor people. They slap their fingers. They keep them in line. They have, and they have the hard conversations to tell them what they cannot do. And we’re watching you to make sure you don’t do it. And so when you hear, like, you know, it’s funny because you see on different social media platforms, people like, you know, hey, I’m interested. Getting into HR, what’s it like? And then you see people like, don’t do it. You’re going to be the. And this is what they’re talking about. It’s this hovering and restricting department is the experience that people are saying, stay away from HR are going through for the most part because, like, the horror stories all come from this hovering and restricting department.

[JAMES]: Not a lot of them do. Yeah, sorry. We hear a lot of horror stories in the highly reactive fire stage, too, and a lot. But yeah, the, the, the toxic, HR comments, like, yeah, so, I mean, I talked about it on, in almost every podcast probably, that I waste way too much time on Reddit. I enjoy Reddit. but I also, I subscribe to a number of HR, subreddits there. And there’s often people who are posting earnest questions of, I’m in this situation, can HR help me? And it tears a piece of my soul off every time I read these comments of, don’t go to HR. HR is not your friend. M HR is just there to protect the business. They don’t care about you. But that is what’s being said in HR subreddits. Oftentimes. It’s not people in a, who are actually in HR positions are sharing that advice, but that is a prevalent mindset.

[COBY]: Well, and I think that those, so what’s interesting is like, is if you’re, if you listening, are also a fan of, you know, Reddit or even like, you know, other, other platforms where people talk about their HR experiences. Part of the benefit of us talking about what does HR stand for? Is that the holding red tape department, the highly reactive department, the hovering and restricting department, or the one we’re going to get to next, the humans required department, is when you read that statement, which, what does HR stand for in that department that the person’s talking about?

[JAMES]: Yeah.

[COBY]: Because these are the four spaces of the four sides of HR that, it’s helpful to kind of say, okay, well, this person obviously came from a hovering and restricting department. So it kind of helps put a little bit of context behind it. But I mean, you know, when you hear the stories, you know, about the hovering and restricting department, it’s, you know, reminds me of, you know, catbird, you know, using HR as a weapon to squeeze everything out of employees. And, one thing that is also a good way to think about it, too, is that the hovering and restricting department, when they, when they talk about human resources, it’s about using humans as resources. They are a means to an end. They are a disposable commodity to squeeze and then throw away. And that really is, you know, kind of, again, but that’s built on the expectations placed on the hovering restricting department to operate in that function.

[JAMES]: It’s a terrible situation to put people into m. Yeah. And I do. It can be fixed. It can change, but it requires, cutting out the cancer. That understanding where this is coming from, and I mentioned it before because unfortunately, where we’ve seen it has been in people trying to build their own little power kingdoms and not wanting to give up control of everything and wanting to micromanage from their authority. If you are a leader or a manager and you have a seat at the table, you need to cut out the cancer. It may include trying to remove some long serving employees, maybe some high level employees. But if you want things to change, you’ll never have things change if you don’t change the people who are involved.

[COBY]: yeah, I don’t really know. Like, I mean, again, we don’t go into organizations and kind of just say, you know, our first, our first suggestion is to fire everybody. You know, but there is a. It is hard to envision a theoretical company dealing with a hovering and restricting department that’s led by Catbird, who can fix it without, burning the whole thing down and rebuilding. Like, it’s really hard to kind of envision that theoretical situation. But a hovering restriction department is not how productive and sustainable businesses operate in today’s climate. Yeah, it needs to go away at the dodo, and employees, are demanding that it go the way at the dodo because we. And we need a whole new structure and philosophy in order to fix this and to get away from HR standing for the hovering restricting department.

[JAMES]: And you’re right. I mean, it’s. We don’t advocate for firing, people lightly. I can’t envision a scenario where, if this has been prevalent for a while, even with the willingness to change from the person in charge, the damage.

[COBY]: Yeah, the trust is broken.

[JAMES]: Trust is broken. And the best thing for everybody is likely to part ways and find a new solution.

[COBY]: Yeah, you’re right.

[JAMES]: But finally, let’s move on to a couple of. Something a little bit more positive so I I don’t end up crying in the corner after this podcast.

[COBY]: So the last department that HR can stand for is the humans required department. This is where we see human resources as leveraging human capital. This is where they can be the employee advocate. This is where employees are seen as assets. And going back to what I said, the opposite of where hovering and restricting is about kind of using employees as resources, the human required is about providing resources to humans.

[JAMES]: Yeah. And blessedly, we are seeing this as a common, more common trend, more common philosophy. even just in the last five years or so, the prevalence of the conversations around, employee experience, around, people and culture, around the fact that HR is a strategic partner. it is so encouraging for us who are in this space of trying to, facilitate change to see how much movement has at least how the conversations have shifted. It’s now the onus is on us to go from conversational to action.

[COBY]: Right? Yes. And anything too is like, you know, this is something that, you know, is like you said, it is more common. And there are organizations that are having HR stand for humans required.

[JAMES]: Yeah.

[COBY]: I mean, now here’s the thing. If you work for, you know, a company that has a holding red tape department or a highly reactive department or hovering restriction department, you might think we’re talking about fantasy here. But this does happen. And where we see this more, we see it. It’s more common in organizations that invest in leadership development. Like leadership, manager skills and training is a fundamental core asset that they invest in. We also see it in sectors that are really competitive, that they rely on having the best and brightest people working for them. So the human experience, and the employee experience relates to the organizational success and performance. When that connection is ingrained into the DNA of the organization for competitive and profitability purposes, this becomes a much more common situation. And this is something that if the, for leaders and managers out there, this is really where you want to get to. This is, this is the scalability, this is the growth and profitability, and reducing burnout. And having a, real, sustainable, long term, profitable future is going to come in today’s climate. And it’s something that you need to be able to understand. How do you leverage this philosophy of humans required?

[JAMES]: And the good news is that if you are in any of the previous categories, that we talked about, this is you, you don’t, you’re not stuck. There is a path forward. it does require a mindset shift. But we have seen companies that once they identify, that, wait, something is not, something’s wrong. We’re either, we’re burning through people too fast. So we need to look at a different way of doing things. You know, oftentimes we’re hearing it as a, we don’t know something’s wrong. And we need to do, if we continue to do what we’ve always done, we’re always going to get the same results. So we need to do something different. knowing what, that getting to that stage is incredibly important because once you start to investigate what’s happening in your workplace, you can create a plan based on the data that you collect to how do we actually get to a place where we have this, ah, expectation that humans, ah, are required, that we are about providing resources to humans to get the best work out of them? That by empowering people, that’s how we’re actually going to scale, both internally and externally.

[COBY]: Yeah. Yes. And, and, so for leaders and managers, if, you know, in order to be able to do this effectively, you need to know how to best leverage your people. You know, how do you create autonomy? How do you foster effective recognition? How do you help people find meaning and purpose in their work? How do you improve the motivation and enthusiasm in people so they can provide you their best work, so that you can, you can improve your organizational performance and efficiency and scale and grow and everything like that? And there are methods to do that. It’s. There are data driven, you know, tangible methods in order to make that happen. But it starts with that mindset shift. We need to think about HR differently. We need to move from HR being one of the other, you know, three versions of definitions of HR and focus more on humans required. And if you’re an employee out there, if you work in an environment that has or company that has a humans required department, you have it better than most because you are in the minority. So you need to do your part to add value to your peers, to leverage this expectations, to improve your culture and improve yourself, because this is a situation where, you know, there’s. They still aren’t, maybe there, you know, no company does everything right all the time. Yeah. But there, you have an opportunity to really try to, you know, build on this current foundation that you’re standing on and you can do it. And it’s helpful if you. You’re part of the solution to help the company show. Yes. If you invest in me because I’m a human and I’m required, then I will give you my best.

[JAMES]: Yeah.

[COBY]: Okay. This has been a great conversation.

[JAMES]: Yeah. I’m feeling a little more hopeful after our last.

[COBY]: Yeah. Kind of drudge through some, some negative. I’m glad we left this one last. We ended on. On high end.

[JAMES]: On high. Yeah.

[COBY]: Yeah. So I’m going to do a little bit of a recap before we end.So the question that we asked is, what does HR stand for in your company? And we said that there’s really kind of four faces, or four the definitions of HR that. That you might be, you know, seeing in your career. The first is, do you work for company that has a holding red tape department where it’s about compliance and administrative, administrative work. And it’s about really just making sure the managers have what they need to take less of this administrative people management stuff off their plate. If that’s the workplace that you’re in, you’re going to be hindered by, you know, not having hrs, you know, being a strategic asset, because holding red tape really has a ceiling on how effective it can be in the long run. Does your workplace have a highly reactive department where everything is always on fire? You’re always kind of putting everything out. There’s not much room for the highly reactive department to do much more than respond to things like filling vacancies or terminations or just putting out the fires. If this is a, workplace that you’re in, you have a leaky bucket that you’re constantly pouring resources, time, effort, and money into. That’s just pouring out the bottom, and it’s going to. It’s a very expensive place to be. Do you have a work for an organization that has a hovering and restricting department where it really is this toxic side of HR? It’s about telling people what they can’t do and monitoring them to make sure that they’re not doing it. This is a mindset that had existed for a very long time. But post 2020, this doesn’t fly anymore. And this is going to be what starts to bring companies down and will and will tarnish reputations and consume in both the consumer market and labor market. And this is going to be something that no employee wants to work for. And it’s not going to be a quick, easy, or inexpensive fix, but you don’t have to be stuck with a hovering restricting department. And last, does HR stand for human required department where human capital is something that is the focus? Are employees seen as assets? Do you provide resources to humans instead of using humans as resources? This can be something that your company can work towards. It is becoming more and more common, and it is something that we’ve talked about before. When you have, everyone is kind of racing to the bottom and providing the bare minimum. It doesn’t take a whole lot to stand above and rise to the top. So if this is, this could even be something that you strive for. And there are methods, tools, resources, approaches that can help you get there. It’s a long road if you’re, you know, especially if you’re coming from a hovering or researching department, but there, but it is something that is doable and that you can achieve, and there’s lots of, you know, resources and lots of kind of best practice out there to help you get there. It just takes that mindset shift of we want to move towards a humans required department and human capital is going to be a great investment. Alright, so that about does it for us. For a full archive of the podcast and access to the video version hosted on our YouTube channel, visit www.roman3.ca/podcast thanks for joining us.

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