“Sex, Lies and Human Resources*”

*Note: Not my title. This is a quoted title of an article on page 240 of the March 2018 edition of Marie Claire. Featured on the front page, no less.

When I first started in HR, no one knew who we were. Heck, we weren’t even HR back then. In 2005, popular business magazine Fast Company brought HR into the spotlight, in a not-so-gracious way, with a cover story stating “Why We Hate HR.” One of the more pithy comments was:

”The human-resources trade long ago proved itself, at best, a necessary evil — and at worst, a dark bureaucratic force that blindly enforces nonsensical rules resists creativity, and impedes constructive change.”

Some may chastise me for a 13-years-old reference, however, ten year later Harvard Business Review again spotlighted all that is wrong with HR, dedicating a whole volume to their perception that “It’s Time To Blow Up HR.” It doesn’t take much time to see that the complaints are pretty similar to those made in Fast Company in 2005. (more…)

How HR Can Change The Game

I am still processing the significant amount of commentary about HR’s role in the recent sexual harassment scandals. I wrote earlier about the demands placed on HR that keep us buried in administrivia so that we don’t have time for important work. I wrote about my own experiences as a woman in a man’s world 40 years ago.

Sometimes it just helps to write my thoughts, so let’s give that a try.

Many of us are trying to figure out why all this hoopla is such a surprise. Too many are surprised.

Now the professional media is exploding with advice for HR, so HR has added fielding #metoo sightings to its workload, and taking yet more heat for allowing predatory sexual behavior. There is even a summit with some pretty big names in the #metoo movement who will meet in New York to brainstorm how HR can more effectively stand up to harassment. (more…)

Where was HR when….?

Where was HR when frontline employees at the Veterans Administration Hospitals were obeying the order to log the date of request to be seen one day before their appointment, to show positive metrics?

Where was HR when Wells Fargo employees entered phony accounts for customers who did not open them, all to achieve productivity requirements?

Where was HR while all of these powerful men intimidated (or worse) the female employees?

Well, let’s start here: (more…)