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…)

You’ve got the seat at the table; what are you doing with it?

seat-at-the-tableI have 40 years of experience as an HR executive, authored a book about Transforming  HR, and have a healthy following in social media on my articles related to positioning HR as a business partner. Heck I even got an “HR seat at the table” article published in hbr.org. My experience and study tells me that HR has an opportunity to dramatically influence organizations both in business and in the human aspects of the organization. I don’t think we are doing that; at least I hear that from colleagues.

But I’m beginning to sense that there is a semantics issue for those that do have “a seat at the table.”  I’m pretty sure that the CAO/CHRO for Wells Fargo had a seat at the table. She was actually listed in their proxy, meaning that she is one of the top executives in the organization.

So assuming she had the seat at the table, and held the influence that denotes, why are all the stories coming out about how HR let the employees down, and ultimately, let the company down.  I’ve talked before about the HR role being a dual advocacy – for both the employee and the organization – because at the end of the day, a damaged organization isn’t much good to the employees. (more…)