HR is about HUMAN resources – Do You Get That? (I’m Not Sure You Do…)

Paul Hebert Driving Productivity, Engagement and Satisfaction, Paul Hebert, Performance, Recognition, Total Rewards, Web/Tech

This post has been bouncing around in my head for a while with no home.  An itch I couldn’t scratch, a sound with no location, a pixelated picture I couldn’t make out.  Until now.

In the November issue of CRM magazine is an article entitled “Six Sigma:  What Went Wrong?”  The subhead to the article is “A 60 percent failure rate suggests process change requires behavior change.”

Hmmm…. process change requires behavior change.

Who Should I Talk to About People Issues?

I’ve spoken to more than a few clients about how to use rewards, incentives and influence techniques to increase the adoption of new processes and technologies resulting in a better overall return on those expenditures.  It only makes sense.  The sooner I can get people to use the CRM system, or the new enterprise knowledge sharing platform, the sooner I realize the benefits – ergo – savings!  But, in most cases, the advice is brushed aside and (the CIO in most cases) goes on about how easy the software is to use and how folks will get it.  Or in extreme cases, the employee is simply told – “do it or lose your job.”

What has bothered me – and what caused me to have that unsettled feeling that ended up in this post, is that someone in the organization should have seen the logic of instituting a behavior reinforcement program along side any major change in the process and requirements of the employee’s job function.

I have to ask, who is responsible for making sure the resources that use the tools are prepared and engaged with the change?  Who, in an organization, has the responsibility for the resources that are human within a company.  Who?  Hmmm, who…?

Then it hit me… HUMAN RESOURCES is!!!

That’s right.  Under our collective noses is a group of folks whose charge, responsibility and raison d’être (reason for living, for those of you in Rio Linda) is making sure the resources that are human, perform best.

Yet, it is rare that HR would even be involved in the process.  If manufacturing was to change the process for putting together the product on the assembly line, I’m sure there would be folks there from facilities to make sure it’s set up correctly.  I’m sure Maintenance would be involved to make sure they understood the impact on service, cleaning and repair.

But, whenever there is a change in the process that involves people – (cricket chip sound effect here) – nothing.  I find it hard to believe that a million dollar installation of new accounting software, a million dollar installation of a CRM system or something like Windows SharePoint wouldn’t be discussed in a fairly high-level meeting, around some mahogany table on some top floor of a building.  When the heads of all the departments got together to chat about business, did they discuss the new software or the new process being considered, implemented, installed?  If so, where was the person from the department that is responsible for resources that are human?

Why didn’t their hand go up and say…”Excuse me, but I think I can help the transition be simple, easy, accepted AND save the company money.”

There have been a lot of posts out here in the ether about HR having a seat at the table.  Having a seat is one thing.  Knowing how to use it is another.  Expand the HR thinking from managing the paper that surrounds the people to managing the environment that surrounds the relationships people have to the company.

HR is about resources that are human – how do you define your role when you change the order of the words?

Paul Hebert

Paul Hebert is Vice President of Individual Performance Strategy at Creative Group Inc, writer, speaker and consultant. Paul focuses on influencing behaviors and driving business results through employees, channel partners and consumers. He is dedicated to creating true emotional connections often overlooked in our automated, tech-enabled world. Using proven motivational theory, behavioral economics and social psychology he has driven extraordinary company performance for his clients. Paul is widely considered an expert on motivation, incentives, and engagement.