Is there any leeway for HR

HR has to position itself more strongly

HR had to take a lot in the past, says Stefan Nette. The HR manager is convinced that criticism is important in order to keep moving, but trust must also be there. It is time to take a clearer stance. A plea for the human.

We, the HR managers, have been exposed to various criticisms for some time now. We do not work in a modern way, we cannot substantiate our performance with figures, we cannot negotiate and we are not well networked in the company. I also hit exactly this point on my blog and initiated the interview series “Quo Vadis - Human Resources”. Criticizing is one thing, and it is certainly important. Because if you persist in the here and now, you will miss the future. But solutions also have to be created.

Numbers, numbers, numbers everywhere. In the modern economy everything can be planned, everything verifiable and valid. The fact that all leeway is often destroyed and that courage, willingness to take risks and entrepreneurship are slowed down from time to time is accepted with approval. I wonder what if Carnegie, Rockefeller, or J.P. Morgan would have relied on the numbers alone. Sure, I certainly do not want these men to be monopolistic, and I consider them to be extremely dangerous, but I would like to see a little more leeway and confidence in our abilities.

Many great business personalities had “the right nose”. One also relied on one's intuition. The problem with all innovations is, after all, that you can only really validly measure them after they have been introduced. Some are difficult or even impossible to measure - despite all planning and market research. In addition, we should not forget why the typical HR employee, including the ladies, strived for a career in this specialist area. When I look around, I see a lot of colleagues who have a "good knack" for people who care about the individual, who can talk and argue, who have empathy and usually have at least one further training aimed at making people understand and develop.

So many of us seem to care about the human level. One could put it simply: “We can be human”. Not all of us, certainly there are those who are numeros who are not quite as strong on the interpersonal level. But as a rule, these people go to controlling or accounting, where they can live out their pronounced affinity for numbers. It is the nature of things that very few people can do everything, and certainly not everything equally well. This view is certainly a bit bold and you shouldn't focus it too much, because everyone has different skills and there are as many different personalities as a dime a dozen among us HR professionals.

So does it make sense to ask us to do the ultimate balancing act, from a division as extensive as human resources? There are many human resource experts and professionals who should be trusted to know what they are doing when proposing new action. Not everything can be argued with numbers, in many areas common sense would support one or the other argument. Some time ago, the failure of the HR business partner was made a topic on this portal. I see one of the reasons for the failure of the concept in the fact that we are far too often perceived not as partners, but as vicarious agents, but also in the fact that we give ourselves up to this role because it is idle, constantly with it to run into your head against the wall.

I think HR has gotten into a bind. We notice that people don't like to take us fully and on the other hand we lack the confidence that one can convince with a little courage and research. With his publication, Jörg Buckmann calls for cheek in personnel marketing. I wish a lot more. I want cheeky HR managers who appear self-confident and, if necessary, sometimes demand that you trust their intuition and feeling for people.

I'm not saying that HR is the most important factor in a company, I think that's presumptuous and uncooperative. But HR is an important factor in the company because we get people excited about our company, because we want to make sure that these people will still feel comfortable with us in five years' time. Because even in the greatest dilemmas we know that most of what is brought to us is confidential and must be treated accordingly. Ultimately, we are the mediator between the workforce and the company management. We find ourselves in an area of ​​tension every day. This is probably not honored by either one or the other.

It is time to bring our core competencies and the problems that our work brings back into focus, away from constant criticism and sometimes self-mortification. We can definitely take a stand. If we manage to create an understanding of the problems in our daily work, there is at least a chance that you will also see that we cannot always put everything into numbers.

If we manage to make people aware of our entrepreneurial spirit and the desire to support our companies on their way to greater, or at least constant, success, then we may finally be able to turn back to our core tasks. A balanced relationship between company and employee interests. Because we are all aware that the era of total automation has not yet dawned and that we depend on the people who provide the services. To everyone, from the board of directors to temporary workers.

It is time to get that understanding in everyone's mind. If it is only in our own, we will not get anywhere. Perhaps this also requires an assertive “I'm still talking, you are listening to me now!” A few times, but that too will certainly earn us a little more respect in some places. Sometimes the question of “am I at the right place here” must also be allowed. Because if you put all your energy into projects that are ultimately not implemented, it doesn't make sense either for the individual or for the company.