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Why execs hate HR … and 5 things you can do about it!

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in Centerpiece,HR Management,Human Resources

by Jathan Janove

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard an executive complain about HR …

Why the bad rap? Is it deserved? What’s more, how does HR change it?

Here’s how: HR professionals can build positive relationships with the C-Suite and management by following these five steps:

1. Just say ‘no’ to no

Too many HR professionals see themselves as compliance cops instead of compliance coaches.

Rather than saying “no,” HR should first explore what management is trying to accomplish. Even if you think you know the answer, ask for time to research and evaluate the issue. By doing so, you might discover options that will avoid a “no” answer. Moreover, resistance will be less if management understands you strived to find an alternative.

When faced with a challenging compliance issue, identify three options:

  1. Risk preferrer—high risk, high business advantage
  2. Risk averse—legally safest but substantial business disadvantage
  3. Ris...(register to read more)

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ETD September 26, 2011 at 12:44 pm

I’ve read this article and fundamentally agree with it. However, this is one aspect of the HR & Executive relationship that really isn’t addressed: Many Executives who are meticulous professionals in their own fields simply fail to accept that HR requires a similar level of professionalism. Many Executives simply don’t see the legal structure that HR works in as valid. I believe this is so because most manages and executives are actually “protected” from the implications of their own failed HR decisions. I have worked for several companies where a manager who makes a serious mistake with financial or technical consequences is immediately held accountable and expected to develop the solution or resolution to the problem. However, if that same executive ignores simple common sense practices when dealing with a difficult subordinate and, as a result, litigation or state/federal agency action occurs, the situation is immediately transferred to HR and the attorneys and that executive’s role is sharply diminished. In these organizations, HR’s role is to “resolve” whatever happened to ensure minimal impact on operations.

I have only worked for one organization that had a clear HR philosophy that placed responsibility on managers and executives as well. That organization placed high demands on their HR people, but you knew that the other managers were held at an equal level of accountability within their spheres of control. That made for the best environment


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