HR at the Kids' Table

Ask any HR professional what concerns them the most, and “Becoming a  relevant and important part of the corporate team” will be in the top five. “What can I do to make myself more credible to my leaders?” is the question typically asked.

Like most things, the right answers are simple yet complicated. Direct yet nuanced. “Understand how your role fits into the goals of  the company.”  Check.  “Help recruit fantastic talent for your  organization.”  Yep.  Learn what not to do.  What?

Story time:. A manager calls me for some advice.  He is an acquaintance of mine and knows I am fairly adept at talking managers off the ledge.  In short, he’s pissed.

He had asked his group managers to make a list of everyone’s birthdays, anniversary days and home telephone numbers.  He is building a great culture, and he wanted to acknowledge these important dates. He also wanted his team leaders to do the same. The phone numbers were for emergencies.  He even added that if any team member has an issue with making these lists, it is not a requirement.  Simple, direct, and, I think, effective.

HR saw it differently.  They asked him for a special meeting.  They told him one person complained, but just “wanted him to know.”

All well and good.

Now he is in a slow burn.  And therefore less effective.

I wish HR people would realize that their reputations can be made by not only what they do, but what they do not do.  What do you think this HR person should have done