Yesterday, I wrote about the future of human resources.
One reason I’m not worried about HR? The driving forces of human behavior.
I’m not just talking about the poor choices that employees make when they think nobody is looking. I’m referring to a whole host of conflict-avoidant behaviors. The tendency to hack your way to success, and by hack, I mean cheat. And I’m also thinking about the impulse that makes people look away when they see a dirty pile of dishes that need washing.
HR is necessary. Not a necessary evil, but necessary.
Team leaders don’t have time to figure out the psychological dynamic of some dude who keeps showing up for work late even though he’s been warned. Good managers will listen to an employee cry once, maybe twice, but definitely not a third time. And, let’s be honest, the CEO doesn’t have time to investigate a mystery pooper who craps in the hallway as a sick form of revenge.
The energy that goes into managing people (and emotions) is immense and overwhelming. Sometimes it takes a village to give feedback, especially if there are two technical people involved who aren’t comfortable with honest and candid conversations. That’s why I’m okay with my friends who work in human resources.
Whenever someone tells you that HR is dead and dying, ask them to elaborate. Who will referee “refrigerator wars” and tell the office when it’s time to clean out the old food? Who sympathizes with employees when their animals die? Who organizes hot meals and checks in on the worker whose daughter has just been diagnosed with lymphoma?
HR is more than just crappy, momma-driven labor. But even when it’s just women’s work, it’s still okay because it meets the human needs of the organization. When the driving force of human behavior is self-preservation, excellent HR professionals are more than equipped to mobilize positive behaviors in the workforce every day.
I think human resources is more than team building and payroll change notifications, but if it’s just that, be grateful. You’re lucky to have it.