HR - the frontline?

The images of Air France HR bosses being manhandled by workers and having their clothes shredded in the process were quite something.

As Sathnam Sanghera pointed out in his customarily astute way in The Times (9th October 2015), HR is too frequently left to do management’s dirty work and made a scapegoat.

He went on to quote from Claire Warren’s article in Work, the quarterly trade magazine for HR saying “HR can become … the fall guy for the dehumanisation of work – the downsizing, rightsizing, relocations, and redeployments..”

Partly this has been self-inflicted and critics blame a self-obsession and a lack of business understanding. HR staff get trained more and more in HR matters including of course the complicated employment law aspects relating to staff, rather than being equipped to grasp business skills and a working knowledge of their organisations activities.

Added to this is the move toward flatter structures and the campaign to re-invent HR or even to do away with it altogether.

However, we at Falconbury have long taken the view that HR can and should play a crucial role in any company, provided it is given the business and commercial skills to operate at the sharp end, with maximum effectiveness. This means giving them the knowledge to understand their business, contribute to its success and gain the respect of their colleagues and the employees in general.

Rather than ‘ Companies saying NO to Having an HR department’ (Wall Street Journal), we say YES, but give them the skills to make a difference!

Please look at our programmes and courses, particularly Developing High Performance HR Business Partner and Consulting Skills and Strategic Management of Human Capital to help you or your HR executives to acquire the skills to make a real difference. It might even help them to emerge from hostile meetings with their clothes in tact!

Neil Thomas

October 2015

Published on Oct 13, 2015 by Neil Thomas