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How is HR perceived in the organization?


These are the general role of HRD adopted from David Ulrich’s model:

Future/Strategic Focus


Strategic Partner

Administrative Expert

Change Agent

Employee Champion


Day-to-day/Operational focus


But are these aligned with the stakeholders’ expectations– Capitalists, Senior Management and Employees in general?

  1. Does HR have a seat in the table “being a strategic partner” or is this wishful thinking?
  2. Does HR champion the cause of employees?
  3. Who is the “stronger” force in effecting organizational change, HRD?

Through the years, HRD role evolved from reactive to proactive to meet the modern demands of running a business and add value to the organization. But basic perception may not be on the side of HR because she is perceived as the “police” of the organization, procedure freak, compliance and protocol driven. As a result, HR mindset is different from her stakeholders.

  1. HR said, she is a strategic partner but organizations are outsourcing most of her functions like recruitment, timekeeping, compensation and payroll, medical services, and training, to third party service providers. The only HRD silos that is unlikely to be outsourced is labor and employee relations, at least in the Philippines.
  2. HR said she is an employee champion, but most of the time, she finds herself in a sticky situation protecting management interests.
  3. Stakeholders and HR are in agreement, though, on her Role as “administrative expert”.
  4. Aspiring to be a “change agent” is noble. But stakeholders and HR differ in its scope. To HR, changing the mindset of top management is part of her objective. Employees, on the other hand, expect her to take the cudgels for them (lest they may opt to “self organize”). But investors look at this role as keeping the employees happy, grateful and aligned with the corporate mission and vision, in-spite and despite of the terms of employment.

But the Role of HRD is influenced by two forces– the values of the HR practitioner and investors expectations.

HRD can add value by ensuring those who “boarded the bus will take the right seat”,  and an equitable partnership between management and employee.

Or HRD can be a villain, being in the forefront of corporate slavery.

HRD can be a “tool” of investors at his disposal or the “heart and conscience” of the organization

Ask the investors and still some believe HRD role is limited to administration. Happy are those who already have a seat in the table.

Ask the front end and back end units how they perceive the value of HR. Chances are, HRD and her guidelines may be perceived as outdated if not backwards.

Ask employees if HRD is championing their cause, specially those from he “organized” companies.


With all the conflicting expectations, is HR profession a no thanks job?

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