The key for a more value-adding HR work is when your C-suite and line managers are on the same page with you.
But the question is, are we an authority in HR work, and can we assert the HR page?
One of the many reasons why HR is not given the value it deserves is because of HR itself. We shoot our foot and unaware of the pain we are inflicting to ourselves. This affects the value of HR in the eyes of its stakeholders. Let me explain how we are unwittingly doing it.
We created the expectation that HR work is about more sacrifice and less remuneration
We love to share posts about HR as a calling. We display our affection for our work, we defer our resignation because we are concerned about the employees we will leave behind. We pat ourselves on the back every time we felt our energy is draining, reminding ourselves of our vocation. Don’t get me wrong, when we love our job, that might be a calling. But if we are overemphasizing it, just remember, a calling implies more sacrifice but less remuneration.
Does this explain why a one-man HR is not given an additional headcount despite the growing load? Is it the reason why HR is classified in lower salary grade, and its entry-level is just a notch higher from, if not grouped with minimum wage earners?
A tale of the volunteer HR
During the first lockdown, this HR was asked to work from home, but management told her that she will not be compensated for reasons I find lacking but she nevertheless agreed because she loved her job. When on-site work was allowed, but public transportation was still suspended, management advised her to report on-site. When she can’t, she received an RTW order otherwise, she will lose her job. She is living in Antipolo and work is in Metro
We created the impression that we can figure our way around without training support from management
When we are somehow lost, we have our dependable FB groups, HR peers, and senior mentors to go to. Besides, free webinars abound during the pandemic. We feel good about our feat and made this obvious to management. Hey! we can get things done thru ‘diskarte’. This is not necessarily wrong, but some management uses this as an excuse to defer the funding of your professional development.
Add to that, if management noticed that we are unwilling to fund our professional development, they interpret this as a preference to keep the status quo. Ergo, we are not leaving the company anytime soon. Those who fund their professional growth are perceived to be preparing for greener pasture elsewhere.
A blast from the past
When I was still starting in HR, I find it disturbing when those who have no plans of leaving the company get minimal movement in their salary. But those who broadcast their intent to resign, ‘umiikot agad ang pwet’ ng mga bosses. In most cases, resigning employees get the salary they wanted. When I asked my manager about this, the response I got was ‘welcome to life’.
So when I became a manager, I made a working agreement with management that when an employee formalizes its intent to leave, it will be irrevocable. Edi natigil ang pananakot.
Providing free mentoring or learning sessions because we wanted to pay forward.
There is nothing wrong with this, but it can be abused. Some companies figured that their young HR can still deliver despite their lack of support for training. These bosses gave tasks that are beyond the training and payscale of their HR, believing their boy (or girl) can find support elsewhere. If an experienced HR who is paying forward is generous and unmindful, once approached by the young hr learners, s/he will help them. As a result, the company had saved money from hiring experienced HR or consultants but still able to tap them thru their young HR.
If paying forward is not anchored on sound guidelines and learners take advantage of the generosity of seasoned HRs, it can devalue HR work, HR training, and HR compensation.
If we wanted to elevate the game of HR, we need to tweak our mindset, recalibrate our message, and professionalize the image of our profession. HR is a brand, and we are the brand ambassadors. We can master the HR work, champion the process, and own the page, with or without the support of management.
In your opinion, how do we create a better response from the impressions we created?
Founder of LODI Inc. (Learning and Organization Development Institute, Inc.) and Co-Founder of Blogwatch. Mentor and Dad of 2 Gen Z Professionals.
Advocate of #HRinHR (Human Rights in Human Resources) and #DigitalCitizenship
Strategist for Talent, Culture & Content Development, and Cyber Wellness Initiatives
Keynoter and Facilitator of Workplace and Life Learning
Blogging since 2004.