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The Broken HR

HR is a bit of a mess, and I'm running out of ways to say it. If you can't figure out what to focus on from this HR 101 breakdown, you are hopeless and I don't know how to help you. 


Take a look at these areas, and you'll quickly see where HR is dropping the ball on engagement, wellbeing, DEI, or whatever else they're trying to do. It's like they're trying to build a house on a foundation that's falling apart.


First off, engagement is just a tiny piece of the whole employee experience. So why are they putting all their eggs in that basket and hoping it fixes everything else? No engagement program is going to save you if:


  • You've trashed your reputation as an employer with long hours, unpaid overtime, and a toxic boss situation. Good luck attracting anyone. ATTRACT

  • Your hiring process takes forever, ghosts candidates disrespects them, or flat-out discriminates. Who's going to want to work for you? HIRE

  • Your onboarding is nonexistent, and you expect people to hit the ground running. Surprise—it doesn't work like that. ONBOARD

  • If your processes, policies, procedures, salaries, working conditions, leadership & management, the way you manage people and employee relations related to the other six areas actively disengage employees. Why are you focusing on this area when this area is just the sum of all other areas? ENGAGE

  • You're not keeping tabs on employee performance daily and think an annual review will cut it. Spoiler: it won't. PERFORM

  • If you don't provide training, learning, and development opportunities for everyone. DEVELOP

  • You make people feel like traitors the minute they resign, turning their exit into a nightmare. Maybe deal with your own issues before blaming others. DEPART


Why is it so hard for HR to get these basic things right? If a finance person didn't know what accrual means, they'd be out the door. HR seems to get away with everything—or do they?

Maybe they are not getting away with anything because they seem to be the runt of the litter in any organisation I got to see or study. You don't believe me? Just listen to them complaining on every social media platform about nobody taking them seriously. Well, maybe if they understood at least the basics of their job they could build that trust and credibility. 


Good HR professionals, and yes, there are many, who focus on these areas because they know that's where the real action is. It's not about fixing one thing; it's about nailing all the details that make up an employee's experience or engagement if you insist on using this word.



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