It was with much despair that I read a discussion this past week in LinkedIn about whether there would be any consequences to an organization losing the Human Resources function. The actual polling question was “the elimination of” this function, which in reality we know cannot be eliminated.
Yet the comments were by far leaning toward the yes column of eliminating this function. These people have had such an awful experience in their organizations with the value of HR they are set and ready to get rid of the function all together.
Some thought they served little to no purpose, or it wasn’t obvious what they do for the company. One person said, “what would the legal department do without HR to keep them busy?”
I responded that throwing the baby out with the bath water is not the best way to fix a dysfunctional department. It was an endorsed comment by a few that felt empowered to join the other side of the conversation, but still not a whole heck of a lot of support for the folks in HR.
I decided to post my own poll, and phrase it toward the training function, and instead of using the word elimination, I asked if anyone would notice if the training department was no longer there. We shall see what kind of response this gets.
Don’t you find it pitiful that any of the human resource functions in these companies are thought to be so worthless that elimination might be a good thing? Don’t you wish that these human resource functions were working the way they should so their value was apparent to everyone?
In my own work with underperforming training functions, it boils down to not doing the work they should be doing and allowing others to set the agenda. Training Managers that act more like a restaurant waiter taking orders without questioning the purpose or expected outcomes is what fuels the fires of discontent.
How do we change the impression, and increase the value of training or for that matter, any HR function?