Bring out your dead……
There has been a mighty brouhaha in the UK HR community about this article which appeared in The Times on 5 October 2009 written by Sathnam Sanghera. Message boards and blogs are filled with arguments pro and con. These basically divide along two lines:
1) HR is a pointless function full of bureaucratic little dweebs who failed to make it into traffic warden school
2) HR is misunderstood by society and is more strategic than a strategic thing from strategy land….if it could only be taken seriously
I was approached by one of the main trade press to provide a rebuttal to Sanghera’s article and after considering it for a while, well if I’m honest, I struggled.
That’s not to say I agree with him whole heartedly, the article is poorly written, poorly argued and lacks any real substance other than Sanghera’s views. And seeing that his biog shows that on graduating from Cambridge University he went straight into journalism – his views don’t carry as much weight as many in my opinion.
But let’s face it; our profession IS probably one of the most neurotic professions in the world, constantly doubting and questioning its own worth and worrying about how it’s perceived. Like an abused partner that is constantly told they are worthless and meaningless, are we really surprised that we have some sense of neurosis?
And then this just gets worse as we start to harm ourselves. Read the blogs, look at the comments. Lets be self depreciating, because if we say we are pathetic then it won’t hurt so much when others tell us we are. Will it?
So we change how we look, alter our views and appearance, because maybe they’ll love me if I change? All a load of old tosh and a waste of time and energy.
Business Partner? My arse!
Let’s get some confidence, let’s get some swagger, let’s stop worrying and start performing. If people don’t take us seriously lets work to persuade them, to show them, to convince them. We have worth, we have value, we ARE lovable. And if they don’t understand…maybe that’s their problem and not ours. Maybe they have the issue.
If anyone is going to sound the death knell for Human Resources, it will be the profession itself and its lack of spine.
Sanghera has that much right, if nothing else.