I love HR and I hate HR: Adding value

Updated: November 09, 2009

At PeopleStuf we are passionate about Human Resources, what HR can do and what HR's role can be in organisations. But that doesn't mean we like everything about HR or everyone who calls themselves an HR professional.

Take ‘adding value'.

What exactly do we mean by this? What does the business mean?

Here's a thought: the business i.e. everyone other than HR, doesn't spend their days wondering whether HR adds value. They simply follow our lead and when we beat ourselves up (about adding value), they just join in. Or they simply wonder what the link is between what we do and how it helps them. So ‘adding value' is an HR stick, used by HR to beat itself up.

We know we used to ‘add value' when I was in HR - whether helping a manager to recruit someone, showing an employee how to get better at their job, supporting a manager improve an employees performance and so on. I figured that all of my HR colleagues did the same sort of thing. So ‘adding value' doesn't mean about helping individuals - although we admit we were always pushy about telling managers and employees how much we had helped them.

‘Adding value' must be about helping teams and groups - mustn't it? But to do what? Surely not to save money ‘cause we okay at that (we can outsource with the best of them).

The trouble is, at PeopleStuf we believe that the term ‘adding value' has become so generic as to be meaningless. We believe that ‘adding value' is all about helping businesses increase their revenues and we know that every HR team not only does this already but can focus on four key areas to bring unique value to an organisation.

We also know that our communication, our ability to link what we do to the business increasing its revenues, lets us down. But we also know that it's not what we think that matters - it's what you and your organisation thinks.

Here's a challenge for you; define what you think ‘value' means to your organisation and then figure out how you can improve it. Just promise us that you'll keep telling your line managers as you go along.

And stop beating yourself up about ‘adding value'.

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