A Holiday Reflection: HR - Don't Take the Fun out of Function

Published: Mar 10, 2009

Topics: Workplace Issues       
Well, it's that time of the year again. December is here and for HR that has a multitude of connotations. End-of-year performance appraisals, hiring freezes, book closings, the mad rush to use up vacation days so that they're not lost (except for Californians whose earned vacation days are legally protected), and the last-minute planning of holiday celebrations (all within budget, of course!) to recognize a year's worth of valuable contributions? the list goes on and on.<p>The truth is, despite all the hype and talk about strategic planning, business partnering, consultation, and value-add, the Human Resources function seems to continue to be somewhat associated with the "party-planning" reputation it has been trying to shake for years. So is that a problem? It doesn't have to be, especially when keeping in mind that more and more work is being taken on by every member of a work team in today's bottom-line-driven and bare bones staffed business environment. One can look at this type of employee morale boosting event as an integral component of a systematic employee retention strategy, recruitment and retention being a number one priority in today's tight and ultra-competitive labor market (note that, however, it as been shown that an employee's relationship with his/her supervisor is the best indicator and predictor of retention).</p><p>Now I'm not advocating a return to the time when HR was solely viewed as the policing and party-planning department of the organization. I'm proud to be associated with a profession that has grown to be included in myriad organizational effectiveness activities more and more every year, as organizations realize the value, importance, and impact of Human Resources interventions including:</p><ul><li>Organizational competency/behavioral-based interviewing and recruitment to proactively place the right people in the right place at the right time<p> </p></li><li>Career management paths with appropriate training opportunities to develop and grow the organization and ensure its future competitive advantage<p> </p></li><li>Business consultation services to assure that the strategy and operations are in alignment<p> </p></li><li>Executive coaching and team cohesiveness functions to maximize organizational effectiveness</li></ul><p>~</p><ul><li>Developing market-competitive, creative compensation and benefits packages to meet diverse, individual needs in changing times<p> </p></li><li>Promulgating the business case for diversity to show managers the importance of a diverse staff in terms of increased market base understanding and expansion, new ideas and approaches, etc.</li></ul><p>So in light of all of the business and strategic functions that HR performs to perpetuate the success of the organization and its people, isn't it nice to know that the organization still recognizes our ability to have (and plan) fun as well?</p><p>Happy Holidays everyone ? and best wishes for a rewarding New Millennium filled with happiness and satisfaction, however you may choose to personally define it! And please try to take it easy at those holiday parties - and try to avoid or prevent any "CLMs" (career-limiting moves) and embarrassing situations for you and your co-workers.</p>