January 26, 2014 at 1:39 pm #181495
Just a thought to change the name of “Employee Relations and Labor Relations” to “Center for Organizational Connections.” Organizational effectiveness depends heavily on interpersonal relationship and communication and employee relations and connections. Your thoughts?
Also, should the name of Human Resources be changed to “Center for Organizational Effectiveness”? Organizational effectiveness seems to be more relevant in the work about people, talents and organizations. In order to be effective, an organization needs to focus on organizational and cultural structure, change and transformation, organizational communication and connections, work and life connections, talents recruitment, selection, placement, and connection, organizational learning and performance, etc. Any thoughts?
January 26, 2014 at 8:18 pm #181511
I kinda liked “Personnel” myself. 😉
January 26, 2014 at 8:30 pm #181509
David B. GrinbergParticipant
Interesting ideas and good points, Phuong.
I would note that some agencies have already changed the name of the traditional HR office to Office of Human Capital Resources, with the director being the Chief Human Capital Officer.
While office name changes may help create more positive perceptions on a superficial level, it’s really what occurs behind the scenes that will have any lasting impact. Remember that old saying, one can’t judge a book by its cover.
Nevertheless, one has to start somewhere in framing public perceptions.
January 26, 2014 at 9:34 pm #181507
Thanks Mark and David. I like the idea of changing the traditional HR to Office of Human Capital Resources, leading by a Human Capital Officer. It makes sense. I understand that some agencies still have the Human Capital Officer function separate from Human Resource Chief. This is one way to align the business of people/personnel/human capital management. If we view that the most valued asset for the survival of any organizations is human capital, and if this human capital asset is considered ineffective or insufficienly supplied, the organization will have a huge problem and may have to shut down. Therefore, organizational effectiveness begins with employees and how well employees are connected with the organization and with one another. The Center of Organizational Effectiveness is a reminder of the outcome we want to achieve and how well will depend on whether we can execute the people relations and connection strategies. Anyway, just a thought for brainstorming for the 21st century!
January 27, 2014 at 3:23 pm #181505
I’m partial to the “People” department. I think that GSA renamed their HR office to this years ago and many private organizations have followed suit. Enough with the fancy names. Let’s get back to basics.
January 27, 2014 at 3:51 pm #181503
Notwithstanding the notion that an important function of “HR” is optimizing and sustaining organizational functioning, do remember that “HR” also includes pay and benefits, processing retirements, and a bunch of equally dry and non-strategic functions. If one wishes to have an office of organizational effectiveness within HR, great, but keep in mind that it is but one function of the organizational branch that deals with people.
I find that often these name changes are more a reflection of how senior management wants middle management to think about that function, and is rather neglectful about what employees would like it to reflect about them. Maybe I am “human capital” to management. But you know what? I’m me, dammit, as is everyone else I work with, and they shouldn’t forget that. So I’m with Terry on this one.
And while we’re pondering the titling of organizational branches in terms of their true function, maybe they ought to rename “Executive Resourcing” as “Expensive Temp Help”, given how long the high-flyers stay put. Bazinga!
January 28, 2014 at 2:40 am #181501
I appreciated your comments and contributions to this disscusion, Terry and Mark. I was thinking that all of the processing functions, such as retirements, pay and benefits, etc can either be contracted out or they can be aligned under the “Center of Organizational Connections” or “Center for Workplace Relations and Solutions” as some folks have suggested to replace the current Employees Relations and Labor Relations. If I am not mistaken, some large private companies have already contracted out their retirements, payroll and benefit functions. Of course, we are accustomed to the term “Human Resources” or “Human Capital Management” and may take more than a decade for a shift in how we think the “people” department should become! Like David said, the name is just like the book cover. We don’t know how it is like inside; therefore, once a new idea is accepted, hopefully all employees at all levels will have the opportunity to work together to determine what that “inside” might be. The change in name is just a way to attract new way of thinking which is to shift its focus from compliance and records keeping to employee engagement and satisfaction. It is more of a center for employee-focus driven, not management-focus driven!! Again, thanks for your participation in this discussion.
January 28, 2014 at 3:30 am #181499
In my more cynical and ascerbic moments, Terry, I like to tell people that the “prime directive” ( a la Star Trek) of government is to not be found. Because if they can find you, they can expect something from you. And that’s the last thing you want. The principal tool in supporting the prime directive is to change the name of your organization, or organizational branch, as often as possible. And the more abstract the name is, the better, because then they won’t know what it is you actually do.
But seriously, as a devotee of Larry Terry, I’m a firm believer that the best thing one can do for one’s organization is to stay true to the mission, and tethered to the mandate and priorities for which the institution was established. When one changes the focus of activities, and perhaps the name along with it, the authoritativeness of the institution and those who serve its functions, is undermined. And when push comes to shove, an organization’s perceived authoritativeness is the very best thing it has going for it. Just as you can’t move any which way the wind blows and still maintain citizen trust, you can’t be constantly reshuffling the deck and maintain employee trust.
January 28, 2014 at 11:56 am #181497
As I move forward with my thought process to change the name of HR to the Center for Organizational Effectiveness, I need to mention that this Center can be the result of an organizational realignment of many divisions to streamline operations and cut costs. Instead of having many senior executives, there will be two. The organization will be flatter, less bureaucratic, and therefore, operate more effectively too. This Center will include the HR/Human Capital folks, probably with clearly defined “people” functions and the budget and financial folks, etc. I do think this “Center for Organizational Effectiveness”, EEO group and the IT group, in my thinking, will, if not already, report directly to the CEO or the head of the agency.
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