Your HR Office: Transactional or Transformative?

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Terrence Hill 5 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #153011

    Andy Lowenthal
    Participant

    We’ve been hearing for years that in order to enhance governmental performance, we need to imagine the possibilities rather than lament the limitations of our HR functions.

    Some agencies (local, state, and federal) bifurcate their HR offices into two groups — the transactional and the transformative.

    Transactional often consists of say compensation, benefits, and labor relations.

    Transformative often going under the moniker of “human capital strategy,” or recruitment, retention, and workforce development and analysis.

    Can the components that I’ve labeled “transformative” actually be considered transactional? Or, more interestingly, can the transactional actually be transformative?

    What do you think?

  • #153015

    Terrence Hill
    Participant

    In today’s world, HR folks need to be both tactical (perform the basic transactions well) and strategic (plan for the future). If not both, you will be performing a disservice to your customers. HR needs to perform basic functions efficiently and effectively (e.g., hiring, training, paying, etc.), but must also be a key ally to management is planning for the future.

  • #153013

    Andy Lowenthal
    Participant

    I agree, Terry. One of the reasons it’s been so difficult for “strategic HR” to become a trusted ally of management is precisely because the transactional functions have been so neglected over the years. The irony of it all is that this could, in itself, stem from a talent issue. Or ineffective leadership, outsourcing, budget cuts — maybe some disastrous combination of all four. My central concern, however, is that incremental improvements are not enough. Senior leadership should get serious (read: agency heads) about making the case for radical improvements in HR tied to better outcomes for all citizens. Unlike cancer research or rocket science, the work of the very best HR shop is still relatively predictable.

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