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What do you think will be the role of human resources department in any organization during an economic crisis? Do we have to take an active role?
Your question gave me flashbacks.
Someone asked this question years ago in a meeting I attended. At the time, my answer wasn’t popular in a very “command and control” environment. My recollection is that I pretty much got laughed at for making such a suggestion. People in our HR organization saw themselves as advocates and gatekeepers and people who helped others understand, accept and own policies and procedures —- or even some policy police.
Overtime, I realized my intuition spoke the truth.
I believe HR’s role, at its best — in economic crisis or in day-to-day work — is “INFLUENCING A POSTIVE OUTCOME” of whatever shows up on their path. It is a position of INFLUENCE. It doesn’t always get the credit for the influence, because much of its best work is done without fanfare and sometimes sublty to make others look great.
Steve Katzenbach talked about this kind of leader in THE CHANGE LEADERS. One of the qualities he described was a person who had a small smile on their face, because they could look out into the organization and see small influences that had made a difference for someone or for the organization..
“The real leader, you barely know they exist, and when the aim is fulfilled, the people say, “We did it!”
— Lao Tzu
Thanks for asking!
Debbe, I love you answer! especially when you state “the best work in HR department is done without fanfare to make others look great.” It is true. Most of the time people do not recognize the HR people are leaders ready to make the necessaries changes in the organization and society to succeed.
Thank you for your great comment!
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