Put the Human Back in Human Resources: Part 2

Put the Human Back in Human Resources: Part 2

This DATIS blog article is a follow up to a previously published article on our blog titled, Put the Human Back In Human Resources. This post explores the findings of a past Gartner report, which detailed how Human Resources isn’t “human” anymore.

There are many roles to an effective Human Resources department, although the responses may fluctuate depending on the corporate persona.  For example; is the goal simply to manage hiring, payroll, and benefits?  To increase office moral? Or to go above and beyond, become a strategic partner to upper management? The Gartner report found that executives view the department’s objective as reducing expenses by utilizing technology. Utilizing this strategy decreases any strategic value of the HR department and takes the human out of the workplace.

By implementing new technologies into the department, staffing costs can be reduced.  If an organizations primary focus is to lower costs, they can never realize the true benefits associated with HR.  After HR technology is implemented, staff members should be retained to focus on other elements of the function. It is with this new found focus that advancement can be discovered, such as creating a strategic partnership with management and earning a seat at the round table.

HR Departments that are allowed to refocus can begin earning their value “with analysis of employee data, industry benchmarks, and workplace trends.”  This freed time allows humans to once again have strategic importance.  Gartner outlined 10 goals that must be accomplished to achieve strategic value in HR.

  1. Understand what workforce components are required to support the enterprise’s strategy, and what demands that strategy will make on the HR function in the future
  2. Create a dynamic organizational design that supports the enterprise’s strategy and adapts to changing business scenarios
  3. Ensure employees understand the enterprise’s strategy, mission, vision, and values, and have line of sight between their position and the strategy
  4. Source candidates for positions that optimize their ability to contribute to the enterprise’s goals, while at the same time promoting the enterprise’s brand as an employer to those candidates
  5. Supply technological resources that empower employees to accomplish their work, meet their responsibilities, contribute to their productivity and satisfaction, and enable them to work collaboratively
  6. Provide interpersonal (that is, human) assistance when needed for issues related to career direction, sensitive or adverse employment issues, coaching, and mentoring
  7. Understand how work is best performed in the enterprise and supply those tools and workplace policies, procedures, and processes that support productive work effort and minimize or eliminate obstacles
  8. Develop and analyze HR-related data in ways that create insights and enable intelligent decision making across the entire enterprise
  9. Manage change that impacts the enterprise across the workforce
  10. Manage the administration of all processes pertaining to employment in general and HR in particular

The major problem with Human Resources has developed over time. Its determination to require minimum monetary investment for its daily operations.  This action has given leaders the belief that they can reduce costs through technology upgrades and not lose the effectiveness of the department.  When HR focuses solely on the administrative functions, it’s not working toward enterprise strategy.  If this current trend is continued, we will not only lose the Human in Human Resources, we will also sacrifice all strategic partnership and value from that department.



Written by Kevin D. Cassidy