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Chrm Message From: girdhar gopal Total Posts: 27 Join Date: 18/04/2009
Rank: Executive Post Date: 30/05/2009 10:24:36 Points: 135 Location: India

I've had worked for quite a few top notch companies. Never ever found the HR people doing anything significant! Isn't investing in HR a waste of resources? Can't we do without an HR? What I feel is the there's an HR just because there has to be one. They are a burden on a company and there's an HR deptt because other companies have their's. HR should be done away with; the resources hence saved, if exploited wisely elsewhere would lead to a bloom in profits.

This post is not intended to offend anyone, but is there anyone who can convince me otherwise?



Chrm Message From: guy Total Posts: 19 Join Date: 18/04/2009  
Rank: Executive Post Date: 30/05/2009 10:26:02 Points: 95 Location: India

Dear Mr. Gopal,

I am curious to know the criteria you use in describing the companies you worked for as being top notch. If their HR organizations were so useless as you claim, the implication is that they performed poorly in attracting, deploying, developing, maintaining and turning over their talent. And if the corporate management tolerated such performance, they weren't doing their job. I would imagine that this all around mediocre performance translated into poor market share, sales growth, profitability and eventually shareholder returns. This really got me wondering about the criteria that you are using to call these companies top notch?

A delightfully provocative letter. Bet that you'll generate many replies.


Chrm Message From: mayurr Total Posts: 20 Join Date: 18/04/2009  
Rank: Executive Post Date: 30/05/2009 10:27:52 Points: 100 Location: India

hi gopal,

i don't agree with your views.....a function like HR is very much reqd. in today's scenario where people (employees) have become an organisation's competitive edge.......and to look after the welfare & growth of this community, an org. does require HR.....

i do agree that functional heads (as in Mktg., Finance, etc.) should be responsible for their teams overall welfare...but fm the entire organisation's perspective, to facilitate harmony amongst various functional streams & to ensure overall employee welfare (leading to organisational welfare), HR is reqd....

however, i also feel that HR hasn't been able to live up to the hype (created by itself) &
expectations....and in many companies, we don't see HR performance being terms of tangible & intangible benefits to the org., which is the case with Mktg., Finance, etc.......coupled with this is the fact that for being a good people's person/ judge, you need to be very perceptive & should be really able to understand their psyche and what factors can motivate/ demotivate diff. people - a skill which many HR people lack!..........and all this leads to disillusionment abt HR.....

but at the same time, we must appreciate the fact that there still exists many a corporations wherein we talk abt excellent work culture (dream companies of many people, so to say - hv u ever wondered what factors makes them 'dream companies'??) & HR does have an imp role in creating this 'excellent work culture'.....

so, the onus is on HR people (as it is for anyone else) to demonstrate their skills & the imp. of their function by converting rhetoric (abt HR) into action - giving tangible & intangible benefits to the org....



Chrm Message From: subramani Total Posts: 30 Join Date: 18/04/2009  
Rank: Executive Post Date: 30/05/2009 10:40:10 Points: 150 Location: India

Hi gopal,

Its nice to see that mail from your end. Because that makes me feel there's SO MUCH one can fill you in with. You know......i look at it as a huge opportunity for enlightenment, not necessarily a convincing bout.

So here goes.

'Never ever found the HR people doing anything significant! '

What have U seen the HR do ?? For that matter, is HR supposed to be a manufacturing unit, churning out tangible commodities for all to see. I guess its about applying the mind a little bit. Let us consider the following:

A very healthy and profit making organisation, the health getting reflected primarily in consistent profits and a high shareholder value. But if you look inside, the health gets manifested in a good employer proposition (meaning that the organisation is perceived as a great place to work in, provides good career growth, has systematic training and development opportunitites, pays decently well, and maintains internal parity of compensation) and low employee attrition rates . But mind you, in a healthy organisation, these are taken for granted and the benefits are continuously and consistently 'felt' by the employees, not necessarily 'seen'. A little thought would reveal that all this exists because of very very strong HR systems, driven by the HR managers, who ensure that the organisational brand and values are incorporated in the,

1) Recruitment process - the language of a recruitment ad., the selection process. Infact to me, the selection process and 'EXACTLY what do we want in our employees' is THE MOST CRITICAL part in any organisation, because that determines 'who' will drive the organisation, which in turn determines 'how' the organisation will be driven.

2) Performance Management - making each employee aware of what is expected of him, how he must deliver the same, setting periodic targets, reviewing the same, and then evaluating at the end of a performance cycle. You probably think that all this happens automatically........well no. It's driven by the HR. And to find out the value or bottomline added by this process, you just need to run a goalless and performance evaluationless organisation for 6 months.

3) Training and Development - this is an investment that probably brings about the highest value add, because the value is added directly to the intellectual capital of the organisation. to just give you a small peek, imagine understanding the developmental needs (from the appraisal process, persoanl interviews, informal discussions) of EACH AND EVERY employee in line with the organisational goal, and arranging for the training in different areas, and following it up with an assessment of what value the training has added to each individual and hence to the organisational as a whole. its a mommoth task, and the least it results in is huge organisational profits............but i guess its an unsung hero because it cannot be 'seen'. But please feel it.

4) Compensation Management - should only high performers keep on getting salary raises.....or should poor performers only be given salary raises so as to motivate them. should a high talent be attracted at very high salary levels, and the internal parity upset in the process. Or should salary bands and increments be fixed across the board......and only incentives given to reward extraordinary performance. For that matter, what IS extraordinary performance....and does the definition differ from company to company ??? shockingly enough for you, ALL OF THIS gets decided and implemented by the HR........and how well it is done reflects directly on the organisational health.

Sounds a lot, doesn't it.......well, it doesn't even begin to touch the role of HR as a strategic partner as yet. We'll probably take that up next time.

With hope,


Chrm Message From: jayde_renee Total Posts: 26 Join Date: 18/04/2009  
Rank: Executive Post Date: 02/06/2009 15:41:37 Points: 130 Location: India

This was a wonderful piece of mail. I really appreciate the fact that you came out with your feelings questioning the sheer existence of the HR dept. I just hope your aversion/hatred/doubts do not stem from a failure at some interview at another one of those 'top notch comapnies' where you sailed through all the layers of the hierarchy displaying your technical prowess but at the end a dynamic HR Manager caught you on the wrong foot when he quizzed you personally and the dreams were shattered. Dont mind my reasoning for I rather respect your opinion than criticise it but the truth is that one is sometimes compelled to question the existence of even God when we perpetually dont see things going our way. After folding our hands to him every morning for years we wonder did he really overlook me when that wretched company handed me the pink slip???

Dont worry, its not your fault for you havent known this function well enough! I hope you will soon attain enlightenment by the so many ammused/irritated/mentoring/conceptual/etc responses you wld be generating here.

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