What Do You Do When Your HR Department Really Sucks?

Are you working in an HR department that sucks? You know if you are, it’s all right, you can admit it, because it’s the first step in changing it.

I bet I talk to more than a hundred HR Pros a year that all seem to begin the conversation with, “Our HR department sucks!” or “My company doesn’t get it when it comes to HR” or “Our HR department is terrible.

These are not the outliers They’re the norm.

We have the power

So, many HR Pros are working in HR functions where the organization has the feeling that “HR sucks in our company.” If you’re not in one of those departments now, great, but chances are you have either been in one before, or eventually you’ll make a “grass is greener” decision and put yourself into that kind of situation somewhere.

But you know what? We have the power to “Make HR Suck Less.”

Yes, you do. Stop it, you do. No really, you do. All right that’s enough; just play along with me at least!

Here are the three (3) steps to making HR Suck Less:

1. Stop doing stuff that Sucks.

But Tim! We have to do this stuff. No you don’t.  if your HR shop blew up tomorrow, your organization would still go on.

Over time you’ve “negotiated” to do all this sucky stuff, thinking it would “help” the organization, or give you “influence,” etc. Stop that. Give it away, push it out to other departments.

Start doing stuff that doesn’t suck more than doing stuff that does suck. It’s not easy, but it can be done, little by little.

2. Get rid of people in HR who Suck

Some people get real comfortable with sucking. They wear their suckiness around like a badge of honor.

You need to cut the suck out of your department – like cancer!

3. Stop saying that you Suck

We brand ourselves internally with everything we do, and if you say that you suck at something, the organizational will believe you suck at something.

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If you say we are the best in the industry at recruiting our competition’s talent away from them, you’ll be forced to live up to that, and little by little you will live up to that and the organization will begin to believe it as well. Signs and Symbols!

Every single HR Shop who feels they suck doesn’t have to suck. If you feel you don’t suck, but everyone else tells you that you suck – you suck. You’re just delusional and you keep telling yourself things like “we have to do this stuff,” “it’s the law,” “we don’t have a choice,” etc.

This is the first sign you’re comfortable with sucking – you aren’t listening to your organization. No one has to suck. You can decide to do things in a complete different way.

It’s about changing perceptions

Perception is reality in terms of sucking. You need to change perceptions, not reality. You can still accomplish the exact same things, just do it in a way that people think you rock.

Start saying “Yes” to everything – not “No..” “No” sucks.

Sucking less is a decision, not a skill. You all have the skills.

You just need to make the decision to stand up and believe that, “Today we will no longer Suck!”

This was originally published on Tim Sackett’s blog, The Tim Sackett Project.

Tim Sackett, MS, SPHR is executive vice president of HRU Technical Resources, a contingent staffing firm in Lansing, MI. Tim has 20 years of HR and talent background split evenly between corporate HR gigs among the Fortune 500 and the HR vendor community ? so he gets it from both sides of the desk. A frequent contributor to the talent blog Fistful of Talent, Tim also speaks at many HR conferences and events. Contact him here.


1 Comment on “What Do You Do When Your HR Department Really Sucks?

  1. Well said! It’s so easy to pass the buck for why a situation is less-than-optimal (or sucky) that ownership of a solution often seems out of reach, even impossible. That’s where a more methodical approach to problem solving can come in handy. Say an employee comes in and asks for something that ‘can’t’ be done because of some policy or other. While the first instinct might be to turn the employee away, a methodical problem solver first performs a thorough examination of the problem itself. So, if the employee asked for a half-day off to do something, but has no vacation days left (or hasn’t any built up), it’s worthwhile to find out what the time is needed for, and whether or not it can be accommodated another way. There’s only one way something can’t be done, and many ways it can – sometimes, it just takes a closer look.
    Cheers! Lisa Chatroop, Good.Co

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