I was recently interviewed for a piece in HR Magazine on the relationship between HR and line managers. You can read the whole thing here if you’re so inclined.
The main thrust of the article is a need for HR to better support their internal clients and I references some research we carried out last year looking at the gulf between HR practitioners and their client in terms of personality at work.
Moving to a more strategic focus for HR is all very well, but line managers still need day to day support for the more complex aspects of people management. Statements of strategy don’t do this, so there’s still a role for the hands on HR practitioners out there.
Not too surprisingly, when it comes to perception of the function, HR has a higher opinion of itself than those who don’t work in HR and scores itself higher in all categories. MacKinnon says: “HR doesn’t do a good job of its own PR. In a business, the average line manager is not really aware of the great work that HR does. In good organisations, HR is viewed as a centre of expertise and somewhere to go first for advice; in other organisations, it’s seen as a last resort.”