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'Human Resources' Just Doesn't Tell You What HR Really Does

Posted on Sept 10, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Here's a simple truth. Human resources is an outdated term.

The HR director or HR coordinator no longer just focuses on hiring and firing employees and making sure the company is in compliance with benefits and payroll.

In fact, many businesses are even shying away from the title HR coordinator, as it may sound stuffy or scary, and - worst of all -- it appears to commoditize human beings. Certainly, people are an organization's greatest resource, but they aren't smartphones, replaced with the newest model every two years. They're also not raw materials or working capital, used until the supply is depleted and then replenished in time for the next initiative

To remain competitive and productive, it's up to the C-suite to revitalize and invigorate employees, so they continue to perform their best. And that is a key reason many successful organizations are changing "head of human resources" to "chief people officer," "chief happiness officer" and "mood coordinator."

Just as the phrase to describe HR professionals has evolved and expanded, so, too, have the duties of that department

The HR departments of the past were segregated as their own separate entity, not part of the employee team and also not quite part of upper management. But how can an organization focus on building a strong company culture and creating happy employees with a strong purpose if the person in charge of that function isn't part of the team they seek to lead?

The HR department requires a cultural overhaul, some reputation management and a PR facelift. HR is evolving in creative ways to fit today's innovative HR titles.

As the role of the HR department continues to evolve, the very concept of human resources may be phased out. And new titles may reflect leaders, who are not gatekeepers and enforcer of rules, but partners in creating a company culture built upon the shared values of the organization and its workers.

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