Contribued by Bruce Calvin, Calvin Associates, Inc **
HR professionals play multiple roles in business. To operate more effectively, they need partnerships with other departments and must realize an important truth: they cannot be all things to all people.
Critical for HR is the realization that although HR provides a large variety of services none of those services are wholly owned by HR. Whether the work environment is domestic or international, responsibility is shared with other departments, which can lead to conflict should HR not understand the dynamics at play. Those who have been successful in HR know and practice the art of developing, nurturing and driving Partnerships with their peers, counterparts and executives. Strong Partnerships drives mutual respect, trust and inclusion. It doesn’t work the other way around.
Understanding and accepting something so simple in itself provides clarity as to why so many things may appear, at times, to be an issue, when it doesn’t have to be. If HR doesn’t own it, then what is HR’s true role? Is it facilitator, administrator, coordinator or fact finder, or a combination? Experience has shown it depends on the role each HR individual performs along with size and type of industry they are in at the time. It is fluid.
The secret is really no secret, it’s been here all the time just staring at those in HR. Keeping it simple, without a partnership, no one wants anyone playing in their sandbox. The reality is HR, by the nature of what HR does, is in everyone’s sand box. If that’s true then how does HR resolve this? First, understand it is HR’s responsibility in partnership development and second, it is HR’s responsibility to drive and sustain each partnership. Is it achievable, yes, is it obtainable, yes, and what are the steps required to make such a paradigm shift?
Human resource veteran Bruce L. Calvin, J.D., argues in his book, H.R.’s Partnership Challenge: Mastering the Art of Not Being Everything to Everyone, that the job’s fluidity makes it difficult to operate successfully without developing and nurturing partnerships with peers, counterparts, and executives. Trying to be everything to everyone is an impossible task.
Bruce lays out the major challenges for human resource professionals and offers practical, actionable solutions designed to help HR build mutual respect, trust and yes, inclusion. He reveals a simple but profound truth: by its very nature, the human resources department plays an essential role in all other departments. That role can be met with suspicion without partnerships or it can be welcomed if human resource professionals must make the time to build strong, healthy partnerships across departmental lines.
HR can’t fulfill every role demanded of HR every day. With the help of interdepartmental partnerships, HR won’t have to.
About the Author
Bruce Calvin has a B.S. from Troy University, a J.D. from John F. Kennedy University and is licensed by the California Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (#21406). As well, Calvin Associates, Inc. is certified as a Small Veteran Owned Business.