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Leadership insight: 4 reasons why HR won't help retain rising talent

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HC Online | 21 Oct 2010, 12:00 AM Agree 0
Anthony Nash outlines four key reasons why, in most cases, HR will not help to retain top performers
  • Jenny Wilson | 21 Oct 2010, 02:36 PM Agree 0
    While some of what you say is valuable, I disagree strongly with the last paragraph "If only I could have had an open, honest (and confidential)....".

    I believe that you (as the employee) are partly responsible for instigating this conversation. Did you contact HR with the request to have a discussion?

    Also, I believe that you are jointly responsible for your "development program" - it is not solely your manager or HR to develop this for you.

    To your point of Trust - of the organisations that I have worked with, I have not yet seen an HR professional who would relay comments to a line manager if requested not to by the employee.

    And lastly, to your point about being a "high performer" - this is not just about meeting revenue or profit targets, and you are incorrect to think that just because you have met your targets you are a high performer. Perhaps you werent at all.
  • P V Isaac | 21 Oct 2010, 03:10 PM Agree 0
    You said HR has no clue about a company''s competitive edge. Do you think the Finance department has better understanding than HR? What about the production and purchase department?
    If HR didnot have a good understanding they would not have hired you.Let HR do a ref check and find out if you really are a high performer, instead of you blowing your own trumpet.

    Maybe you speak from your limited work experience.Get some more hours behind you.
  • Justin Prince | 12 Nov 2010, 03:15 PM Agree 0
    (Sorry for upfront for the long response)

    Based on my experience in HR over the last 10 years in a variety of industries and businesses, I recognise that what Anthony has to say in this article does in fact represent a significant portion (although thankfully not all) of Human Resources in Australia. It was disappointing to read some of the comments on the website posting from Jenny and PV Isaac. We tout HR as a business partner but how often do we behave like true business managers (i.e. practice what we preach)? How well do we really understand the impact of the decisions that we ask the business to make? Do we feel the impact of poor decisions as keenly as our management and operational teams? Do we lose sleep when things go wrong? Sad to say but more often than not the answer to these questions is a resounding "NO".

    At the end of the day I believe that HR has a direct responsibility to helping to lead our organisations in the same way that our Operational Managers do. This means accepting and confronting reality head on rather than dispersing or deflecting. I think everybody would agree that HR has a key accountability in developing leadership and operational excellence in organisations - to me this means that if our Managers fail then it is actually US (HR) who has really failed. For me understanding every aspect of the business you are supporting is a fundamental plank of the influence platform that every HR professional needs to build for themselves.

    Anthony''s article represents a cry for help from a person who has not experienced the best of what HR has to offer. This should be treated as an opportunity for all us to reflect, ask the hard questions and make a change - not run for the hills.
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