HR: Professional pixie dust spreaders?

by Sarah Megginson23 Sep 2014
If you haven’t yet outsourced the “spreadsheet half” of your role, you’re wasting precious time, money and resources, says HR expert Liz Ryan.
“We don’t need mechanical, quantitative HR in our companies,” Liz Ryan, CEO of Human Workplace, told
“The real job of HR is down on the ground and out on the street with the team members. Our job is to listen and advise. Our job is to talk and act to make our organisation an amazing, vibrant, human place to work.”
Rather than investing time and energy to the “inconsequential” clerical and administrative side of the job, HR professionals should focus more on their purpose, which is to become an organisation’s ‘Ministry of Culture’, according to Ryan.
“If your organisation is still treating HR like a compliance function, you’re missing the power that is available to you when you hire human beings to work on your team. You’re missing the forest for the trees,” she said.
“HR folks spread pixie dust around, and they tell you when your pixie dust dispenser is getting low. They tell you the truth about what’s working and not working in the organisation. That’s the real job of HR.”
Ryan added that modern businesses need effective HR “more than ever”, to bring the human element back into the workplace.
“We need to develop Ministries of Culture in every organisation. It’s a shift in perspective and it starts when you find your voice as an HR person,” she said.

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  • by Deborah Pearson 23/09/2014 2:02:49 PM

    I'd love to be a bigger "spreader of pixie dust" but at the end of the day, those "inconsequential" administrative tasks play a significant part in forming the foundations of a strong company with supporting values and culture. And for budgetary or other reasons, it's not always practical to outsource them. To add value to an organisation, I believe there needs to be a balance between transactional (administrative) transitional (pixie dust) and transformational (strategic) functions. The percentages of these three functions will shift depending on priorities and the type of work being done, however it is not only focusing on one area of value.

  • by Chris Blackman 24/09/2014 5:00:57 PM

    My unicorn seems to have consumed the last of my pixie dust while I was out this morning.

    If HR sees its role as the maker of an amazing, vibrant, human place to work, and to tell you the truth about what’s working and not working in the organisation, it is trying to do the job of line management.

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