Recently we went for a meeting with an organisation which wanted us to help them with their HR programs. The top management of the organisation felt that the HR programs were not helping their organisation achieve what the organisation wanted to. We met up with a few people in the organisation and finally people from the HR department.
The HR folks gave us an impression that everything was on track and things were completely all right. They did not think there was much that needed improvement while agreeing that there was always scope for improvement. From our earlier discussions with the other folks in the organisation we were thinking "scope for improvement - WOW". The HR folks had no clue about what the business leaders wanted from the department. They were happy that they had put policies in place, done compensation review and created new forms for performance appraisals.
I can only explain the thoughts going on in my mind by using an example I had read somewhere else. To me it was like the case of Fardeen Khan believing that he was acting fine. Innumerable times I have been in situations where the HR department is completely not in sync with what people in the organisation or the business leaders are thinking about their services. They keep coming up with new fads and believe that since they have designed the new Performance appraisal form using some new jargon they are doing a great job.
My simple thought for HR folks is to reach out to the various stakeholders and first understand what they are expecting out of the department. Also try and understand the business and what the organisation is going thru because of the changing realities of business. If they can understand that then I am sure they can provide better services.