Thursday, August 03, 2006

People !! I am loving it !!

Its been a long time I wrote something and the usual excuse applies to me, just been too swamped with work.

During all this hectic time, I ended up meeting a lot of young, bright, exciting people and interview them for a new team that we were setting up.

My favorite question in the interview used to be so why do you want to join HR or why did you choose HR as your calling. I guess I do this to get some sadistic pleasure out of their responses and my own experiences of being HR as well as of getting services from HR.

Most of the time the first response is "I love people hence HR". I always wondered do these guys even know what they are getting into, HR is not about loving people at all in the way its delivered in todays day and world.

Would you do the following if you really loved these people unless you were one of the animal lovers who say "I love animals, they are tasty" -

- Fire people to improve the profitability of the company
- Force managers to reduce the ratings of people to meet the bell curve even if they have done a good job
- Make policies to stop 2% of the population from doing wrong things inconveniencing all others
- Make life miserable for anybody who quits
- Get people to work harder even if they do not like it (without paying overtime)

I can go on and on on this and I guess you get the drift.

I also assume that most people who joined HR did so because they love people. If the state of affairs on HR is as pathetic as it is today, I sometimes wonder how it would be if HR did not love people.

One just needs to go and ask the people HR folks love about how much they love HR in return and I am sure that if it was not illegal they would love to throw the HR folks out of the 20th storey window.

So my simple advice to anybody joining HR because they love people is to just become a social worker.

Else you may have to find some really good organisation, sorry I am not aware or any, where HR actually does things out of their love for people.


Astha said...

So what would the right reasons for joining HR be?

split_infinitive said...

heh heh sanjay bhai... i guess this is a common sadistic streak that runs through all HR folks (at least those who pass out of XL)...


Ashutosh said...

Sanjay Sir,

Very rightly said...

This is the kind of writeup which comes up after years of experience, exposure and personal reflection.

Based on my experience this dept. thinks of itself no less than "HR Almighty".


Sanjay Lakhotia said...

Hi Astha,

Loving people should be reason to be a human being and not the primary reason for joining HR. Wanting to help the business do better should be tops which rarely is answered by anyone.


Astha said...

Hi Sanjay,

I agree with you. But I don't think the line dividing the motivation behind social work and HR are that clear cut. You triggered some thinking. My post taking this forward:!BB0155A45B1604C7!783.entry

Terrence said...

Hi Sanjay,
Thanks to Astha, I surfed over to your blog.

This is a very interesting entry indeed. I have been in HR for over twenty years (as a Training & OD specialist).

Generally, I agree with your main point, that HR can often be a very people-hostile place. I smiled when I read the list of actions that HR departments often take. I've been there.

However, I think there is room in the HR "tent" even for those whose main motivation is "love" (defined as: concern for, placing high value on) of people.

In fact, with the Talent Management movement picking up such steam in industry, there seems to be a renewed recognition that people are indeed an organization's most important resource.



Sudhanshu Pant said...

Sanjay Hi,
as usual it is fun to read your posts, whether I totally agree with them or not. I actually think that "loving people" is necessary to be a great HR professional.I however do not think it is a sufficient condition to be good at HR. For that you need other skills like coaching, communication, conflict resolution, analytical, learning, etc. the list is endless.
Keep posting, and do it more frequently.

shikha said...

HR is a facilitor for any business,not the core function, a hygiene factor...I think people who man this function also rarely understand this forget the ones who wanna join in...which is why more often than not they are a frustrated lot:)

Abhijit Bhaduri said...

Hi Sanjay
Good to hear from you. I found my piece at echoing similar thoughts as this post of yours.
Love your writing style.