Written on May 16, 2010 by Charlie in #TrenchHR, Environment, HR Profession
How many of you HR pros out there have been geographically relegated to a dark corner somewhere in the office? For years and years the traditional notion was that given the sensitivity of matters managed on a daily basis, HR needed to be private. Well ‘private’ has unfortunately become ‘segregated.’ We’ve heard that “we need to be more connected to the business” enough that it makes us sick. OK…fine. Let’s start by putting HR smack dab in the middle of the business! Your HR people should sit next to or near their chief client(s) even if that means they don’t sit with the rest of the HR team. Yes, break the team up if you have to. Spread your offices (and cubes) throughout the organization – don’t huddle somewhere you can’t be seen. Keep a room for private conversations somewhere – you’ll still need that. Worried about convenience? Screw convenience! Go to the business leader and make the business case: it will allow you to serve them more directly; to interact with their constituents; to more actively engage in the business; to gain acceptance; to earn credibility and respect; and to get out in front of things. Tell them it’s no different then their wanting to visit their customers. If they don’t buy it, insist. Offer to make the broom closet an office. Offer to sit in a cube outside their office. Offer to sit on the floor. For many of you, this is elementary. No, this isn’t some mind-bending strategic HR solution. But I would argue that without it you’ll always be at least a step behind in trying to provide those solutions.
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