Document of Hr

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HOULD WE do away with HR? In recent years, a number of people wbo study and write about business-along witb many wbo run businesses-bave been debating that question. Tbe debate arises out of serious and widespread doubts about HR's contribution to organizational performance. And as mucb as I like HR people-I bave been working in tbe field as a researcher, professor, and consultant for 20 years -1 must agree that tbere is good reason for HR's beleaguered reputation. It is often ineffective, incompetent, and costly; in a phrase, it is value sapping. Indeed, if HR were to remain configured as it is today in many companies, I would have to answer tbe question above with a resounding "Yes - abolish the tbing!" But the trutb is, HR bas never been more necessary. The competitive forces tbat managers face today and will continue to confront in the future demand organizational excellence. Tbe efforts to
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achieve such excellence - tbrougb a focus on learning, quality, teamwork, and reengineering-are driven by tbe way organizations get tbings done and bow they treat tbeir people. Tbose are fundamental HR issues. To state it plainly: achieving organizational excellence must be tbe work of HR. Tbe question for senior managers, then, is not Should we do away with HR? but Wbat sbould we do with HR? The answer is: create an entirely new role and agenda for the field that focuses it not on traditional HR activities, sucb as staffing and compensation, but on outcomes. HR should not be defined by wbat it does but by what it deliversresults that enrich tbe organization's value to customers, investors, and employees. More specifically, HR can help deliver organizational excellence in the following four ways: • First, HR sbould become a partner with senior and line managers in strategy execution, belping to
ARTWORK BY MICHAEL WOLOSCHINOW

HR should be defined not by what…...

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