How Many HR People Does It Take To Change a Light Bulb?

If I asked that question of a random sampling of managers, I would get a range of answers. I would expect to hear:

  • None. They’re used to working in the dark.
  • One. But it will take him a while to get the approvals.
  • We don’t know, their committee is still working on the solution.
  • Can they do that?
  • When they get back from the conference, maybe we’ll find out.
  • The light’s not burned out, they turned it off so we couldn’t read the new medical rates sheet they just sent out.
  • They’re Business Partners, not electricians.

I’m also pretty sure I would get some answers that were not sarcastic or humorous. After all, we get some respect, right?

What I’d be most concerned about is any idea that the term “HR People” has become so generalized that it means the same type of person to everyone. I’ve known enough HR pros through the years to have confidence that the idea that we’re all people pleasers and inept with technology is just plain wrong.  Yes, a lot of “HR people” are frequently at the front lines managing communications to employees. Yes, some do manage employee relations, and sometimes they take on too much accountability for being the face to the organization. Or, as one employee told me the “one throat to choke”.

They are also doing an admirable job of coaching leaders on how to treat their employees as adults and participate in the messaging – good or bad. They are at the front of ideas that will enable people to perform better and be more fulfilled in their work.  They are keeping managers from making costly mistakes. And perhaps most importantly, they are bringing innovation into their work. I was inspired earlier tonight by this post from Mark Stelzner. He is committed to sharing, to taking the time to bring his experience and ideas forward for others to build upon. Many HR bloggers are doing the same, but if you have followed Mark for any length of time, you know there will be some great ideas coming. And if you know the greater online HR community, you know they will take those ideas and build.

It’s an open-source world, and if we are interested in continuous improvement in our work, we have amazing resources available to us.

We don’t need to change the light bulb, we need to focus on changing the future of what we do. Better very day.

6 Responses to How Many HR People Does It Take To Change a Light Bulb?

Leave a reply