Jef Lippiatt
Jef Lippiatt Owner at Startup Chucktown


What will it take for HR to see a person holistically?

I've been bothered by this question for years. Why does the typical HR department see you as a set of bullet points instead of paying attention to everything you could bring to the company? It really is a shame the level of skills and talent that are wasted or underutilised by companies that have great people.

Why do you think they fail to see and understand this issue? Are there any cures to fix this problem?

Brad Lyons

Brad Lyons, Consultant at

The cure is simple. HR like any department will follow the

processes and procedures you as the company owner set out.

I have seen HR departments that operate and treat employees like objects and try to put fear into employees. This is more common in larger enterprises.

The truth is, HR is there to maximize the employees performance. If they are not then you need to look at training them or hiring the right people.

I believe HR should be consistently doing the following.

· Conduct annual employee reviews. Make it clear to your employees this is their chance to speak up about what they like and don't like.

· Conduct employee surveys, staff should be made aware the surveys are anonymous and the result of the surveys will be reviewed by the executive team with HR.

· Ensure employee development programs are effective and maintained

· Ensure employee reward programs are in place and consistently reviewed.

· Develop and review employee reporting

These are just some of the areas HR should be involved in. Employee development programs would include training, while most companies provide induction training they tend to forget about ongoing training and development. While it is the responsibility of the training department to do this, HR should be monitoring the success and failures of the program.

If you can't afford a training department there is no issues with HR being responsible for this. Ongoing training not only increases productivity it can also decrease absenteeism.

Rewards programs should be monitored by HR, while individual managers (depending on your company size) should be compiling the data, HR should be in charge of reporting and managing the rewards.

Rewards programs are generally tied into KPI's. And KPIs can also directly affect absenteeism rates. If HR is looking after additional areas other than hiring and firing they will be seen as a much friendlier department. It will also give them more interaction with employees, putting them in a much better position to identify talent and promoting within.

If your HR department is only looking after the recruitment and firing they either have a lot of spare time or your employee turnover rate is too high and changes need to be made.

In the past I have found some HR departments should have very little involvement in the recruitment process. In one large company I found that when HR decided to take full control over the recruitment process the candidates hired were not suitable for the job. I found that having managers control the recruitment process resulted in a much higher employee retention rate. This is because managers are working on the frontline everyday while HR tend to be more detached from operations. Again, more common in large enterprise.

So if HR is not doing their job or failing to identify talent, train them or hire the right people for the job.