"A question: how many HR people does it take to change a lightbulb?
I thought about it when I read our brilliant Global Salary Survey feature, one of the highlights of MT’s June edition. Its headline finding this time round is that in the UK we pay our HR directors more than anywhere else in the world – a whopping £327,300 on average. That’s just a whisker under the figure the average FD gets in the USA (£342,284) – and in the States they pay FDs more than anywhere else. This revelation had our old friend and MT contributor Luke Johnson, serial entrepreneur and chairman of Channel 4, protesting: ‘I suspect that part of the reason why big companies in Britain are not as productive or entrepreneurial as they could be is because they misallocate rewards like this. Administrators are a necessary evil, but business-getters and leaders are the ones who create enterprises, not bureaucrats."
OK, so Europe thinks HR is the weak sister, too. Got it, check...
And Sue Meisinger encourages HR professionals in her goodbye speech to "stop asking, and start taking" the proverbial seat at the table. Sue, I've thought the same thing. Glad you said that, but the thing we need from SHRM is for the organization to take a stand and tell us what that means to SHRM, and as a result, what the mid-level HR pro should be doing to "take the seat".
My guess is that if SHRM provides that guidance in the manner necessary, they'll alienate a portion of the base that has no interest in doing what's required or isn't capable of taking the seat. As a result, SHRM won't take that stand. Too bad. Because they could do it, and it would really matter.
I've said it in the past, and I'll say it again since the Europe "HR Stinks" article is bouncing around. Every time you see an article that says "HR stinks", start a value-added project for your operators/line managers and deliver some value they don't expect. Don't wring your hands, don't spend energy wondering why. Instead of telling you to take the seat, I'm telling you to do something specific.
Just do it. But don't wait on SHRM to tell you how. You can figure it out on your own.