Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Fast Company: "Why We Hate HR"

If, like me, you work in an environment reminiscent of "Office Space" (that is, any medium to large sized Corporate American business), you will truly appreciate this fantastic article from Fast Company by Keith H. Hammonds:

I don't care for Las Vegas. And if it's not clear already, I don't like HR, either, which is why I'm here. The human-resources trade long ago proved itself, at best, a necessary evil -- and at worst, a dark bureaucratic force that blindly enforces nonsensical rules, resists creativity, and impedes constructive change. HR is the corporate function with the greatest potential -- the key driver, in theory, of business performance -- and also the one that most consistently underdelivers. And I am here to find out why.

Why are annual performance appraisals so time-consuming -- and so routinely useless? Why is HR so often a henchman for the chief financial officer, finding ever-more ingenious ways to cut benefits and hack at payroll? Why do its communications -- when we can understand them at all -- so often flout reality? Why are so many people processes duplicative and wasteful, creating a forest of paperwork for every minor transaction? And why does HR insist on sameness as a proxy for equity?

Bullseye. Not to cast aspersions on the HR dept. where I work, but let's just say that this article resonates so much that our division Publisher actually forwarded this article to our HR department.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I'm in total agreement with you on this. HR often is a waste of space and resources, it is a shame that (occasionally) they are a necessary evil. The worst HR experiences are when they do sexual harrassment training or other sorts of training. Recently, we had a sexual harrassment training where we actually watched a cheesy ass video! A VIDEO! Lame. So Lame.