HR on the Offense

Sections of this topic

    In a recent post over at the Fistful of Talent blog, Paul Herbert discusses the need for HR to play more offense. In the blog, Herbert describes a workplace situation in which an employee made a request and then got the typical HR on the offense blah blah blah about why it couldn’t be done. This is the very reason why HR can be so hated by other employees and departments. We are so often perceived as the roadblock to getting things in other departments. The reason, we don’t play enough offense.

    Don’t get me wrong, we are charged with being really good at the defense. Our job descriptions are probably filled with terms like risk mitigation, and compliance, and some may swear box checking can be found in there somewhere too. It’s true; we are responsible to protect the company and its “human capital” from risk. But in order to win the game, we have to score a few points once in a while. We have to find a way to say yes. We have to be able to question traditional ways of thinking about our jobs and our defensive roles. We have to consider other options. And it is ok if the option didn’t come from HR.

    Are you the HR person who already has the list of reasons why we can’t formulate in your mind before the question is completely uttered out of the mouth of that manager who is always questioning HR? If you are, try just listening and asking more questions next time before you decide if the answer is no. Help them find a yes and you will take the first step to changing their perception of HR. If you’re not interested in a win and you like being hated, keep doing what you’re doing.

    For more resources, See the Human Resources library.

    Sheri Mazurek is a training and human resource professional with over 16 years of management experience, and is skilled in all areas of employee management and human resource functions, with a specialty in learning and development. She is available to help you with your Human Resources and Training needs on a contract basis. For more information send an email to or visit Follow me on Twitter @Sherimaz.