It’s Not My Job

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    In an previous post, I discussed the many different views of HR’s number one priority. Despite the view from which you see HR, most would agree that HR has a responsibility for talent. From talent acquisition to development and retention, HR has responsibilities. However, this very concept that HR owns talent can be a source of frustration for many. For the HR professional charged with the responsibility of talent, it can be frustrating when managers fail with their talent. For the managers who believe HR owns talent, it can be frustrating when HR can’t fix their problems. And what about the employee? What about the talent caught in the middle feeling like their manager isn’t leading them to success and HR doesn’t care?

    Unfortunately, this seems to be a common reality for many organizations. So who’s problem is it anyway? In a recent article published in Compensation and Benefits Review, Howard Richter discusses who owns performance management. According to Rishner, management owns it.

    The reality is that performance management is not an HR problem; it is a management problem. Performance management is or should be a day-to-day responsibility of managers and supervisors. HR can provide the forms, send reminders, and provide training and advice, but the HR community should not assume responsibility for what should be an important aspect of each manager’s job.

    I agree management does own the day-to-day execution and the impact of a positive leader is clearly evident in performance when compared to one that negatively impacts the team. But that doesn’t mean that HR doesn’t have to own talent as well. HR can’t get a pass and keep placing blame on the managers. This is where HR can have a strong business impact. If you are already saying that no one will listen, then find a way to communicate your position in a way the C Suite will understand. Try a comparison analysis of top managers against poor-performing managers. My guess is that you will find that the top performers are good coaches and the poor performers aren’t. The next step, build your case based on facts and get busy supporting those good coaches.

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    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.