Why we should give HR a new name

The other day a friend called to tell me that HR in his company was now also in charge of health topics. “Are you guys in charge of everything now?” he said. I fear we are.

The times of HR as being purely the pay roll department were over when it starting recruiting and dismissing employees. Now HR helps employees to become better in their role by providing training. HR is the one to help when you get bullied or sexually harassed by your colleagues or your boss. It supports you on health issues.

Your colleagues are arriving late at the meeting, are not prepared and regularly check their smart phone? HR helps you to create communication rules. HR is the one that you call when you do not like the food in your canteen. I know of HR departments who help their employees in financial matters. It is the department to organise your parking place, which books your travels. HR is also the CEO, the chief entertainment officer.

As employees are more and more referring to the HR department so are managers. Many managers dislike training new employees. Once recruited, employees are supposed to function immediately which is why HR is also in charge of on boarding. And if the on boarding is not fast enough, HR is also there to get people in line or to send them away.

So HR is really in charge of everything that employee and particularly managers do not want to do. Because these jobs are tiresome and unpopular. It is the dirty work that has to be done but nobody likes to do.

Should we then not  actually call HR the nanny department?