The HR Paradox

We spend more of our lives at work than on any other activity, so the way people are treated within a workplace really matters to individual lives. It impacts on people’s motivation to want to come to work, to go the extra mile in pursuit of the organisation’s goals, and impacts on their mood when they leave work at the end of the day.

There is little doubt that HR can be a driving force for change, supporting leadership and building the capability to provide safe, caring and supportive working environments. HR (when done well) can have a real life-transforming effect on individuals at work by humanising their experience.

We believe that there is a different and better way of approaching things.

The reality for many organisations can be quite different. Often HR departments are locked in perpetual ‘fire-fighting mode’. Sometimes HR’s role within a business is limited to protecting the status quo rather than driving transformational change. If HR spends the majority of the time on administration and policing the organisations rules it cannot be serving the future needs of the organisation effectively. It can be a demoralising situation for HR professionals and the organisations’ they serve.

Having worked at the sharp end of HR consultancy in different organisations over the last 20 years I have seen this scenario many times.  Many people (including those in HR) are often required to work in an environment where they feel they are ‘just a number’, where opinions are not valued and recognition is virtually non-existent.  Can we honestly expect people to give their best efforts for our organisations in such circumstances?  

This always has to be a balanced equation, if we demand trust, honesty, hard-work, flexibility, loyalty and creativity from our employees perhaps the starting point ought to be leaders giving these things in abundance to our employees first?  With this leadership mindset, HR could be instrumental by driving these changes within organisations, being the real transformational force that is often needed.

We believe that there is a different and better way of approaching things.  The Apex HR 4Ps framework helps organisations to build inspired leadership capability, develop systems which are truly people-centred, and create outstanding opportunities for personal growth and development.  

We would encourage all organisations to honestly reflect on which side of the HR paradox their HR function currently sits?  HR can be a powerful enabler for positive change or in different circumstances the HR function can actually hold organisations back.  

At Apex HR, we thrive on sharing our expertise and knowledge.  When we land on the right side of the HR paradox the results for both organisations and the people who operate within them can be truly life-transforming.    

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At Apex HR, we believe in challenging the status quo when it comes to people at work. Outdated HR thinking and methods just won’t cut it in a rapidly changing and dynamic world. It is time for a new approach.