That's What She Said

Angry Andy Revisited

Potential Litigation Value:  “Priceless”

We are well into the summer re-run season and this week’s episode was no exception.  The gently viewed episode of “Angry Andy” allows us to revisit the importance of having a strong and dependable HR department.  The following quote encapsulates Dunder Mifflin’s HR department and also may explain why there are so many shenanigans at this workplace: 

ERIN: Toby, doesn’t HR have some rules against talking about this kind of stuff?
TOBY: HR is a joke. I can’t do anything about anything . . . .

With this quote, Toby is admitting that the Dunder Mifflin HR department doesn’t have any power to control the behavior of its employees.  And we all see how well that has worked out for Dunder Mifflin and the gang.  Having a strong HR department is paramount for a company’s success.  The HR department is responsible for protecting a company’s greatest resource – it’s people.  Without strong, satisfied and motivated people in place your business will not grow to its potential.  Handling people is always difficult and difficult people are always hard to handle, however with the help of a strong HR department, employees can work together as a cohesive unit to not only solidify the company but to rake in the profits as well. HR personnel understand the psyche of a person so that they can motivate and stimulate employees to work not only more efficiently but more effectively as well.

HR is as important for managers as it is for employees.  A strong and dependable HR department is important for manager so that they can stay focused on their job. There is a lot of employment laws out there (its not called the employment law alphabet soup for nothing). One role of HR in a company is to unravel the byzantine employment regulations using their expertise and to advise management about how they affect the business. HR then updates business practices so the company is compliant. This is no easy feat.

 Employees benefit when managers are trained well and know how to be good managers. Employees need their managers focused on getting work done instead of trying to figure out what new laws just came out this year. Employees also benefit when the company hires right because that means they have less co-worker issues to deal with themselves. They don’t have to take on extra work when poor performers are let go. They don’t have to train the new person. They can stay focused on their job.

HR is more than someone who takes your new hire paperwork or files the benefit forms. The role of HR in a company affects all aspects of the organization. Why? Because HR supports employees and employees are your most important resource.  Whatever you do, don’t let your company devolve into the powerless shell that Toby has become.