I had a quick conversation with one of my HR buddies the other day about an incident that brought up all those bad feelings I have when people forget the value of HR and the overall role HR plays. I talk about it a lot, not just online. I mostly take the angle of challenging HR professionals to communicate our purpose better, but sometimes it simply boils down to people, even HR, losing the big picture.
Huntsville, AL is full of government sub-contractors and that is still a fairly new world to me, but in a nutshell let’s review the simple foundation: employees working directly for a contract bill their work directly to that contract or contracts they are working on; employees who do not work directly for a contract, let’s call them essential business systems, bill indirectly. Those groups that bill indirectly are costing corporate directly. Their salaries and department budgets come directly out of overhead, basically they cost the company money. It’s sometimes easy for people, whether it be managers or the executive team, to focus on that one statement “you cost the company money”, but without essential business systems a “direct employee” cannot continue to do business on their own for the long-term.
Who is essential business systems? These could be human resources department (duh), business development, marketing, contracts, accounting, executive administrators, IT group, security, facilities etc. The other important piece often overlooked is that all of these groups have to work together like a well oiled machine for optimum results! If BD isn’t communicating with HR about possible business on the radar then HR probably isn’t getting prepared for the work that it will take to recruit new talent, identify internal talent, prepare benefits training or paperwork, gather salary information for comparison, generally speaking preparing the HR department to make the transition as smooth as possible for the possible customer and new employees. Another example is marketing cannot advertise for upcoming career fairs or college recruiting events if human resources/recruiters have not communicated that schedule to them. These examples could go on for days, but for the sake of time I’ll stop there.
Why this post? Please stop forgetting the big picture. Please understand that all essential business systems receive critique for costing the organization indirect dollars and that you are all in it together. Continue to communicate your purpose to the organization as a whole, but remember the other essential business systems are HRs kindred spirits.!