The significance of the relationship between Human Resources (HR) employees and management within an organization has truly evolved a great deal over time. In the past, management typically viewed HR as a clump of administrators working on legally required employee paperwork. As a result, managers did not have much respect for HR employees as a resource or agent of change for the organization. When managers did need to work with HR, it was often a contentious interaction, with HR being viewed as the bureaucratic heavy in the situation.
However, over time, there has been a shift in thinking. This has primarily been caused by major changes in the way companies are structured. In today’s business world, there are actually fewer jobs in management due economic downsizing and the new generation’s desire to work in self-directed teams. This means the managers that remain have greater responsibilities, and are managing more people and much larger projects. They are also being called on more than ever before to develop, motivate, and communicate with those they supervise, as businesses are discovering that the attitude of management is critical to maintaining their very best employees. With all of these new responsibilities, management has naturally started seeking out Human Resources Offices for help, as their staff are more expert in the areas of employee relations. In turn, HR employees are learning the business speak necessary to meet management where they are for the best possible collaboration experience.
However, it is not quite yet an ideal world where HR and management teams are getting along completely smoothly. More work needs to be done to change the culture between these two groups. The keys to success in this area must come from the top down, with business owners mandating Human Resources employees and managers collaborate, communicate, and cooperate, viewing each other as partners rather than adversaries.