Expectations Vs. Reality Series

By Julie Goh

In the world of modern business, the Human Resources (HR) department plays a central role. It's the beating heart of talent management, the keeper of workplace culture, and the bridge between employees and the organisation's strategic goals. However, this vital department often finds itself in a tightrope act, trying to balance the high expectations set upon it with the day-to-day realities of the job.

Company’s EXPECTATIONS: Strategic Leadership:
In an ideal scenario, HR is expected to be the strategic leader in talent development. The vision is clear: HR should be at the forefront of shaping a company’s culture, enhancing employee engagement, ensuring that the workforce aligns with the company's long-term goals, and identifying hidden talents within the workforce, nurturing and harnessing them for the benefit of the company. The HR department is envisioned as the architects of the company's success story.

Daily Tasks and Administration:

Yet, the reality is often very different from this grand aspiration. The daily life of HR professionals is a whirlwind of tasks. From payroll administration to recruitment, from staff management to compliance, they navigate a maze of responsibilities that require attention to detail and a keen eye for organisation. These tasks are like pieces of a puzzle. The tricky part is putting these puzzle pieces together to create a bigger picture that matches what the company wants to achieve.

The Balancing Act:
HR professionals are the ultimate multitaskers. They must effectively manage the demands of administrative tasks while also embracing their strategic responsibilities. This balancing act can be daunting, but it's a tightrope they walk daily. Successful HR leaders find ways to excel in both realms. They understand that the strategic vision can only be realised when the groundwork is well-laid through efficient administration.

So, how can HR professionals navigate this tightrope successfully? It begins with managing expectations and talking things out. Clear communication is key. HR should chat with the big bosses to make sure they know what HR can and can't do. It's like making sure everyone is reading from the same playbook.

But there's more to it. HR also needs to step out of their usual tasks and comfort zone. They need to see the big picture and thoroughly understand what it takes to reach the company's goals.

Moreover, HR should take the lead in elevating the workforce. They're like the coaches who guide the team to perform at their best. By identifying hidden talents within the company and polishing these “rough diamonds”, HR can help individuals shine, making a brighter, more capable workforce that aligns perfectly with the company's aspirations.

HR plays a pivotal role in bridging the gap between expectations and reality within an organisation. While it's essential to manage expectations through clear communication and realistic goal setting, there's a greater challenge at hand. HR must also venture beyond their traditional roles and comfort zones. They need to envision the bigger picture and actively contribute to paving the future of the company. By identifying hidden talents, nurturing them, and guiding the workforce to meet the company's aspirations, HR can transform from task managers into strategic leaders. In doing so, they become the architects of not just the company's success story but also the architects of a more vibrant, capable, and harmonious workplace that thrives on meeting and exceeding expectations. Additionally, HR serves as the crucial bridge connecting all departments in the company, ensuring alignment and collaboration across the organisation.