Are challenges with HR contributing to attrition industry-wide?

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CEO in Software, 11 - 50 employees
HR has never saved a company, but it has saved executives. They have often ruined companies by having high turnover and not understanding that they are a root cause of it. There's an amazing role for HR to play, but it's not the HR that all of us have grown up with.

Most people that have worked more than one job will tell you to never go to HR if you have a problem. The way it’s designed today, HR tends to look for the toxic person who's underneath that first layer of most important executives, but they never call out the one who is creating toxicity in the first place if that person is the CEO or CRO, etc. The role of HR ought to be to protect the environment for the employee in order for the company to be prosperous and able to work well, and for people to feel successful and included. If I ever found anybody trying to protect me or one of my executives and ignoring what was going on in their departments because of it, I would fire them first. You don't fire the lineman because the team keeps losing year over year, you fire the coach. All too often in organizations, layoffs and reorgs occur while the obvious elephant in the room is ignored.
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Chief Information Officer in Software, 1,001 - 5,000 employees

We can all relate to that, and I've had that experience myself. A long time ago, I was having trouble with my boss and everybody told me to just suck it up. They all said, “The last thing you want to do is go to HR,” but I didn't want to walk on eggshells. I went ahead and talked to HR, and everyone was right. Nothing came of it; the boss left and I changed jobs. Things got sorted out on their own, but nothing got done.

I wish we could call the HR organization “employee success” instead. I just feel like they don't get it. They're so paper driven, and there are no human emotions behind their processes.

Member Board of Directors in Finance (non-banking), 201 - 500 employees
I’ve had the privilege of working with some pretty awesome HR leaders that are helpful to the executive team, especially for identifying elements of a toxic culture and helping rectify those things. I understand why some say that HR can be just paper pushers, because I've seen that as well. But there are some pretty awesome HR leaders who are thought leaders and they can really help the CEO to build a strong culture.
2 1 Reply
CEO in Software, 11 - 50 employees

I would agree with that. I don't want to say that everybody in HR is bad. What I've seen from HR is that they can be good at informing the executive team, but they worry about toxic culture all the way up to where the executive team starts. That’s what drives me crazy the most, even though I'm coming from the position of leadership. As a leader, one of my priorities is making people aware that if something's wrong with me, I need to be called out on it first because I have more impact on the rest of the organization than any one team member does. 

CIO in Education, 201 - 500 employees
Sure! It's not uncommon for the walk to not match the inclusive talk. In addition, it's not uncommon for HR to be the face of bad admin decisions - approving increase, work/life support, etc. I see this happening the most when HR doesn't have a strong leader with a seat at the table and/or is looked at as a basic operational unit instead of a valued partner. There seems to be a hyper-focus on attraction and no focus on retention, at a time when that is not ok.

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Chief Technology Officer in Software, 51 - 200 employees
My personal experience. 

I usually get the feedback and go back with data driven analysis providing details to cross leaders to understand the context and make decision basis data and and not gut feeling. 

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