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What Does HR Do, Anyway?

What Does HR Do, Anyway?

Chris Ferdinandi

February 10, 2009

Pop-quiz: What does HR do? (Hint: “Get in the way” isn’t the right answer)

I’ve heard a lot of answers to that question, but the one I like best is short and simple: HR aligns employee behaviors with business strategies. If you read my last article, then you already know how to conduct an analysis of your company’s competitive strategies. Today we’re going to be talking about defining and assessing behaviors that support those strategies.

In order to really drive employee behavior, it’s essential that all of your human resource practices align to accomplish the same goal.

For example, if your organization tries to distinguish itself with superior customer service, all of your processes and programs should drive customer-oriented behavior. Based on your selection tests and criteria, you should be hiring service-oriented individuals. Performance management programs should place a high emphasis on customer-service skills. Compensation packages should reward and retain those who deliver high-quality service. Training and development should help employees perfect their service skills.

Get the Job Done (and Then Some!)

When talking about employee performance, there are two types of behaviors you are trying to elicit:

Get the Job Done (GJD) behaviors are the ones that are required to be successful in a role. If an employee did nothing but GJD behaviors, the company would operate smoothly.

Above And Beyond (AAB) behaviors are those that go above and beyond (obviously) the requirements of the job.


Poll: How do you feel about crying at work?

Poll: How do you feel about crying at work?