Are You Waiting For Permission?


This week, I participated in a discussion surrounding HR's influence and authority in their organizations.  Our discussion was prompted by Tamara M. Rasberry sharing this post from her Instagram which discussed the topic of #PayEquity and other biases.

Our discussion began to center around what HR can do about this issue - how we can get the conversation going in our organizations.

Sarah Morgan commented that she felt "many orgs are waiting on HR to step up and HR is waiting for permission."  

Tamara M. Rasberry then commented "This is the craziest thing to me. What other business function is waited on to make an argument for their work and purpose?"

BOOM - Mic Drop.

Are we waiting for permission?

Our organizations need the support and expertise of HR professionals now more than ever to help them successfully navigate through these turbulent times and to help them to identify what practices may be in place that need to change in order to maintain our integrity, be competitive, attract talent, and retain our best and brightest. 

For every HR professional that has a strong relationship and reputation as a strategic partner and consultant with their C-Suite, there are far more that are just trying to get through the day as an HR Department of One.  I know, I've been there.  It's hard to have that 30,000-foot view when your day-to-day is getting people paid, ensuring the accuracy of record keeping, etc. 

The recurring conversation lately is the request for suggestions when an HR professional feels as though he or she does not have the authority to make an impact and make changes in their organizations.  We need to remember that whether or not we have a certain level of authority, we do have control over the level of influence we can have.

If an HR professional doesn't have the authority now, what is that person doing with their influence? How do we increase influence when authority may or may not be there? AND - how do we make it safe to have these conversations?

As Gemma Toth pointed out on that same thread, "Gender pay gap has been discussed amongst #HRTribe on various occasions, including one on #nextchat. I know plenty of WW and men who have voiced out their support for equal pay and equity."

Beyond voicing support on social media and otherwise - what are we, the HR professionals doing in our organizations?

Gemma championed change by bringing data: 

"I asked my clients to implement pay ranges with stipends. Stipends pay an x amount based on years of experience & another for education. I fixed the salary where there was inequities. We have to show the numbers & cost of liabilities."

"I lent my voice as their HR rep. I showed the executives where there are pay gaps and how it’s cheaper to fix it than get sued. I negotiated for them."

Let's keep the conversation and action moving.  HR, what are you doing in your organizations to move the needle?


Originally posted on HR Without Ego blog.



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