Understanding the Conundrum of HR’s Responsibilities, Resources, & ROI


Is HR Suffering from Multiple Personality Disorder?

During a recent mini TED-talk Aethos™ held in Las Vegas with senior leaders in casino and gaming, one speaker noted the difference between aspiration and aspirational. This distinction strongly resonated with attendees who lamented that while the hospitality industry does well innovating on the product and service side (business practices), the industry has yet to advance its people practices and simply relies on familiar but outdated modus operandi.

The attendees agreed that one area needing a revamp or even reinvention was the HR side of the business. Many executives we speak with across the globe are looking for innovation programs to help their organisations become more competitive and better serviced by their HR departments. This is what we call aspiration — an intent, priority, goal or wish. Aspirational people, on the other hand, take ideas to the next level and commit resources to make tangible changes.

Many industry insiders will recognize; however, that there can be mixed messages or outright misalignment among the responsibilities, resources, and ultimate ROI tasked to HR. In a way, even minor misalignments can introduce a defeating sense of “multiple personality disorder” in HR departments. At best, organizations only leverage the traditional, administrative side of HR, and at the worst, executives yearn for strategic contributions from an HR department that is not properly resourced to deliver on those expectations.

Aethos™ wants to understand the current state of HR functions in the industry and what specific innovations in people practices will yield the strongest ROI for organisations. A new Aethos™ thought-leadership study will launch soon to help HR practitioners and senior executives alike answer these critical questions. Our aspiration is to help promote HR being viewed and leveraged as a true trusted advisor – the key facilitator aligning an organisation’s people practices to its business practices. After all, “When was the last time you saw a business thrive and generate above-average profits without strong leaders, a corporate culture that is not embraced by all employees and a compensation scheme that fails to incentivize peak performance? When was the last time you observed a company thrive over decades without a properly managed talent pipeline or well-developed succession plans to ensure company stability over the long term?”

The results of this new research will fuel those who are aspirational – willing and committed to action – to establish in their organisations a well-defined, constructive identity for HR where its responsibilities, resources and ROI are aligned and those in HR can actually deliver on both the administrative and strategic fronts. To learn more about this upcoming study, please contact the authors.