Making Dispensable HR Professionals Indispensable

IT Support Business Fundamentals

One of the most common pieces of advice offered by an HR adviser is to work to make yourself indispensable. Employees who do so are less likely to be replaced on a whim. Unfortunately, the majority of HR professionals in the UK don't see themselves as indispensable. I want to do my part to change that.

As an HR training specialist, I am somewhat surprised by a recent survey showing that 63% of the UK's HR professionals believe they could be easily replaced by someone else. The survey was conducted by a well-known employment website soliciting responses from some 1,800 employees from a variety of industries.

Where HR professionals are concerned, the majority of those surveyed see the skills they possess as easily transferable. This is both good and bad. It is good in the sense that finding another job if one is let go is easier in HR than in many other fields. It is bad in the sense that HR professionals believe someone else can take their job just as easily as they could find a new job themselves.

Changing the HR Professional Mindset

Looking further into the survey data reveals that employees whose jobs focus mainly on administrative duties are more likely to feel like they are easily replaced. By contrast, employees whose jobs put them at the front lines of production are more likely to feel very secure in their jobs.

In reality, the proximity of one's job to production has little to do with job security. The HR professional is just as important to the success of a company as the plant manager or line worker. One of my jobs as a HR training specialist is to help HR professionals understand that. It is also to help them become indispensable to their employers.

A good place to start is changing the mindset of HR professionals by helping them get a better understanding of what it is they contribute to the workplace. For example, an HR employee may view him/herself as being easily replaced in contrast to a highly trained technician the company couldn't afford to lose. But that HR employee has a vital role in retaining the technician.

It is the HR department's responsibility to make sure that the work environment is a positive one. HR professionals handle questions about payroll and hours worked. They interface with employees regarding various benefits and incentives. They ensure that disputes are resolved quickly and effectively. If the HR department isn't doing its job, those skilled technicians may go elsewhere.

Training HR professionals to make themselves indispensable means training them to do what they do better. It is helping them to identify their own weaknesses and work to make themselves stronger. It is about helping them see and understand the value they bring to the company.

HR professionals may feel as though they are easily replaceable. Some of them may be, but that does not have to be the case with every HR professional.



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Author: Peter Smith