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How do you view HR’s role as an employee advocate?

SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 190,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: How do you view HR’s role as an employee advocate?

  • They’re not strong enough advocates for our employees: 65.32%
  • They’re good at balancing employee needs versus business needs: 25.9%
  • They advocate for employees at the expense of the business: 8.78%

Employees need a champion. A leader is an employee’s first line of advocacy.  Sometimes leadership fails and employees need additional resources and assistance.  The vast majority of you don’t see HR advocating strongly enough for your associates.  If you’re not happy with the level of support your HR business partners provide, have an explicit conversation with them around service level expectations, boundaries, and your view of their responsibilities.  HR just might be treading lightly because they’re not wanting to overstep their bounds and upset leaders of the troops.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS and author of “One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership.”