A New Purpose and Role

Stewardship in the human resources function requires renegotiating their role away from the policy-selling, policy-implementing business. No more personnel policies centrally defined and implemented across the board. No more approval authority residing in a staff function. HR can live out its own stewardship more cleanly by defining core work teams as its primary client, rather than top management.

HR’s task, then, is to provide the tools and skills and process for people close to the work to develop their own personnel practices and procedures. Let a plant, a department, a sales region, design its own hiring, pay, appraisal, training practices. If there is a genuine need for consistency across units, let the plant or department ...

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