Anyone who has
been to a doctors office in recent years will have been greeted at
the front desk by a receptionist who gathers basic information and
makes sure that not only are you sick, but that at least one copy of
your insurance card has been made. This person then manages your
waiting time by assuring you that the doctor really is in and will
be with you shortly!
After a while,
a nurse or nurses aide escorts you into an examining room. You are
weighed and measured, and again invited to read a three-year-old
copy of Sports Illustrated while continuing to wait. Increasingly,
in physicians offices, there is an additional intervening person
who may be called a physicians assistant or nurse practitioner who
further downloads some of the work away from the physician, who
used to take the history and perform the routine initial medical
arrives for a brief encounter, which leads to the diagnostic
judgment and the treatment options. In the United States, a
physician will spend about 18 minutes in the average encounter with
occurring has been the rise of sub-specialties such as physicians
assistant and nurse anesthetists, as well as an expansion of the
role of other medical employees including RNs. The same thing is
happening in other professions.
The HR Doctor
advises many people each year about career choices. When it comes to
a career in human resources, the advice is clear and so are the
If you are
looking for a career in transactional processing, in which you
review documents and apply what you see against standard rules, then
HR is not going to offer you long-term job security or satisfaction.
This type of
work is declining and headed for a brief mention on the History
Channel. Transactional processing in all professions is being
outsourced to specialty companies or being managed internally by
electronic processes in the increasing world of
for example. When was the last time you actually set foot in a bank?
Frankly, the HR Doctor cannot remember when he last did this. In a
world of ATM machines, online banking and communications by voice
prompt or voicemail, the concept of doing business with an
organization takes on new expectations: Work can be done at my
convenience as a customer, 24-7, and not necessarily with human
In the future,
many jobs with transactional work at their core will not exist in a
despair as you think about future career options. What is growing is
not the transactional part of HR but the transformational part of
this wonderful profession.
HR is at its
most exciting and most rewarding when it allows individuals and
organizations to receive timely and effective advice as well as
innovative approaches to improvement. This is the part of the
profession that is never boring and is increasingly recognized for
its value and organization.
This is the
future of HR. It is the profession that increasingly sits at the
decision-making table along with the county or city manager, the
elected officials, the attorney and the director of finance. The new
HR combines offense and defense on the same team. It guards the
organization against liability, and it develops policy, benefits and
approaches for the organizations future success.
What kind of HR
does your organization practice? If it is transactional, it is time
for you to use the catch-up provisions of deferred compensation to
build your retirement nest egg so that you can leave as quickly as
possible before the job devolves into nothing.
If the role is
strategic, and if the HR staff is allowed and encouraged to develop
and to contribute, the future in the organization is bright. The
work atmosphere described above is also the success formula in other
professions including accounting, engineering and information
top leaders are well advised to focus on transformation and not
transaction. Its what modern organizations need, and its what the
best professionals increasingly demand.
metamorphosis of HR is underway and it is unstoppable. Enjoy the