What’s So Human About Human Resources?


What's So Human About Human Resources, The Coaching Solution Book Review for Take It Personel-ly Blog

 My main job was developing talent. I was a gardener providing water and other nourishment to our top 750 people. – Jack Welch

People are your company’s most valuable asset. How you treat them and help them develop and grow in their roles contributes to the overall success of your company.  I have written about Treating People As People and Reinventing The Workplace. Part of creating a great work environment is providing training and developmental opportunities for employees. Coaching employees, to help them succeed and take on new challenges, is part of that.

If you are looking to create a coaching environment but don’t know where to start, I recommend reading The Coaching Solution: How to Drive Talent Development, Organizational Change and Business Results by Renée Robertson.

The following is an excerpt from The Coaching Solution: How to Drive Talent Development, Organizational Change and Business Results by Renée Robertson.

I truly believe that people are the most crucial asset a company has and they should be valued and invested in. Unfortunately, sometimes they are treated as a piece of equipment that is simply being depreciated on the financial books. In these cases, this is a perfect situation for Human Resources to intervene and shift this thinking and the behavior that goes along with it. Now, if your Human Resources team is perceived more like the “people police” – inspecting the behaviors of the company’s employees, “transaction specialists” – ensuring that your “people” process boxes are checked or perhaps as “firefighters” – showing up when there is a “people” problem and required to solve the problem, then its time for a new approach. Ask yourself and your HR personnel, to answer these three questions and if these terms come to mind…maybe its time for you to help them find a new approach.

1. How would your clients, colleagues and manager describe you? How would you describe yourself? Choose one of the following:

a) Strategic
b) Transactional
c) Both

2. How would you characterize HR’s activity at client–staff meetings?

a) The focus is on providing talent solutions to business problems.
b) Human Resources results are reported (e.g., number of reviews completed) and/or updates are given on Human Resources activities that
employees need to be doing.
c) Both.

3. How knowledgeable is your Human Resources contact about talent management programs with respect to succession planning, leadership and organizational development?

a) Extremely knowledgeable—I have a resource dedicated to talent development or my Human Resources personnel are well trained in these
b) Some knowledge—I have/am a human resources generalist with some training in order to implement the process.
c) Not sure.

If you answered with the letter “a” across the three questions, this indicates that you (or your HR personnel) provide strategic thinking and true value to employees. This may be a great opening to engage them and secure their thoughts on implementing internal coaching.

If you answered with a “b” or “c” to any questions, you (or your HR personnel) have room to improve. I would encourage you to ask employees how they view the services and performance of Human Resources. What would they like to see more of? Less of? Is there anything they’d like done differently? Perhaps, together, you can go to your leadership and have a conversation about the future of talent in the company. Could this be an opportunity for an internal coaching program for human resources professionals?

Also, it may be time for you (or your HR personnel) to engage a coach to explore your career choice and/or enroll in some talent management and organizational development training programs. Consider having a conversation with your manager or Human Resources leadership about its charter in order to determine if the plan is to become more strategic. It is important to note that sometimes the business calls for a transactional Human Resources department and a coaching program just may not be in the cards.

I have been in situations where I’ve worked with strategic human resources leaders, and other times I’ve worked with transactional human resources leaders. Occasionally, there have been times when the individuals that I worked with excelled in both capacities. As a former Human Resources business partner, I can tell you this: my clients preferred my ability to be a strategic business partner, advisor and coach and they understood that there are some transactional components required. However, they much preferred that their business partner and managers accomplished the transactional exercises efficiently and allocated more time thinking strategically about their talent and their future. If this is the case for your situation, consider working with a coach to further develop your coaching capabilities, enroll in a coach training program or consider bringing coaching skills and an internal coaching program to your Human Resources organization.

You can purchase The Coaching Solution: How to Drive Talent Development, Organizational Change and Business Results through Amazon. It is a great resource for any Leader or HR professional.

I am excited to be giving away two copies of The Coaching Solution: How to Drive Talent Development, Organizational Change and Business Results through my blog. For your chance to win 1 of the 2 copies, click on the picture of The Coaching Solution above to be entered via Rafflecopter. Terms and conditions of the giveaway are indicated below.

About Renée Robertson

Renée Robertson is the founder and CEO of Trilogy Development, a boutique consulting firm specializing in talent development. A veteran of Fortune 500 companies, Robertson has developed award-winning internal coaching programs and numerous succession plans as well as talent development solutions, sales force integration programs and transformational initiatives. She has served as a trusted advisor and coach to many business leaders, and her expertise has made her a noted speaker and thought-leader. She shares all of this and more in her new book, The Coaching Solution.

Robertson is one of only 19 winners globally of the International Coach Federation’s prestigious Prism Award. The Prism Award, established 2005, is presented to recipients annually who demonstrate the ability to strategically integrate coaching as an organizational development methodology, used to build leadership competency, drive change or enhance performance. A second PRISM award was presented to Robertson in 2006. For more information, visit www.trilogydevelopment.com and connect with Robertson on LinkedIn.

Rules and regulations for The Coaching Solution Book Giveaway. No purchase necessary. Open to legal residents of the United States and Canada only. Void where prohibited by law. Giveaway Entry period begins June 29, 2015 at ends July 7, 2015 23:59 ET. 2 winners will be selected at random from all eligible entries received  by Rafflecopter during the giveaway entry period on, or after July 7, 2015. Odds of winning depends on the number of eligible entries received. The winner will be contacted by email and will have 24 hours to respond to claim the prize. If the winner does not respond or does not meet eligibility requirements, another winner will be selected at random. The prize consists of 1 of 2 copies of The Coaching Solution Book by Renée Robertson. Prize cannot be substituted or changed.  Renée Robertson and myself are not responsible for any technical issues with Rafflecopter during the giveaway entry period. For Twitter entries, anyone found to be using multiple accounts will be disqualified. By entering this giveaway you agree to have your name publicized as the winner.

Photo credit: Getty Images


  1. For leaders at all levels – managerial, CSuite and front line supervisors, coaching has taken on a new found level of importance in the new world of work. Thanks for this – I look forward to reading the book! Ken.

  2. I hope to learn how to better support my employees and co-workers in their work to achieve our common and organizational objectives. I want to be able to build more strategically-oriented teams that drive results.

  3. Asking employees how they view the services and performance of Human Resources is beneficial. After all, HR services are there for current employees and new hires. If there’s a disconnect between what HR professionals are doing and what employees need, it’s time to revisit the strategy.

    1. Chantal Bechervaise – Outaouais Region - Canada – I blog about everything surrounding the world of work and how it intersects with personal life. Topics include: HR, Leadership, Social Media, Technology, Work-Life Balance, Employee Engagement, Workplace Culture and Achieving Success and Happiness. It is all about your own personal balance and what is appropriate for you. I also love the outdoors and reconnecting with nature.
      Chantal Bechervaise says:

      Thanks for your insights Sarah!

Leave a ReplyCancel reply