Did you know that almost half of today’s workforce (48%) feel indifferent towards the role of HR in their company? Not only that, but 18% believe that HR takes away from their overall experience at work. It seems as if HR teams and their practices have become more difficult to connect to over time and for some reason, many employees find themselves struggling to understand the HR role and its pertinence to company operations. 

But, what did HR ever do to us?

HR plays a fundamental role in the function of a company; from payroll to admin and daily logistics. These people leaders plan fun days and off-sites and put in the effort to take care of employees and make them feel included. They know your food intolerances, your scheduling preferences – so, what’s the deal? Our latest survey found employees feel that HR teams are perceived as ineffective, and in a changing world of work where happiness is the key to retention and a strong culture, it’s an absolute must that we rebuild the HR structure

Most of those surveyed (70%) believe HR can do a better job of fostering company culture and since our study also found that employees consider less than 15% of their coworkers to be their friends, it’s expected that HR teams prioritize team-building, as friendships help with collaboration, which inherently increases productivity and mitigates turnover. As the workplace continues to transform, it’s imperative for business leaders to focus on creating solid cultural foundations. 

How can we rekindle the flame with HR?

To put it simply, the structure and core function of today’s HR departments need to be revamped to fit the modern workforce: 

  • Hire people with high EQ: People leaders and HR professionals need to possess high emotional intelligence in order to assess employees’ happiness and detect signs of burnout or stress. They also need to be mindful and remain approachable and effective; managers who lack these skills will not be able to inspire and lead their people.
  • Prioritize wellbeing with perks: Encourage HR teams to connect with their people directly to learn about the perks they could take advantage of that prioritize mental and physical wellbeing. Let HR build-out initiatives and introduce programs that matter that center on feedback and requests; HR teams will appear more credible and trustworthy.
  • Create unique company experiences: While the culture for each tribe within a company is primarily led by that team’s managers, a strong organizational culture is important for retention and overall satisfaction. HR teams should establish unique company traditions to create a sense of togetherness and belonging among employees.
  • Connect HR and management: Facilitate collaboration between HR teams and managers to implement a strong employee experience initiative. Setting up more meaningful, regular check-ins will inspire bonds and open communication between people and their HR managers, which also lengthens the employee lifecycle. 
  • Rebrand the HR team: Titles like “HR Manager” can seem old-fashioned and corporate, whereas titles such as “Chief People Officer” or “Chief Happiness Offer” will set the tone for the role of a modern HR team. By bringing in new HR talent and reimagining traditional HR titles, companies can begin to evolve perceptions of the HR role. 

Since we can officially resolve that most employees find their company’s HR teams to be ineffective at creating culture, we need to focus on empowering people leaders and investing in their departments by giving them the tools they need to connect with everyone in the workplace. Each employee and each office environment is certainly different, but there are several broad initiatives that we can use that will assist HR and rebrand the role entirely, gifting them greater influence over company culture and their people’s hearts.


from Stephanie Stevens

Stephanie is Content Marketer at Hibob. She has a background in Clinical Psychology and Crisis Management, and enjoys abstract painting and watching horror films in her spare time. She believes that people can connect with themselves, their peers, and the world around them through creative writing, helping them foster a deeper sense of self and their life goals in the process.