Dave Ulrich outlines old myths and new realities of HR as following:
I- Old Myths:
1. People go into HR because they like people.
2. Anyone can do HR.
3. HR deals with the soft side of a business and is therefore not
4. HR focuses on costs, which must be controlled.
5. HR's job is to be policy police and the health-and-happiness
6. HR is full of fads.
7. HR is staffed by nice people.
8. HR is HR's job.
II- New Realities:
1. HR departments are not designed to provide corporate therapy or
as social or health-and-happiness retreats. HR professionals must
create the practices that make employees more competitive, not more
2. HR activities are based on theory and research. HR professionals
must master both theory and practice.
3. The impact of HR practices on business results can and must be
measured. HR professionals must learn how to translate their work
into financial performance.
4. HR practices must create value by increasing the intellectual
capital within the firm. HR professionals must add value, not reduce
5. The HR function does not own compliance-managers do. HR practices
do not exist to make employees happy but to help them become
committed. HR professionals must help managers commit employees and
6. HR practices have evolved over time. HR professionals must see
their current work as part of an evolutionary chain and explain
their work with less jargon and more authority.
7. At times, HR practices should force vigorous debates. HR
professionals should be confrontative and challenging as well as
8. HR work is as important to line managers as are finance,
strategy, and other business domains. HR professionals should join
with managers in championing HR issues.
Finally, he writes that "the HR function traditionally has spent
more time professing than being professional. The HR function has
been plauged by myths that keep it from being professional.
Regardless of whether these myths originate with HR people or with
line managers, it is time they were overcome.
It is time to talk less and do more; time to add value, not write value statements;
time to build competitive, not comfortable, organizations; time to
be proactive, not reactive. It is time to perform, not preach."