With the recent installment of the Avengers’ movie on screen this year, it hit on me how much HR professionals have in common with these superheroes. I would even dare say that there is a bit of an Avenger in all HR professionals.
When Hulk gets angry, everybody knows what happens. Just like how Dr. Bruce Banner needs to control his emotions to prevent unpleasant outcomes from happening unintentionally, so do HR professionals. HR deals with human issues all the times and it is not uncommon to come across sometimes extreme reactions and responses from people, especially when personal issues and interests are at stake. Thus it is important for HR to have the superhero quality to remain calm and unaffected so that the matter at hand can reach an amiable and peaceful settlement.
Just like how Tony Stark makes use of the latest technology to enhance his Iron Man suit, HR professionals are tapping on technology and Human Resource Information System (HRIS) to manage their operations and processes. From reporting dashboards and data analytics to learning management, talent management, recruitment and succession planning, technology has pervaded and advanced each and every HR function. And HR professionals need to have the super power and technology savvy to navigate this coming era of “Big Data” and “Internet of Things” to generate greater value to the organization.
Agent Romanov, aka black widow is an espionage extraordinaire whose expertise is at gathering information and intelligence. In an innocuously similar way, HR does quite a lot of “spying” and intelligence work as well. For instance, the compensation and benefits function would need to obtain information on pay packages to ensure job offers are attractive viz a viz competitors and market benchmarks. They also need to ensure internal equity by monitoring the remuneration packages across the various job grades and functions within the company.
Just like how only Thor can lift the hammer Mjolnir, there are certain things that only HR can do and are privileged to do. In their role as a communicator, coordinator, change agent or business partner, HR forms an integral link between and across the different departments and hierarchies, extending their reach even to external parties like Unions, Government agencies and professional bodies. In this unique position, like how lightning from the Mjolnir fork out, HR infuse into and traverse the numerous white spaces, processing and passing on information, changing and shaping cultures and values.
Sharp shooter Hawkeye never misses a shot. Quite often, HR needs to be as accurate and meticulous as him as well. For instance, payroll is an area that can’t afford any mistakes or delays. Quite simply, it is the bread and butter of the employees and their right to timely and precise payment for their hard work should be respected, not to mention the legal obligations and commitment. Needless to say when it comes to claims and submissions to government institution. In fact, during mergers and acquisitions, many companies now enact some form of HR Due Diligence process to do thorough checks and audits on the human capital aspect to mitigate risks like astronomical executive compensation terms.
A symbol of pride and bravery, a leader and fighter for the underdog and common man, this is Captain America. HR plays a similar role as Captain America when they act as the voice of the employee, communicating to management through things like the employee engagement survey results, policies revisions, management review meetings, or simply straight to the bosses’ office (sometimes, HR does have that privilege). HR also acts as brand ambassadors of the company because when employees look at HR, they see the company in the mind. So it is important for HR professionals to uphold and defend the image of the company with pride and confidence.
I hope this article had managed to lighten up your mood and if so why not take a few moments to contemplate which avenger you resemble the most and go review the movie online if you have the time.