Develop Your Bench

Sometimes in life, we get way ahead of ourselves. We want the kids, spouse, SUV, house in the burbs and the white picket fence before we are really ready for it all. We apply that philosophy to our careers; we want to do it all until an employer comes along and demands it all from us and then we want to cry foul. In every career, no matter how much you love it and have a passion for it, there are going to be certain duties that just do not suck, but flat out suck! Here’s a list of some of the mundane duties that we in HR would love to do away with.

  • Employee Evaluations (Annually, semi-annually, decade-ly?, semi-decade-ly) – I mean who can keep up, and with the average career tenure becoming shorter and shorter, does it matter? Well yeah, people want to know how they are doing and it’s a nice way to cover your butt if need be.
  • Benefit Maintenance (compensation and healthcare) – the way we pay changes, the fringe benefits, the deferred options and the reimbursements requests never stop.
  • Investigating Discrimination Claims (sexual, age, race, gender based) – it’s never fun…it’s interesting and salacious but not fun.
  • Background Checks (drug, criminal and personal) – when you think you’ve got a winner, better look harder; 50% flat-out lie on their resumes, 70% embellish on them, and others have a rap sheet as long as Shaquille O’Neal’s pant leg.


Unfortunately guys and gals, I don’t ever foresee us being able to shake these duties. If you talk to a HR professional you will clearly understand that people are capable of just about anything. You have to be sharp because just as soon as you think you’ve seen it all, BAM! Something newer and bolder, so HR will always have a hand in employee relations.

It’s like Al Pachino in “The God Father part III” no matter how hard you try to get out “They pull you back in.”

Closest you’re going to get to getting rid of those things is to develop yourself a team. We talk a big game about succession planning and developing a deep bench but do we practice it? We hoard duties to show our value to the company. We want it done right so we do it all ourselves. You need a team that you can teach and trust to handle the certain duties which allows you to get into that “seat at the table.”

Photo Credit:

NY Times


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