Can Compliance be Strategic?
Friday, October 30, 2009 at 7:45AM
Steve in Organization, Organization, Outsourcing

Last night on the HR Happy Hour Show I tossed out the idea that perhaps to further the HR organization's ability to pursue more strategic objectives and more value-added activities, that the traditional 'compliance' related functions be spun-off to another part of the organization, (perhaps finance and accounting).

My (shallow) reasoning was simple: if HR departments are truly getting bogged down in compliance and and administrivia, why not spin off those functions to another department (or outsource them)?

Shedding those non-strategic processes, I proposed, would really empower the HR organization  to focus on strategic planning, aligning the workforce and their skills and capabilities with the organizational objectives, and equipping line managers with the tools and abilities they need to succeed.

A win-win right?

Well, some of the guests on the show, China Gorman, Mike VanDervort, and others did not like the idea. They essentially said that giving up the control of these processes to accounting (or someone else) would not be a mistake and that HR has to own those processes.

So here is my question:

If HR needs to get more 'strategic' and compliance and regulatory issues are in the way, can you just outsource, spin-off, or otherwise de-couple them from the real value that HR can deliver to the organization?

Can compliance really be strategic?


You can listent to the entire conversation, and the rest of the HR Happy Hour 'Is HR Dead' Episode here:


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