Speaking at SuccessConnect 2014 in Amsterdam, Ettling suggested that the people function needs to take its role seriously as an enabler and that a lot of HR departments currently define themselves by transactional back-office processes.
Agata Henschel, Head of HR Programme Management at Skrill, the online payment company, responded by saying: "That's exactly what we follow."
Talking to HR Grapevine she says: "We wouldn't say we make ourselves redundant, but HR needs to be business-as-usual. So, we shouldn't talk about processes, it should just work. Every employee should know, and every manager should know, what he has to do to apply for holidays, enter objectives - whatever it is.
"HR is a department that drives company objectives, we are influencing the company, we are a strategic partner and so everything needs to run seamlessly."
SAP's Global Head of HR, Stephan Ries, spoke to HR Grapevine about the comments made. He said: "[Ettling] isn't questioning our function."
Ries explains his meaning by drawing comparisons to his own views about HR's presence at the top. "The discussion about HR being in the Boardroom needs to end today. HR doesn't need to sit in the Boardroom, if you stand they'll listen.
"All of our core elements are at the table, don't just look at what's important from a people perspective and 'do we have recruitment processes in place, and do we have the right advertisements and employer branding out there' - that's what [Ettling] is referring to."
Ries stated that change is in the air for HR due to a number of reasons. From there now being five generations of employees at work to the fact that a third of the workforce is non-payroll. He concluded: "HR has the tendency to be too complex, the key is to run simple."
Originally posted on HR Grapevine
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