The question of the role, often considered uncomfortable, of the HR departments in internal social networking projects is becoming more and more meaniningful. This is all the more strategic since it’s one of the only traditional corporate function that has nearly all the needed competences and the legitimacy to drive such projects. Still remain the question of the intention and of the leadership.
Many peope have been thinking about the case of IT departments, in order to help them to find their place in a new context but very few started the same reflexion about HR depts and that’s a real pity. As a matter of fact both IT and HR depts situation share a lot of common points.
I remember the McKinsey-Cigref report I mentioned a few months ago. To make it simple, the conclusions were that IT depts can’t create any value alone and that they have to do that jointly with business managers, that they can’t achieve their goals only by providing (imposing ?) tools but by being an internal service provider, a facilitator. And, at the end, that performance has not be measured through IT indicators but business ones.
Couldn’t we say the same for HR departements that have to learn they are not supposed to only operate by themselves in the front of employees but also have to make in order to local practices have a positive impact on HR ? Not doing things alone anymore but co-building local mechanisms run by local managers on the flow.
One of the best practices I identified is to create an internal “enterprise 2.0” expertise team which provides local projects with a global framework (tools, methodology, follow-up, consulting….) which meets both the corporate need for rationality, governance and security and the local management need for flexibility, autonomy, quickness. My experience tells me this kind of model, that works quite well, is in most cases driven by IT departments that hire a few “human things” professionals. Is it irrelevant to think that such a team could be built by an HR team or, even better, co-built by both HR and IT teams ?