As an HR lady, I often faced a general attitude of disregard from executives. Back in the day when I was managing the people processes of a tristate manufacturing business, I can remember being left out of important decision making meetings by the management team and the owners of the company. The biggest problem was being told I had to sort things out from an employment law perspective after the leadership had made a mess of things. Over time, they did come to me with some matters ahead of time (lessons learned?), but as a whole I had to fight continually for some kind of respect.

What’s the problem – why aren’t HR pros getting respect?

Evil HR Lady blogged about this topic, highlighting one of the many scenarios that HR folks face daily – in this case being dissed by a co-worker via email. Harvard Business Review shared Robert M. Galford’s article about the HR experience of not getting respect, and provided some ways of achieving this.

Now, it seems a few years later, human resource professionals are still fighting the good fight for better workplaces that offer them a chance to shine and a chance to earn more recognition. And they, we, deserve the respect that managers and company owners take for granted.

Why is it so important that human resources finally gets some real respect? Because without us, companies would not be able to manage their biggest assets – people.

Gaining respect by taking our place at the management table

In a recent post I wrote on the subject of HR taking our place at the executive table, one of the areas where we can have the most impact is in setting compensation plans. Having the knowledge and the ability to communicate the future of our company HR budgets affects the bottom line of business. The more proactive HR becomes around this effort, the greater chance we have of getting a raise and the respect that comes along with it.

This idea of being a powerhouse of knowledge and knowing how and when to use it to gain respect is one that appeals to me. I’d like to think that as someone who is dedicated to the world of human capital management, that I am on top of most issues. I am degreed and certified in multiple areas of HR, and I’ve worked hard to earn these industry recognized credentials. I am also actively engaged in researching, learning, and writing about HR topics. I am active as a member of my local Society of Human Resource Management group.

I live and breathe HR.

But, is it enough? If I were to head back to full time HR work in a business here in New York, would I get any respect? I wonder how today’s HR professionals are fairing and if things are getting better today?

Please share your thoughts, stories, and what’s working for you – I look forward to reading your comments.