Oftentimes HR is perceived as not an advocate for employees, but rather out to get you. So, why do you think HR has a negative perception with people? How can HR provide more perceived value to the business? And how can HR get to say “yes!” more often rather than typically saying no?  We invited Kelsey Lepp, Sr. Human Resources Manager at Avantus Federal, to join one of our podcast episodes to answer those questions and more. Let’s first start with finding out more about Avantus Federal.

What is Avantus Federal?

According to Avantus Federal’s LinkedIn profile:

The Avantus brand, launched in 2020, is the result of the merging of seven fast-moving businesses in the intelligence, defense, and homeland security markets accelerated by phenomenal talent growth. Our clients benefit from our unique blend of breadth and reach, resources and resiliency alongside the agile and quick decision-making of a trusted environment. And our employees, some of the best in the industry, benefit from a values-based culture of continuous investment in people integrated throughout everything we do.

Our clients are our focus, and our people are the engine of our success.

Who is Kelsey Lepp?

I had a great chat with Kelsey Lepp on our podcast. Here’s more information based on her LinkedIn profile:

A human resources manager that is a strategic business partner with experience providing support in employee relations, onboarding, termination, recruiting, benefits, compliance, compensation, workforce development, manager training, talent management, engagement and retention, and data analytics. Serves as a trusted partner to support delivery. Knowledge of HR law in regard to OFCCP, EEO, FMLA, COBRA, and HIPAA. 12 years experience in the federal business sphere in companies with an emphasis on acquisitions, cyber defense, logistics, program management, and support.

Now, let’s dig into the topic of the podcast, How HR Can Provide Value To The Business. 

What Do You Feel Is The Perception Of The HR Role?

The common perception is that someone from HR is the last person you want to talk to, whether you’re a manager or an employee. Unfortunately, the stereotype is that HR is not your friend and they are out to get you.

Why do you think HR has that negative perception?

The field of HR started out as a bureaucratic function and was there to process paperwork and administer policies. There are still some residual stereotypes from how the field started. And still today, HR are the ones to have difficult conversations. And not everyone likes the message they hear.

How can HR provide more perceived value to the business?

If you’re going to add value, you need to make sure the leaders of the organization perceive it as a value add. A lot of times HR knows the value of what they are doing, but not always others throughout the organization. Perception is critical for the c-suite and to have their buy-in to HR initiatives. But if we did everything just to influence perception, we may not accomplish a lot. It’s a balance of both – add value and be perceived as adding value.

What Are The Top Things HR Does That Not Everyone Know About, But Are Mission-Critical To The Business?

Some of the items that are critical to the business are:

  • Being culture carriers behind the scenes
  • Navigating personnel issues and crises – like when COVID hit
  • Managing the role out of benefits
  • Ensuring policies and procedures are in alliance with leadership

Of course, not everyone is aware of all the moving parts behind the scenes that come with all of these responsibilities.

How Does HR Show Value With Metrics? 

Not always is there a specific clear path of metrics for HR from leadership. It’s up to HR to make sure that leadership and management are bought into the metrics that are established. Some of those metrics should include response rates to urgent challenges, retention, engagement, and recruitment. And the way to get feedback from the workforce is through employee surveys, experience interviews, and exit interviews.

Discover More

There’s much more we cover in the podcast, such as:

  • Does HR need an internal marketing campaign to improve perceptions?
  • Do you feel like HR is in somewhat of a parent role? If so, how does that play out in the workplace?
  • What advice can you offer to help HR be perceived in a better light over the next 5 years?
  • And more!

Listen to the whole podcast here: How HR Can Provide Value To The Business. Enjoy!