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  • Writer's pictureSarah

HR or P&C? What’s right for your business?


When you hear HR (Human Resources), what comes to mind? What about when people say P&C (People and Culture)?


Ask three people their answer to these questions, and you’ll like get three different answers;


"They're the same thing!"

"HR doesn't care about people"

"P&C is the new 'hippy' way of doing things"


How people feel about something is critical. It’s why Change Management is so important. We can’t just implement a change without engaging with our people - we know it won’t stick.


Similarly, a business that doesn't recognise the value that HR/P&C can deliver is likely going to struggle to retain and engage its people.



So why do some people still feel so strongly about HR being a waste of time or a non-necessary function? Perhaps it's thanks to our HR friends of the past...


When early versions of HR began, often called “Employee Resource Management” or “Personnel Management”, the focus was largely on making sure a business was adhering to newly implemented employment laws, dealing with grievances and strikes, and sometimes even handling safety issues.


Through the 1900’s, we evolved to recognise that we were dealing with humans, to soon be known as “HR”. Our portfolio expanded to include recruitment, payroll, benefits management, and… more compliance (yay!🤦‍♀️).


The popular perception of HR through this time and towards the early 2000’s was that HR worked for the business, and not the people. Employees with grievances would be less likely to raise them due to a feeling that HR would take the business side. This often lead to disengaged employees, issues that would last for months, high turnover and lack of productivity.


You'll see it in shows where HR is often portrayed as the company’s bureaucratic ‘fun police’. Think Toby Flenderson from The Office. In Michaels own words: 'Toby is in HR, which technically means he works for corporate. So he's really not a part of our family.". This is still what people often think of when they hear the term HR and can lead to some of the negative comments and feelings towards the department.



Through the early 2000’s, HR started to take on a more holistic approach, moving towards hiring great people, developing their skills, resolving issues in a timely manner, and finding ways to improve productivity by having a more engaged workforce.


With this change in approach came a new term, “People and Culture” (which ironically, for anyone who’s been in P&C has probably experienced, is often nicknamed the “P.C.” (politically correct) department!). Luckily, “Politically Correct” still sounds better than “fun police” so, P&C started to get a seat at the table, joining leadership teams and helping create and deliver company strategy. Wellbeing became a higher priority. Turnover reduced, and previously disadvantaged people and minorities were being employed. While some people might see this as unnecessary, overall it has led to a happier and healthier workforce.


Regardless of whether you call the team HR or P&C, functions will be different business to business. The below table shows how some functions might be completed more by an HR team or P&C team, though any of them can be done by both.

Where we come in

At People Ninjas, our job is to help your business succeed, no matter what you want to call us!


We will get to know your business and it’s people, vision and goals, and opportunities. We can provide and end-to-end HR/P&C function, training for your existing team, and anything in between.


Click here to book a Free consultation.


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