employee advocate

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A role within the human resource function that emphasizes dealing with and responding to the needs of employees. The term was coined by David Ulrich (who has also used the phrase ‘employee champion’) as part of his typology of HR roles. HR advocacy involves representing the interests of employees within the management team and ensuring that there are equitable procedures governing the employment relationship. It is a role that may also encompass responsibility for health and safety, risk management and equality and diversity at work. Those who propose the role as a basis for effective HR management typically emphasize that employee advocacy is functional for business and that the job ‘isn't all sweetness and light’: it can involve communicating bad news to workers, such as impending closure or downsizing. [See paternalism, tough love, and welfare work.]

Subjects: Human Resource Management.

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