Many things I suspect. This is a question that has been on my mind for some time.
Especially when I am helping people with their job searches.
The answer though I believe is not obvious.
I found this out because it happened to me so I pass it on.
I asked that question to a couple of CEO’s that I had worked for. I asked them what will you miss most about me when I am gone?
And they said this.
“You always had the courage to ask the simple questions that we had forgotten to ask ourselves about our business and became afraid to ask because they sounded stupid or silly or awkward to ask in senior level conversations.”
“It was those questions thought that reminded us of whether we really were staying on course or holding on to what we were in business for.”
I remind myself of this often because I suspect there are many great employees out there who are scared to ask the simple question for fear of being ridiculed and laughed at.
It is a truism to say that there never was a stupid question….
Many organizations’ are heavily laden with policies and procedures of herculean proportions.
Ever thought why?
There was never an organization created that needed so much paper!
There was never a great organization that runs on the need for so many policies.
Organizations need to run on great judgment, honesty and integrity.
You have these three characters in the same room and you have built the character of a GREAT organization.
I recently discussed at a local HR chapter meeting what the meaning of employee engagement meant.
The were as many different answers as there were people in the room!
Do we in the HR world make up words that turn business people off? I suspect we do.
Gallup estimates in their latest stats that we in the USA have begun to see some of the lowest employee engagement figures in perhaps of all time! (My interpretation)
And we wonder why! It is pretty obvious and it is not all about the economics of the country.
Forget all those stats for a minute and think about how many employees actually has a regular performance review!
Stop laughing please!
The most simple of leadership actions is to listen to our followers, really listen. yet how many mangers of people actually do that?
A performance review is a business meeting with the people who make your organization and YOU a success.
We overcomplicate what is a very simple process. There are only three questions that need to be asked at any review.
- What you agreed to do.
- What you actually achieved
- What you now need to do.
And yet we have complied performance reviews of significant book proportions and expect managers to use them and for HR departments to support the outcomes. Much of the time none of these things happen.
In my blog the 7 sins of Performance reviews and the 7 virtues’ of performance reviews I outlined some key thoughts.
Lets face it if we don’t show employees that we even care to sit down with them to discuss THEM then all else is just “bunting.”
And we wonder why people are not motivated to give of their best when their leaders don’t care about them. We know that they know we care about the business though! Go Figure!!
http://wp.me/pTp83-2A The 7 virtues of Performance Reviews.
http://wp.me/pTp83-2s The 7 Sins of Performance Reviews
The story struck me in that I continue to think there is still too much conversation in the HR coffee houses about the need to be an “executive” without having done the grunt work.
How many HR folks have run anything. Like the guy with the big hat, probably never had run a cattle farm, but that hat looks Oh so cool!
Is this why most HR folk continue to “hide behind” the safe practices of working on being “employee” compliant and handling day-to-day administration?
Its solid work of that there is no question. It always was and always will be.
It is a sucky role and will never be of significant value.
It will not develop a business strategy or make your business or people grow exponentially.
It will not make you a leader and it will never make you the best in anything.
Too many conversations are about HR wannabe conversations and expectations without earning the right through having done the “grunt” work.
Or of actually having done the job themselves, too many HR folk continue to want to tell other people what they need to do and yet have never done it themselves!
It’s not about expectations to be in the executive role it is about earning the right!! When you do that you never have to apply for the job or even ask!
During our conversation I was asked why I “flinch” when I heard HR “labeled” with the title of policy and procedure maker and the department of the pink slip! They (sadly) said that they have come to believe that their HR departments are like that.
The conversation was much about the fact that HR either stops them (as managers of people) doing what they want to with the people who work for them and slowing up progress with many forms and convoluted processes. The sad fact is that HR gets in the way of people doing their work.
The conversation went on about HR tending to support the status quo and hierarchies of seniority and payments for tenure. The list was lengthy.
They listened to my stories of conversations without policies and discussions about heart and soul and mission, about simple yet deep conversations.
On my door it says:
“When you enter here all drama stops and meaningful conversations start”.
When you enter my office discussions are about:
- Making your last year before retirement the best years of your working life.
- How I can help you identify the very best talent within you but yet to be discovered?
- Conversation about legacy at work.
- When this place is not for you I will support you beyond the time that you leave our organization.
- When you enter here we will talk about “how we can rather than what cannot”.
You see relationships are not formed and end in this Human Resource Department just because people sometimes have to leave when things did not work out for the best.
In this HR department it is where the questions of heart and soul are forged and formed into meaningful relationships. In this department we mean it when we say that the most important conversations, and always will be, are about nurturing the souls who come and stay a while, and in some cases much of their life. Some leave to do other work sooner but all will remember us.
My role in Human Resources is to do all of those business strategic things that are part of who I am and what I do to build and create a successful organization, but I never forget that everyone who comes through my door is first and foremost a human being. To be a teacher and educator of hearts and souls.
Most everyone goes away with “homework of the mind” when they leave my office, and we always have another conversation. This is the stuff that turns people into the very best they can be so that in turn our organization becomes the very best we can be.
picture by :rainbow-freak427.deviantart.com