When’s the last time you took your HR team on a field trip? Has each person on your team actually spent time at the point of delivery or on the “shop floor?” And I’m not talking about a “walk through”. I’m talking about a hands-on experience. We’re in the business of providing refractive laser surgery (Lasik) to tens of thousands of people every year. I urge each of my people who wears contacts or glasses to experience our services in the most intimate way possible…as a patient. So far everyone who is a candidate for Lasik on my team has actually had surgery or has at least been in for a consult. It surprises me, though, how many people in our corporate practice have never even set foot in one of our centers. And unfortunately HR is notorious for not wanting to get its hands dirty – for dancing only on the fringes of what really goes on out there.
Walking the halls is one thing. Rubbing elbows is another. So ask your boss for the chance to shadow someone out in the field; become an apprentice; volunteer your time; watch, listen, ask questions, show interest…be interested! Not only will it teach you a ton about what actually makes your job as an HR professional possible…and neccessary…but it will also demonstrate your commitment to partnering with the business better than anything else could. And by the way, it’s HR’s responsibility to make sure there’s a lot of this going on in other functions too. Cross-pollination is the only way to explode the flora and fauna of the workplace.