Think Small | HR Fishbowl | HR Fishbowl

Written on November 16, 2009 by Charlie Judy in HR Profession, Theory

community-4775639I usually try to catch Steve Boese’s weekly broadcast of HR Happy Hour.  Unfortunately, the live broadcast is just about the time that my kids are getting ready for bed and my wife is crossing over to the dark side of bi-polar…look out.  So while I’m giving baths and reading books (or telling stories), some of the best on the fringe of HR thought leadership are shooting the breeze about a bunch good stuff.  I do my best, though, to listen to the podcast the next day.  Last week’s (#19) show was dedicated to ‘Next Gen HR’ – FistfulofTalent paneled the discussion.  I like these guys and they started some good debate.  It gravitated quickly to the merits of getting a PHR or an SPHR and to SHRM’s role in advancing the HR agenda.  That’s obviously important to people these days…have been seeing a lot of it.  I have to admit, though, I was bummed.  Big topic, small talk…

So I don’t purport to have any huge insights into what Next Gen HR is all about, but I do have something that I think we should all really think about.  What if the next big thing for HR isn’t big at all?  What if it’s right in front of our noses? It’s not about technology, it’s not about certifications, it’s not about programs, it’s not about social media (ok, just pretend for a moment), it’s not about how we educate and develop leaders, it’s not about how we manage risk, it’s not about how we pay our people or how we benefit them, and it’s not about attracting the best and brightest.  Rather, it’s about the most fundamental component of human existence…I’m talking about the innate desire to commune and to connect.  I say Next Gen HR has something to do with:

  • less talking and more listening
  • giving our people guidelines, but trusting them to do what’s right or what’s good
  • a regular devotion to “breaking bread” together
  • hiring people who are happy and fun and funny
  • getting rid of assholes in the workplace…like zero tolerance
  • impromptu celebrations
  • less paper, fewer Emails
  • performance management that is based on behaviors – function over form
  • open and honest communication
  • more genuine ’thank you’s’ and fewer “reward and recognition” programs
  • the death of surveys and the birth of focus groups
  • less strategy…yes, less strategy…and more ‘go with the flow’

There’s more…oh so much more.  But it’s more of less.  I think we need to stop worrying about the next big thing, and start thinking about how we can bring a new dynamic to the workplace…SIMPLICITY!

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