I had dinner last night with my boss, our company’s CEO. We do this from time to time. Sometimes it’s with others, sometimes it’s one-on-one. Last night two of my peers joined us. I had a boss once who made it a point to not socialize with his colleagues outside of work (actually, I think it was at his wife’s insistence). I didn’t like that boss. Not that one has to socialize to be liked, but it says a lot about one’s style if they make socialization a part of their approach to leading, developing, and engaging their people. Maybe it’s the wine (and the Manhattans), but I always leave the table feeling more valuable, less anxious about my shortcomings, and more optimistic about our future. And my trust in my boss and peers escalates immediately.
Again, we’re not talking rocket science here. And again, that’s the point. This meal required a 3 hour investment of time and several hundred dollars…the return on that investment is far more lucrative than any performance management process, learning tool, or compensation scheme. When’s the last time you took your greatest asset to dinner (lunch doesn’t count)? If it’s longer than 60 days, I’d recommend a quick jaunt out to OpenTable.
Categories: Appreciation, Performance Management, Relationships Breaking Bread, Building Trust, Dinner with Colleagues, Fine Dining, Manhattan, Showing Appreciation
As I was on the elliptical this morning reading Astronomy magazine (for all of about 5 minutes before I had to switch to something my mind could really grasp – Star) it struck me – as it often does these days – how insignificant we all really are in the grand scheme of things. So break that down even further to the worlds we live in every day – as defined by the people we interact with regularly, the media we’re exposed to, the places we visit and see. Basically we get perspective on all of about .00000001% (not scientifically founded) of what’s going on out there. The Social Media craze has helped broaden our horizons for sure. It’s great to regularly connect with some of our HR colleagues abroad – see recent video, as an example, from Bill Boorman on HR Ringleader. So I’d like to think we’re starting to share “best practices” and thought leadership across boarders. Or are we?
I’ve had two international assignments in my career – one took me to Brussels, Belgium for a year-and-a-half and the other took me to India for a year. As I reflect back, I was there as an American to bring the American way of business to a fledgling foreign operation. While successful as an instigator, the local environment & culture ultimately took root – as it should – and helped morph those businesses into what they are today. So I wonder what did I bring back from my global assignments that help me in my HR practice on home soil?
- How we do things around here ain’t the only way to do it.
- Using the old-fashioned form of employee interaction, group presentations, team gatherings, office events are often more effective than any fandangled new communication tool or technology.
- Indian’s aren’t shy about discussing performance concerns – when someone isn’t up to the mark, they let you (and them) know it. Feedback is more immediate and more constant…we need more of that around here too!
- Employers make tough decisions even when those decisions may alienate their employees…employers aren’t “held hostage” by employees easily in developing economies. I’d like to see a bit more thick skin in that regard on the US home front.
- “Breaking Bread” is sacred – everyone goes to lunch together every day…rarely, if ever, do people eat at their desks alone. Lunch is an event.
- Having a good time in the office – like really silly almost childish stuff – is important…and encouraged.
These are to some extent generalizations – and none of it is rocket science. And that’s the point. How do we capture the positive subtleties of global workplace environments and cultures and share them at home? I’m curious: What have you learned from your global experiences, or from your peers and colleagues abroad, that you use in your HR practice today?
Categories: Global, Theory Astronomy Magazine, Breaking Bread, Brussels, Global HR, Global Workplace, India, Star Magazine