I 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!
Categories: HR Profession, Theory Employee Benefits, Employee Connection, Employee Engagement, Fishbowlogic, FistfulofTalent, HR Simplicity, HRHappyHour, Human Resources, Less Paperwork, Next Gen HR, No Asshole Policy, Steve Boese, Strategic Partner, Talent Acquisition, Workplace Celebrations
It seems like a lot of organizations are looking to HR to solve this ever so scary issue of social media in the workplace: what if our employees are saying naughty things…what if they’re gossiping…what if they are bad mouthing the company…and what if, my ohh my, they are doing it all on company time? Who the flip cares? At the end of the day, how is an employee’s use of social media any different than what people do over lunch or while on a smoke break or after a Manhattan and five beers at a happy hour? Sure the audience is bigger, but I’m not sure that necessarily means the risk is bigger. Besides, how do we even know whether all that time spent on the networking sites is counter-productive anyway? Steve Boese - and he seems like a pretty smart guy – points to an IBM study that would suggest employees are actually well intentioned in their use of these tools and that some organizational benefit might really come from the interaction…(gasp) say it isn’t so. Mark Bennett with TalentedApps had a great post about this yesterday. On the other hand, RobertHalf tells us that based on a recent survey of CIO’s the majority of companies are blocking access to these sites entirely. Why does this seem so bassackwards to me? I feel like calling the ACLU.
When it’s all said and done, our people are going to find a way to express their views – good or bad. And they will always use business hours to some extent to do that. Why are we so worried about that? They still have to get their jobs done and if you’re worried about letting social media get in the way of their productivity, you got other issues, sister. Let ‘em talk, let ‘em gossip, let them stir the pot if they want to…and let them do it on company time. I say stop trying to over-engineer this thing: give them unrestricted access and let this powerful medium evolve. To me, the benefit far outweighs the cost – and if it doesn’t yet, it will.
Categories: Policies & Procedures, Technology, Web 2.0 1984, ACLU, Big Brother, CIO, Communication, Corporate Cops, Freedom, George Orwell, Gossip, HR, IBM, Mark Bennett, Networking, Policies, Robert Half, Social Media, Steve Boese, Web 2.0