Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Dual Twelve Days of HR

As we are about to leave 2011 behind us I thought to write a few thoughts on HR and Leadership from the past which is a place I rarely go and then in a second post some thoughts for 2012 and perhaps beyond-we shall see how well I predict but it might depend on if there are any new app updates for my crystal ball.

The role of HR is often described in terms of functional responsibilities: recruiting, hiring, compensation, employee development, performance management etc. Yet most of what HR does involves problem solving for which there is no magic formula but can have far reaching implications if the solution doesn’t effectively resolve the problem. Some problems are straightforward and relatively easy to resolve, some types of problems are more complex and come with strong emotions. The first twelve days are just a small sampling of the problems that HR practitioners often encounter; the second twelve days are the ones that keep us going through the first twelve.

The Not So Great Twelve Days

1) employees experiencing domestic abuse
2) complaints of a manager, suppliers or customers harassing or bullying an employee
3) claims of discrimination over a missed promotion
4) employee to employee harassment, bullying, intimidation, physical assault
5) allegations of unethical conduct by senior level managers; allegations of unethical conduct by an employee from a customer or supplier
6) employees who discovered their great new ‘friend’ was a member of a violent and vengeful gang and did not know how to extricate themselves safely
7) sudden death of employees and/or employees who lose loved ones
8) drug, alcohol and gambling addictions
9) mental health concerns and catastrophic illnesses
10) employees under investigation by police for serious crimes
11) employees selling illegal drugs to co-workers and clients
12) employees using social media/networks that damages the reputation of the organization or another employee

The Happy Twelve Days of HR

1) that group of newly hired employees that hit the ground running-all hired after HR started using the newly designed recruiting and hiring program
2) the employees who took advantage of the employee development program to earn a degree or upgrade their skills and then earned a coveted new role
3) the co-workers who worked together to help a colleague with a serious illness get through it with huge support
4) the team who with a little push pulled together to create an excellent improvement project that reduced costs and improved safety
5) the employees that enthusiastically got behind a project to help improve their community
6) the employees that are great role models for the work ethic and desired culture also know as ‘leaders without titles’
7) the employees that seem to find new ways to make a great customer experience even better
8) the employees that bring ideas for problem solving or improvements whether it is in their job description or not
9) the managers that both intuitively and practically know how to build and maintain strong, creative and productive teams
10) the peer coaching and mentoring programs that increased knowledge retention and sharing by a significant percent
11) the managers who understand that HR is not the dumping ground for stuff they don’t want to deal with; are able to ask for and utilize coaching when needed
12) that HR contributes through leadership, commitment, continuous learning and resilience to all by what they do every single day

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