Thursday, November 3, 2011

HRDe' sign

Disclaimer: Thoughts in this article are purely my personal ones. Could be goofy or plain wrong too. Have nothing to do with the organizations that I work with or have worked with in the past....

Ever heard about the company that did not layoff employees during a down-sizing, but got the target employees together to start a new product?...

….how about the company that lets young fathers work in US shifts from home so that they can help with changing nappies?

… or hires gifted individuals for specific roles like front office or voice support

By the way, what was that latest gadget from Apple that you wished you owned? Liked the design? Me too! Ever noticed that hardly do Apple’s products have a stamp of Apple’s name on the face of the gadget? They have the logo only on the back. That too, a logo, not the name. Maybe a reason that people like to own an Apple. Maybe they do not get the feeling that they are being owned or subsumed by a large brand. They own an Apple product and it becomes a part of their identity.

How often did you join a new organization and instantly feel that the organization belonged to you? Yes, the organization belonged to you.

Now look around. You will hear 99.9% of the companies wanting the employees having commitment to the organization. Almost sounds like the company owns the employee! Wow! All the best!

I have worked in organizations where any employee leaving would always say that he is going out for some different experience, but would want to be back. There are others where the employee invited and paid for his own send off party – out of the sheer happiness of getting away!

Design comes from deep yearnings of the human within. It comes from what the person intuitively wants. That little sensing of want. Give it a little outlet in the product that is being made and you have a bond instantly formed. In a way, it is like working with a highly empathetic coach. You like it instantly! It’s exactly what you wanted or thought about at the “0-“ moment.

Now think of the way HR departments work and expect you to work. Policies are long documents full of clauses. Changing your own data on the organization’s systems requires workflow approvals. Its more important to attend training – nobody is really bothered how much you changed. Performance management systems have a quarterly cycle – actual goals change everyday! Compensation management is based on 50th percentile, nobody wants to hire 50th percentile talent though! When hiring, companies look at average time spent in each of the earlier companies -  aren’t they adding to that? (what they want is predictability of staying I guess, somehow they believe that past behaviour will only replicate itself)

HRDe’sign is all about doing things that help people and organizations get even more successful. If you want to hire people to stay and perform, do you know the characteristics of such people already in your organization? Or, do you want stayers, or, performers? Do IT services companies train project managers in selling skills? (much of the growth happens through them in reality). Before complaining about the absolute lack of available talent, have they institutionalized mentoring and on the job training?

First Principles of HRDe’sign
  1. Do not do it unless there is a will by the leadership
  2. Spend time contracting and clarifying.
  3. Understand what makes and breaks that business
  4. Have a human approach – humans come first. Trust them.
  5. Find out who are the final customers
  6. Use principles of brain functioning and innovation to create small successes. 
  7. Keep it simple.
  8. Make employees the sellers of HRDe’sign
  9. Devolve the HR function to the people managers
  10. Fine tune based on intuition (Steve Jobs didn't conduct customer surveys, I guess?)
  11.  Move on to larger improvements. Make yourself redundant.

Try it.