Practice the 3 R’s !!

It intrigues me that when the majority of HR conversations occur, they are around broad areas.  They range from regulations to compliance, HR technology to HR analytics, performance management to being strategic.  Interestingly enough there is something missing in the midst of the noise.

What’s missing ??  Employees.

When I see the myriad of pros and cons about certification options, the argument is between the terms of  “knowledge” or “competency.”  Again, concepts and not people.  The majority of our HR education and training is to become proficient with systems and processes.  But, what takes up the majority of our time and efforts? Employees.

I’m not saying this as if employees are a negative.  Far from it.  Employees are THE reason why I practice HR at all !!

So, if our interaction with employees make up the majority of HR, why are they “missing”?  I think it’s because the other areas of HR can be defined and wrapped in structure.  We can create systems that have a beginning, middle and end.  There is more of a linear approach to these areas of HR, and we appreciate the step-by-step aspects of things that can be accomplished time after time.

Employees aren’t linear.  Isn’t that fantastic?  Seriously, who wants to be around people who are predictable, bland and one-dimensional?  Is that who YOU want to be as an HR practitioner or consultant?  Would HR be better if people conveniently fit our lives like a form to be completed?  I don’t think so.

What if you did have a system that would help you describe working with employees?  What if you had three simple words that could change your perspective towards people each and every day you went to work?

My son is a senior in high school and he just started his first job.  He is making smoothies and he’s geeked about it !!  He has a uniform to wear, of course, which is intriguing because he’s a bit of a non-conformist like his dad.  However, when he saw the message of the uniform, he put it on willingly.  Why ?? Take a look.

Three R's ShirtThis is such a positive and uplifting message !! Remember . . . he makes smoothies.  When customers come to his store and see the crew decked out in these shirts, how do you think they feel?  Even if you had been experiencing a rough day, I think you’d be getting something if it revived, recharged and rebuilt you.

Now, think if you approached HR using these three R’s. If you went into work every day saying to yourself, “I’m going to revive all of those around me !!”  Think of the energy you’d bring to your role.  You’d never think about being burnt out in dealing with people because now you were going to take the time and focus to revive things.

How would your day go if you knew that you were recharged yourself and you had the chance to recharge others?  I tell you it would be awesome.  Knowing that what you did brought things to life would make HR a profession that people would be asking to join !!

Finally, if you looked at rebuilding people and lifting them up on a daily basis, I bet that you would welcome the chance to work with employees.  How would people appear to you if you knew your efforts would make them better, more productive and valued?

So, there you have it.  The three R’s don’t make people less challenging or unique, but they do give you a “structure” to work with employees. The key to remember in all of this is that HR is about people.  As a person yourself, take these three R’s to heart and see how much you, and your employees, enjoy who you are and what you do !!

14 thoughts on “Practice the 3 R’s !!”

  1. Totally agree. Without employees there would be no HR function – the human relations aspect of what we do is far more important than any process or structure. They are just enablers to support what we do but the natural ability to engage with people this is where we can make a real difference.

  2. Steve, I love your message – HR is all about People and Connecting! If you are in the HR space you have the opportunity each day to bring this message to life.

  3. This is a great and straight-forward message that reminds me of the obvious, which can be overlooked at times. I feel revived after reading it!

  4. I love this Steve! HR is there for the Employees not just the organization. I personally love to be the go to person when an employee needs a boost in confidence.

  5. Wow! So well said. I think that it’s easy to get caught up in systems and forget about why we wanted to be in this field in the first place; to help people.

  6. This is a great message. To me it is interesting coming from the military sector into the civilian sector. I have spoken to various mentors in the civilian sector and when I ask them what is the number one issue they have with HR, 95% of the time the answer is that “HR people” do not focus on their main commodity: people. And to me this is a very foreign concept. Because providing HR support in the military it really is about people, however as we become more professionalized, we seem to be moving further away from this concept that HR is about people. Which is why I think this message today resonates with me a lot.

  7. People are the reason we do anything. Take away the people and you are left with cold, emotionless buildings and equipment. The joy is in the people, the diverse personalities and celebrating them.

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