As we are headed into the midst of the great State SHRM Conference season (Ohio SHRM is just a month away !!) , I continue to see sessions on “being strategic.” Don’t get me wrong, it is imperative that we are strategic in what we do. It just confuses me that this topic is at every conference . . . every year, and it has been for at least the last 10 !!
Has “being strategic” changed that much over the past decade? I think we need to quit thinking that we are going to reach a business “awakening” and experience nirvana. As if, one day you walk in and it hits you that you have reached some plateau. We need to eliminate one thing in our way, and the journey to being consistently strategic will be at hand.
Stop the “definite maybe.” Other, than being an incredible song by the Kinks on their State of Confusion set, there’s no place for being indecisive. HR needs to be decisive in order to be strategic.
I’m the first one to absolutely follow the “it depends” model of HR because circumstances are never the same when you’re in the midst of employee issues. Being adaptable to move within, around and through situations will allow you to truly consider a well-rounded decision. But . . . the key is to decide !!
Recently, I’ve been faced with many people who want policies to be concrete laws that are carved into stone tablets that we can smash people with when they are violated. However, we’re rarely consistent when we choose to take a hard line stance because the “it depends” factor will come into play. You like one person more than the other. One person’s a “high performer” and the other’s a “slacker.” The list goes on and on. Even though people beg for absolutes, they pull back when, and if, the absolutes affect them.
The two keys to remember are: (1) Policies are parameters that allow people to move and perform within them, not rules to look for ways to discipline and terminate and (2) Come to a resolution on things understanding that that resolution may bend, mold and morph the next time you’re faced with a similar situation. People react well when you’re decisive – even if it’s bad news they’re getting.
HR, this is a chance for us to shine !! Senior Executives want people who can bring things to closure and move things forward. It’s great to get in the fray and slug things out a bit if it means that things move ahead.
So, this week, get out of the mire and trap of indecision !! Plant your flag !! Take a stand !! Be the champion for ALL of your employees and stop the definite maybes !!