Don’t make decisions about us without us

Colin Miller, Kent County Council

CHARGE!  That’s how it can often feel at work – head down and full throttle – VROOM!  Sound familiar?

Efficiency, cost saving, technological solutions, lean reviews, business process reengineering, all with the aim of delivering that better and brighter future.  It is difficult to argue with this per se, but my issue is with the unintended consequence brought about by how we do this.

Human Resources has a critical role to play in delivering change and change management.  This is because (most of) what we do is through people. 

This was highlighted in a discussion with a senior manager, and I suspect this is all too common and can be readily rectified.  Your business may be up for changing, see the long term benefits and be bought into the vision, however if we in HR don’t understand the future from each other’s perspective then we are not describing the same thing, so we won’t be delivering something which works for everyone in practice.

The key points which came across and fall into sharp relief are:-

Integration and engagement: steep yourself in the strategic and operational business requirements in order to understand or influence them appropriately.  If building the perfect HR solution doesn’t work for the business then it’s pretty pointless.

Be helpful, flexible and reliable in what you do to build confidence, capability and trust.

Avoid being faceless, 100%automated processes with no human touch points to HR are unlikely to work in a way which delivers to all the efficiency gains which are intended.

The flip side of this coin is how we engage managers to deliver change and how this cascades throughout the organisation.  There are many touch points which HR in general and Reward in particular can access.  Listening to people, picking up on the language they use to describe what is important to them and using this to engage in a meaningful way can work to our collective advantage.  This is another aspect I suspect we could all be better at.  In the world of the best possible decisions, we need to involve the best possible people.

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