The HR of Fear and Insecurity
Human Resources is no picnic.
But only the lazy and the incompetent communicate that to their employees.
The real pro knows that HR is all about the face you put on policy. It’s also about the policies themselves.
These are some of the biggest disasters we’ve seen in terms of effectively communicating policy – not like a high-school – but like an organization of people.
Even if you really are painting bad policy in bright colors, take a look at the following. Consider changing what you can, and paint better, explain more, and justify what needs justifying. It’s still better than coming off as authoritarian, or just plain petty.
1) No WiFi
Or worse, private WiFi, but just for some people. All your people have something to do with you on their devices already. The people who are making you the most money need easy access, all the time, to your network and all the goodies on there. There may be some security issues, but your people should be able to work through it.
2) No Working on Outside Projects
That’s another reason they need the network, but this one is not so obvious to the higher-ups. It can take some explaining. Companies that are learning need to be developing a wide range of skills. Your people aren’t going to learn them from you. Or from your company. Obviously, you’ve got that non-compete agreement signed and on file, but good people are looking for non-competing projects, in part, so that they can think different. Support them. And spell this one out carefully so that skilled people know that you appreciate their skills – and where you develop them.
How about non-qualified approvals? Long outdated approvals? Approvals that hang on way longer than what should have been dismissed went out of styles. Lot’s of managers inherit old approved policies and leave them in place. The same happens with logos and styles and identities and all kinds of things that should never have been “approved” in the first place. Include your teams in reviewing more of your policies and your teams will stick around. If they leave, it means they’re expressing disapproval.
Even worse, regular meetings. Meetings have gone the way of the time-punch card. They’re a tool for incompetent managers to prove that they can assemble people in a room, even if they can’t get the gang together in a chat room. They waste time, and your talented people will walk out shaking their heads. Organizations need to regularly update people, and discourage formal meetings. Make it known why they are a time-waster.
5) Blocked Up Area Networks
This is another red-flag for any employee worth employing. If you work for a company that won’t let you check your personal email, then get out. This hold-over from 1990s’ and y2K virus paranoia is a sign of a company that doesn’t trust anyone and isn’t going anywhere. You can set guidelines for how and why use Facebook. But this whole thing of like, jamming up the Internet with blocked sites makes you look lame. And it makes good people look elsewhere for employment.
6) Wage-Slave Time-Off
Forget about until it’s actually problem. In the US, you need to track vacation times. But beyond that, you should creatively think up a policy that respects your people and encourages them to come back. 19th Century “sick and personal time” rules show you off as a company from the 19th century. Forget about them, or install something like NimbleSchedule so that you’re at least on the same page as a modern functioning, respectful organization, rather than a hell-hole.
7) No Performance Reviews at All ?
Performance reviews are not only important for the people making you money, they’re vital for leadership too. If you haven’t established a working feedback mechanism that’s already ongoing, you need to get on the ball. Young workers may grow old under your thoughtful gaze, but the good ones will walk if you’re not listening to them – and they’ll walk if you’re not talking to them.
This is really just the beginning. Get these HR policies fixed, or fixed up, and you’ll be well on your way to not only keeping the right people in place, productive and working. You’ll also be heading towards really breaking even, too.