If you are in the Talent Management business then you will know that the environment that talent sits in is just as important as the talent itself. More and more employees are disillusioned with their workplaces. As employees walk out the door they often cite a whole host of company ills that made them take such a precarious step. For example, bullying, lack of trust, leadership, boredom, lack of opportunity for advancement, unfairness and the list goes on. I know the cynic in you is going yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever! That is why God gave us headhunters - we will replace them, no worries. The world is not going to end. Chill!
As you yawn reading this post (because I know you have heard all this stuff before) let me remind you that as you employ your strategy for employee retention ensure you have a strategy for employee attention. Get it? You cannot get a disengaged employee to drink from the self-actulizationg tonic of your OD or Org Change elixir you are trying to shove down their throats. Sorry I mean coach down their throats.
The challenge, however, for HR professionals is that ultimately you don't rule and you don't lead your company so your influence may be limited. I think that is a fair comment? Yes, isn't it?
Then I say to you wake up that inner leader within you and start seriously thinking about influencing and changing the company before you spend time, effort and money on changing the employees. However, in fairness, for many this is a near impossible task as their organisations refuse to change. But an HR leaders priority is to influence upwards, in other words get to the gatekeepers - the culture setters.
If you are in such a privileged HR leadership role then your greatest challenge (and opportunity) are the people sitting around you in the boardroom and not the ones in the cubicles outside. For those cubicle dwellers you need to be their "voice", their guardian and protector as many of them (in your very organisation) may not be feeling very relevant. Because of the organisation culture they are made to feel that they don't matter. In such cultures the insidious and covert (but premeditated) message is that they are a replaceable human resource. Like the toner cartridge in the printer.
As an HR "leader", when you look at your own company today, ask yourself this soul searching question - are you relevant? Do you matter? No I don't mean give it a superficial nod. I mean deeply think about this question, your cognitive filters aside - I dare you!
If the answer is, dare I say, you are not, then it may be time to Vamoose! Go be relevant somewhere else. Like a good friend of mine once told me "sometimes the best way to make a relationship better is to end it".
Caution though as you rush out the door don't collide with your top talent who have also seen the same bright exit sign!
Get in touch if you want a coach and mentor to assist you in your exit or your transformation.
Be strong. Be significant
I look forward to your thoughts and comments on this article.
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Norm Murray is CEO of nStratagem. See his full Bio in the "People" section of our site. We have a great deal of experience in helping leaders and organizations through their development and challenges. Contact us for a discreet discussion.
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