HR is such an open, unique field that finds itself bound by the past. Organizations continue to churn and churn on HR programs and ideas that haven’t been current in years (or even decades). The difficulty facing folks is how to break away from the past.
We tout “change management” as a profession, but change is tough. People aren’t as open or adept to change as people may profess. Also, HR has a reputation of telling others what to do and/or what policies to step in line with. Not too appealing, honestly.
However, fear not! There is a great way to truly turn things around for HR practitioners which is well within our reach. To get our inspiration, you need to look no further than Monty Python. You probably haven’t seen the Pythons listed as a business or HR resource in a post before have you?
Being a giant Python fan, I’ve found them to be the best “model” of comedy ever. Creative, scathing, brilliant and something that truly redefined boundaries of what was expected. One of my favorite sketches is the “Ministry of Silly Walks.” A person comes into the Ministry to try out his silly walk and it doesn’t turn out to be very silly at all. The cast then shows a myriad of fantastic silly walks which still gives me deep belly laughs.
The point of this analogy is this . . .
In order for HR to succeed in today’s business environment, we need to model the behavior we expect from others. We can’t continue to just tell folks what to do and expect change. So, going forward, try this approach:
- Be consistent – Consistency in HR is huge! If you are consistent across your programs, policies and procedures, you’ll bring more equality in your organization than you’ve ever witnessed before.
- Be visible – You can’t expect supervisors and managers to tend to their employees if your desk is more important than people. Get out amongst the masses. After their initial shock, they’ll love (and expect) seeing you.
- Be different – If you want true diversity, celebrate the vast differences everyone brings to work each day vs. trying to force conformity. It’s so cool that everyone has their own “silly walk.” Let them bring that out at work.
- Be the example – HR that set the standard through modeling can’t be touched. People will literally clamor for what is going on because they’re seeing what you’re looking for in your own behavior. It works.
Now, I need to saunter down the hall with a skip, two-toe pirouette, left heel drag and two leaps . . .