Do you care ??

I recently read a great post by my friend Jay Kuhns on his MUST read blog – No Excuses HR where he talked about unmet expectations.  I find his work to be so thought provoking and it made me wonder something . . .

Do we care about what matters to our employees?

I keep seeing posts on how to “fix” HR and yet few of them ever mention employees.  We use phrases like “talent” “human capital” “assets” and I could go on and on.  I followed much of #SHRM11 on-line and it was fascinating to see what was talked about !!  It looked like a great Conference and that is great to see.  But, again, I noticed that we talked about our profession, social media, legal updates and many of the same themes we see at all conferences.  What’s missing ??  . . . Employees.

We continue to spend so much time on systems, culture, transactional items and compliance which all affect people, but do you spend time wondering what matters to them?

Let me give you an example . . .

I’m sure everyone has a “bucket list” that they’d like to complete before they no longer have a chance to do that.  Next Tuesday, I get to check something off the list when I get to see U2 in concert in Chicago with three of my lifelong best friends.

I can’t wait !!  I’ve been a major U2 freak ever since they came out as a group in the mid-70’s.  I have all of their music (including bootlegs) and have read about them in books, blogs, articles, etc. Now, you may not be a U2 fan, and it may not matter to you.  I get that.  Not everyone should like the same things.

As HR professionals, though, do you find out what matters to your employees?  Or, does that take too much time?  I find myself more and more learning about the lives and bucket list items of those I work with because it has so much value.  It may not be my interest, or what I would choose to do, but it matters to them.

I think if HR people spent more time with their employees vs. worrying about their own identity within the organization – HR would blossom into what it is called – HUMAN Resources.

So, my challenge to all of us in this phenomenal profession is this – take the time to know those around you.  Don’t get mired in systems and other things that make you feel “busy” while ignoring the best thing around you – people.

Have a great holiday weekend !! I’m going to be with thousands of new people jammin’ with Bono and the boys !!! Peace to all.

6 thoughts on “Do you care ??”

  1. Thanks for the kind words Steve. You’ve really hit on an important issue here. We in HR do get caught up in our own stuff so often, that we forget who actually executes on company strategy -> the employees! Many thanks for keeping this issue on the forefront of the discussion…and enjoy the show!

  2. Oh my goodness. Finally I’m hearing this more frequently.

    I left my 20-year corporate career (after 7 years of consideration) for precisely this reason. HR had morphed into “HR data administration and compliance” from my perspective. As an HR professional, and former HR manager, I can say this. If “human” is in your title, you darn well better be about humans.

    My goal is to incorporate understanding of how humans work in manager and leadership development training and coaching. I’m so passionate about this someone told me the other day that I sounded like an evangelist. I don’t think it was a compliment… (

    Thank you Steve for bringing this up and for pointing us to Jay’s post.

    Thank you Steve for bringing this up and for pointing us to Jay’s post.

  3. Fabulous post! What a brilliant way to find out what’s important to employees…ask about their bucket list. I’m forwarding this post to some fantastic folks who really want to know what motivates their employees. Now they can use the question: “What’s on your bucket list?” Brilliant!
    Enjoy the concert, your friends and the wonderful people gathered.

  4. Steve, thanks for the great post. I’ve recommended The Dream Manager to many people, including HR folks. It’s a great story, from your neck of the woods, about helping employees reach their goals and dreams. It’s a quick read presented with actionable steps.

    Any manager should be paying attention to and helping others as they reach for their dreams. What is life anyway? If going to work is a necessary evil or a sidetrack in the pursuit of our goals, we’ll never give our best.


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