The Year of Others !!

It is rare that you get to write a blog post on your actual birthday when you write a weekly post, but today is my day !! I’m thankful to be another year older and geeked for what this year holds (and hopefully many more years to come !!)

I’ve seen many year-end posts chock full of predictions and resolutions for HR for 2016. I’ve never been a big fan of resolutions because we talk more about how they fail than they succeed. I dig the aspiration side of what they represent, but few ever expect them to result in sustainable change.

I’d like to take a page from the Chinese Zodiac where they have the Year of the  . . . (insert animal of they year of your birth) and declare for HR that this is  . . . The Year of Others !!’

So, what does this effort entail ?? I’d like to throw out to the profession that HR needs to be focused on others and not themselves. This isn’t some fluffy feel good idea. It’s a viable way to influence business and affect the bottom line. The difficulty is that it takes a change in our mindset. Focusing on other people goes contrary to the “What’s In It for Me (WIIFM)” mantra. The thought that you have to identify the trigger for every single person as their WIIFM and make that a reality is not feasible.

However, spending time – uninterrupted time – with others at all levels of an organization is priceless and a differentiator. Why? It’s simple. People don’t do it now. Companies, especially at the executive level, feel that when you spend time with people you’re “wasting time” because things aren’t “getting done.” They’re wrong.

Their is NOTHING more valuable and long lasting than investing time in others.

Others ButtonIt’s so difficult because we are surrounded by a society that is self-centered. The majority of social media is predicated on how many views, likes, retweets, etc. that one gets. People are more than willing to post their own work but rarely will they curate and post the work of others.

You have to understand that if you join this Year of Others effort that you will be going against the flow. It gets tiring and you could get discouraged, but it’s worth it !! You have to trust me on this. Organizations, and senior management, are looking for ways that HR can be a business partner, and that can happen if you’re willing to put your waders on and step in the stream to walk against the current.

Doing this also means taking a risk that it will work, and we are unfortunately very risk averse as a profession. We can no longer be timid. Your employees are yearning for an advocate who will genuinely take the time to meet them, listen to them, care for them and work with them. People want to perform and they will do better when they know that someone is there for them. You can do this by showing supervisors how to more consistently approach people as humans and not as task fulfillers.

Will you join me? Will you be a part of the Year of Others? I think we can alter the HR landscape and make what we do relevant and desired. When you do this, you will see how being in Human Resources will matter for you both personally and professionally !!

It’s going to be our best year yet as an industry and I look forward to walking alongside you as we do this !!

12 thoughts on “The Year of Others !!”

  1. Steve, the gist of your post is the reason that I am returning to HR. As an HR professional, I am passionate about two things. One preparation and two an uncompromising willingness to swim upstream. Leadership does not happen by going with the flow. Excellent commentary on the need for HR professionals to engage others and take a step back from WIIFM.

  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts for the year for others. Inspirational and a great plan for HR professionals in 2016.

  3. Agreed!
    The very existence of groups like HRPositive and the huge amount of sharing that is happening between HR & business people alike on the importance of being humane in our work lives cannot not make real change in the way we work.

  4. Steve,
    Your post confirms why we connected those years ago and have become great friends and have tried to provide Leadership to the HR profession through our chapters, the State Council and the Ohio HR Conference.
    I remember late night discussions at Sawmill and Kalahari which demonstrated the approach you take toward our profession.
    I think back to my experiences in HR in the variety of organizations I have had the pleasure of applying the approach to get to know and appreciate people in those organizations, both business and volunteer groups!
    Carry on my friend, and know that you have an ally in your task!

  5. Far, far too late for any sort of ‘modification’, I’m afraid. When a so called ‘profession’ declines, despite growth of International criticism over nearly half a century, to level of being the frequent butt of jokes, it is time for total and complete change.

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