When Kids Grow Up . . .

What happens when kids grow up?  They become our employees !!

I find it fascinating in the workplace today that HR practitioners have lost sight of this reality.  How much time of your day is spent on behaviors that seem childish?  When you look at the policies and procedures you write, are you doing it for a better workplace, or trying to address those who won’t behave ??

This list of “what if’s” can string on and on.  And, often in our workplace it does !!  When you ask people what they think about employees, it isn’t positive.  That is really a shame.  It’s a shame because we’ve allowed the workplace, and HR, to be driven from a negative filter.  It’s the “let’s see what’s wrong and address it” model.

This past week I had a great opportunity to speak at the INSHRM Leadership Day for their volunteer leaders.  We laughed, howled and learned together.  I showed them my newest HR “tool” that has proven to be very effective.  I doubt you’ll see it in many of the blogs, publications and theoretical models that keep churning out in our field.  Take a look . . .

It’s a Kaleidoscope !!  A toy.

You see, I’ve been giving them out to the managers of our stores because I want to have them “look at things differently.”  When I handed out the first batch of them, I did the HR thing and started jumping to the next point in my presentation.  I had to stop because I turned around and each person had their kaleidoscope pointed up toward a light, and they were twisting it to see what new shape would appear next.  There were a lot of “oohs” and “aahs” coming from this great group of Team Members.

Then it hit me again . . . what happens to kids when they grow up ??

A better answer is that they still love to play !!  They love to laugh and have fun !!  They want to enjoy what they do and it’s fairly obvious that most workplaces have taken this inate element of who we are as people and controlled it.

Our WORK is more important than bringing ourselves to work.  We’re so used to creating and designing new systems that we have lost sight of the simple fact that kids like to play.

So, this week go out of your way to laugh !!  I mean it.  Instead of looking for the next great team building exercise, have fun yourself !!  If employees see you having fun, they’ll be curious and wonder what’s happening.

Trust me.  If you do this, it will change your perspective and how you look at HR, at employees and at work !!  Be a kid !! You are one anyway !!

4 thoughts on “When Kids Grow Up . . .”

  1. Steve – This is excellent! I’ve been thinking about perspectives a lot lately and how each of us creates our own reality based on the perspectives we form through the events and interactions in our lives. We get so hung up on our own perspective that we forget that others may perceive things differently. The more we take into account that perspectives may differ, the greater we will become at being able to look at things from different perspectives, which will enhance our communication effectiveness.

    I also love the connection you make between our children and employees. Many of the policies and structures we implement to control the workplace, actually work against our human nature which is to be creative, learn, have fun, and grow! You can get great results by treating employees as human beings who all have unique perspectives and by supporting (instead of trying to stop) the natural tendencies of human nature.

    As always, I appreciate your insights!

  2. Everyone has something to bring to the table in the workplace.
    It’s a manager’s job to figure out what those strengths are and
    use them productively. Than, it’s a win-win for everyone involved.

  3. If we don’t take care of our children’s development, we will soon find out we’ve raised monsters. The toddlers should take what’s best from our history, and not the other way round.

Comments are closed.