Keep Being Wrong

One thing I love about being at SHRM12 is that I get to hang out with great HR Pros from all over the world!  And what happens when you get a bunch of HR people together? You talk shop!  And tell a bunch of war stories – and a few drinks are probably consumed – we’re like elementary school teachers at happy hour on a Friday afternoon!

I was with some HR Pros last night and one of them shared a standard HR axiom about what we do as HR Pros in the vain of maintaining consistency – if we are wrong in the beginning, than just keep being wrong!  It sounds idiotic doesn’t!?! But you see it every single day in HR. At one point someone made a decision, for who knows what reason, and no matter what the reason – a precedence was set and through hell and high water we will keep making that same decision!  We are HR!

I’m this person.  Well, I’m trying not to be – you see in my organization we do the same stuff.  If my recruiters exceed their goals we have various rewards that get – one of those is the ability to have a flex day throughout their week, where they can work from home or come in late, leave early, etc.  It’s up to them.  In our environment that reward is worth it’s weight in gold!  But – there’s always a “But” – when a holiday week happens – where the person is already going to be off for a day – we have said – no flex day that week.  Seemed like a reasonable plan.  But was it?

A reward is set up to be a reward – shouldn’t matter if the person has vacation, has a holiday, etc.  I had to ask myself – why do this, take this away just because of a holiday – I trust my people, especially those working their butts off to exceed their goals – so why take it away – I was wrong.  So, I decided to change – do the right thing – do you know what the first reaction was?  Yep – it was “Wait” that’s now how we did it before. A very normal reaction we have as leaders – because we want to deliver consistency to our teams, and I agree with that concept for sustained engagement – but there’s one thing that should override this – when I’m wrong!

So, do you have the courage to stop being wrong? Most of your peers don’t – they get caught up in group think – they get caught up thinking they are being “consistent” and that is good – but being consistent on doing something wrong is just being consistently wrong!  You have a choice – keep being wrong or start being right!  What will you do?

2 thoughts on “Keep Being Wrong

  1. Tim, a nice reminder about constantly reassessing everything. You mention starting off wrong, but even when I start off right, things change. Just because it made perfect sense in the past doesn’t mean it makes sense today. No matter how right it was yesterday, it might be really, really wrong today.

  2. I think this is an epidemic in HR to an extent. I think we all need to sometimes take a step back and think if some of the things we do really make sense. I think everyone could stand to do that!

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