I was with some HR Pros recently 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 then we 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 precedence was set and through hell and high water we will keep making that same decision!
We are HR! We are HR! We are HR! (keep the chant going!)
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 its 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 it shouldn’t matter if the person has a vacation, or has a holiday, etc. I had to ask myself why do we 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 it and do the right thing.
Do you know what the first reaction was? Yep, it was “Wait” that’s not 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 you’re wrong!
So, do you have the courage to stop being wrong?
Most of your peers don’t. They get caught up in groupthink. 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?
It takes practice to stop and really assess the way we are doing things and analyze if we could be approaching life/work/relationships better. Sometimes the thought of making the time for that birds-eye view is just too exhausting or mind-bending – so we don’t even try. And that, is truly a sad thing.
Great point. The greater challenge is being open to others pointing out that the way we’ve “always done things” may be wrong. It’s easy for me to say, “huh, the way I’ve done things isn’t working, let me change that…” Having someone else say it automatically pushes the release button on those defensive shields we in HR are prone throw up.