It’s 2017, you are a HR professional at whatever stage in your HR career. Lots of awesome work is being produced, shared, analysed and developed. Collaboration amongst other things is high up on the agenda, and an overarching theme of discernment through the active promotion of evidence-based practice is helping create sustainable work.
Technology has developed immeasurably and affordable systems means the optimal use of data is in site. However, despite advancements in modern technology you are sat in your 1997 Ford Fiesta, parked up at a beach, looking at the sea, taking some personal CPD time and you open a package from me.
Inside the package is a cassette. You remember cassettes, small plastic things that you can rewind with a pencil and have a glorious, comforting hissing noise that digital recording has discarded, taking the viewpoint that removing imperfection is progress (that’s not always the case by the way).
Luckily your 1997 Ford Fiesta has a tape deck. You push the eject button and out comes something probably akin to Oasis ‘Be Here Now’, Stereophonics ‘Word Gets Around’ or maybe even ‘Steam’ by East 17. Written on the cassette is ‘Hendy’s HR Mixtape’. Also out of the package is a small note;-
1) The Beatles – We Can Work It Out
Working in HR can be tough. When conflicting agendas result in you having to make a decision that cannot satisfy both employer or employee, it can be difficult. When you are potentially in a difficult employee relations consultation issue with your Trade Union partners, or you are agonising over a really difficult decision, it’s easy to see light fade, and take the pressure on your shoulders. But remember this. ‘We’ can work it out. Your colleagues, your line manager, operational managers, union partners, fundamentally want to reach amicable conclusions. Nothing is ever, really insurmountable.
2) Oasis – Don’t Look Back In Anger
The key to being a good HR professional is not taking things personally, dusting oneself off, and constantly moving forward. A failed reorganisation, a dodgy disciplinary decision, a grievance raised against you simply for doing your job. Try not to worry about these. Don’t get angry about them. Absolutely learn from them, but focus on turning that energy into self-improvement and move on. You’ll be better for it. Plus anger just sucks energy that would be better used elsewhere.
3) Black Rebel Motorcycle club – Ain’t No Easy Way
Okay so there probably is always an easy way of doing things, but by taking the shiny ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach without spending time looking for the best solutions, you are probably creating rework by implementing unsustainable pieces of work. Don’t always take the easy way. Spend time, effort and energy into implementing good practice into your work, not necessarily ‘best’ practice. Sometimes the real successes come from the work that you’ve slogged your guts out to achieve, which makes that success even sweeter.
4) Simon & Garfunkel – Bridge Over Troubled Water
You can build this bridge. You can support managers and employees to help get through some real issues. You are the skilled person that others are counting on to help get through troubled periods. You are valued for doing this. Just think about that skill you have. You make a difference.
5) The Beatles – Money (That’s What I Want)
A real basic rule and will always be a critical piece of advice. Are you ready? I’ll quote it verbatim from how my first HR Manager said it to me. It’s really complicated (not really). Here goes…. “Don’t piss about with people’s money”. It’s their livelihood. Its Maslow. It’s common sense. Always be cautious when making a decision that affects remuneration.
6) The Who – The Seeker
Constantly seek out new practice, new ideas, new concepts but always look for supporting evidence. Keep on top of emerging HR thinking and spend time understanding how it can affect you, your business, your employees, your clients. HR is changing at a rapid pace. Don’t get left behind.
7) Bloc Party – So Here We Are
Stop and reflect. Look at where you’ve come from, evaluate where you want to get to, don’t take your successes for granted and don’t forget to learn. Always learn. It’s fine to pause life and take stock. So much goes on that we can easily get sucked in and get dragged along. You are no use to anyone if you lose your path. Stand still for a moment.
The tape comes to an end.
What would be on your HR mixtape?