Event planning? Really? I thought HR was supposed to give up the “party planner” role in the move to strategic partner… Well, let’s hear what the indubitable Sue Meisinger has to say about that:
Open Communication Spurs Innovation
Meisinger then pointed to employee social events as an opportunity to tear down boundaries that many HR professionals seem to miss. She asked the audience to raise their hand if they resented the fact that their organization expected them to organize social events, such as holiday parties and corporate picnics. Dozens of hands shot up in the audience.
“Excuse me while I go on a rant here. You’re looking at this from the wrong perspective, and you shouldn’t resent this opportunity and instead embrace it,” she said. “You need to look at these employee events as strategic opportunities to open communication channels.”
In social settings, people talk and get to know each other, and HR’s role should be to help encourage that interaction and promote the culture where people talk to people, she added.
“Is it more likely that someone from accounting will return a call or consider a suggestion from someone in publications that they barely know, or is it likely that they will listen and pay attention to someone whom they remember meeting and sharing a good time?” Meisinger asked. “HR’s role is to ensure clarity and the organization’s efforts to develop and maintain a culture that encourages and celebrates innovation.” Source: SHRM
Bringing it home
I am the events team lead at work. To be totally honest, I’m not very good at the details part of the event planning. It’s just not an area that I am strong in.
However, I do put effort into determining what events support the culture we want to develop and how to use the events as a way to link diverse groups of employees. There is no substitute for the conversations and camaraderie that develop as a result of the events we have for our staff.
Another element is seeing our senior leaders participating in these events alongside our staff. That opportunity to interact on a personal level increases the trust in our leadership.
So, say what you will, but I’m going to keep putting the effort into developing events that our staff enjoy, because that is one of the things that makes our culture what it is. What are your thoughts on the topic?